Big ships can't sail past Venice's main piazza

ROME (AP) — Italy has moved ahead with plans to block big cruise ships from sailing past Venice's historic center, authorizing an environmental study for an alternate route that it hopes will still satisfy the city's key tourism industry.

Cruise ships currently can pass within 300 meters (1,000 feet) of Venice's iconic St. Mark's Square, granting a stunning view to those aboard but presenting a jarring sight against the backdrop of Venice's Byzantine architecture.

Residents, activists and environmentalists have long opposed cruise ship traffic in Venice. They balked at the decision Friday by a commission of government ministers and local officials authorizing a study into using the Contorta-Sant'Angelo canal.

The group "No Big Ships" called it the worst choice and insisted that big cruise ships must be kept out of the lagoon altogether.

Related Headlines

  • Tank to float Concordia shifts

    One of the tanks fastened to the shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner to help prepare it for removal to land shifted out of position Tuesday due to a tangled chain. 

  • Etihad agrees in principle to buy Alitalia stake

    Fast-growing Gulf airline Etihad Airways said Wednesday it had reached a deal in principle to buy a 49 percent stake in struggling Italian carrier Alitalia, expanding its ... 

  • Jose Manuel Barroso

    EU asks Italy, France to do more to tackle debt

    The European Commission, acting as the 28-nation bloc's economic watchdog, is urging Italy and France to do more to bring their debt under control and push ahead with ... 

  • Pressure on Renzi as economy contracts

    Official figures show that Italy has slipped back into recession, piling pressure on Premier Matteo Renzi to push through reforms to kick-start Italy's economy. The ISTAT ... 

Find the best rates

Find your future job here