Italy announced on Tuesday that it was banning large cruise ships from entering Venice’s waters and was also declaring the city’s lagoon a national monument, in a move to protect a fragile ecosystem from the downsides of mass tourism.
The ban, demanded for decades by both Venice residents and environmentalists, will take effect on Aug. 1.
“The intervention could no longer be delayed,” Italy’s culture minister, Dario Franceschini, said in a statement.
In recent weeks, as cruise ships returned to Venice after the pause imposed by the pandemic, protesters in the city rallied on small boats and on the waterfront with “No big boats” flags. Last Sunday, they demonstrated during the Group of 20 summit for economic ministers that took place in the city, attracting international media attention.