November 28, 2022

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Venice reopens its lake for trips amid controversy

Environmentalists hold “No Cruise Ships” banners on small motorboats in the Venice Lagoon as the MSc Band departs from Venice on June 5, 2021. – Marco Sabatin / AFP

After a 17-month hiatus following a 17-month hiatus from the Covit-19 epidemic, the ship sailed for Venice, sparking controversy among supporters and opponents over the presence of these sea monsters in the popular Italian lake.

Both camps demonstrated themselves to defend their positions: as the massive shadow of the MSC band staggered from St. Mark’s Square, protesters waved “No Ship” banners and shouted their protest in small motor boats. “Cruise ships represent lightning tourism, which actually brings little benefit to Venice,” one protester said.

Protection of the ecosystem against jobs

Defenders of the Ecological and Cultural Heritage blame the large waves created by these ships, which are several hundred meters long and several storeys high, to erode the foundations of the buildings of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Serenisima, and pose a threat to the fragile ecosystem. They are also supporters of ships united in the “Venice Tasks” movement, highlighting the many jobs that make up their presence in Venice, whose economy is mainly dependent on tourism, which was particularly affected during the epidemics.

The MSC Orchestra, which left the Greek port of Piraeus empty on Thursday, departed with about 650 passengers on board, who had to submit to a negative test within 4 days and were subjected to a new test. As has happened on many occasions, tourists have kindly submitted to the strict security procedures in place in order to prevent ships from becoming real travel destinations.


According to anti-Govt measures, the MSC band is only allowed to carry half of its total capacity of 3,000 passengers. It is to be parked in Bari (southern Italy), Corbu (Greece), Mykonos (Greece) and Dubrovnik (Croatia). During its two-day voyage in Venice, the ship was presented with by its crew, who also had the opportunity to refine the safety protocols governing daily life on these giants of the seas.

“We are delighted to make our contribution to the reopening of this city that has suffered so much in the last 17 months,” commented Francesco Caliti, president of the International Cruise Association (CLIA). “In one year, the sector lost a large number of passengers, about 800,000, which is a loss of 1 billion euros to the economy”. The debate over the existence of giants of the seas is not limited to Venice, which has always had an international dimension, due to the ugliness of this tourist spot, which is very popular in the world.

Open letter

On Tuesday, a large number of international artists, from Mick Jagger to Wes Anderson via Francis Ford Coppola and Tilda Swindon, sent an open letter to Italian President Sergio Matterella, Prime Minister Mario Draghi and the Venetian mayor. Shipping.

The letter, entitled “A Debate for Venice”, was signed by former French Culture Minister Franசois Nicen, on the better management of tourism flows, the preservation of the pool ecosystem and the fight against real estate speculation, and the “cultural identity of the city of dogs to preserve physical integrity”.

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