We are here because we are against this passage, but also against the model of tourism that destroys the city, drives away the inhabitants, destroys the planet, cities and pollutes, ”said Marta Sottoriva, a 29-year-old teacher and resident of Venice.
But port authorities, workers and the city government welcomed the departure of the Orchestra run by MSC Cruises, seeing it as a symbol of starting a business following a health crisis that hit the cruise industry and the wider travel sector hard.
“We are happy to be back … to restart the engines. We care a lot about Venice and have been looking for a stable and managed solution for ships for many years, ”said Francesco Galietti, National Director of the International Association of Cruise Lines (CLIA).
Some residents have been urging governments for years to ban large cruise ships and other large ships from passing through the lagoon and docking not far from the famous St. Mark’s Square.
Campaigns care about safety and the environment, including pollution and underwater erosion in a city that is already at risk from rising seawater.
“The fight is very long, I think we are against very big financial interests,” Marco Baravalle, a 42-year-old researcher and member of the No Grandi Navi group (no big boats).
He and other protesters were worried that “everything will return to what we had before the pandemic,” he added.
The Italian government ruled in April that cruise ships and container ships should not enter the historic center of Venice, but dock elsewhere.
But the ban will not take effect until the terminals outside the lagoon are completed, and a tender for their construction has not yet been announced. Part of the traffic from next year can be diverted to the nearby port of Marghera.