Shot this a little while ago from Burano. You can see when you zoom in the smoke stack spewing bunker fuel fumes into the air; you can see the gigantic scale on the cruise ship compared to the Venetian skyline. It’s a monstrous floating city that dwarves the delicate city next to it.
It’s plain as day why the cruise ships need to be docked away from Venice. Click for a full size image that really drives the point home.
Brugnaro’s comments are still the meaningless platitudes you’d expect from a walking corporate mouthpiece who can barely contain his Cheshire cat grin as he knowingly offers nonsense.
You don’t save a city economically by destroying it. Venice is too important to ignore the damage being done to its fragile underpinnings.
We’ve been arguing in favor of something like this for some time, and when Doug pointed me to this article, it was somewhat encouraging–but unfortunately the forces working against the lagoon’s best interests are well monied and have Mayor Brugnaro’s backing.
Please visit Venice, but do so sustainably.
This is the ugly reality for Brugnaro’s Venice–floating cities roiling the lagoon waters and eating away at Venice’s threatened foundations. It needs to stop.
Not the guy we wanted to win.
The idea that not allowing cruise ships into the lagoon will damage the Venetian economy is predicated on the false premise that it’s helping in the first place to let them in. The backbone of the Venice we know and love is found in the small merchants, boutique hotels, and fine restaurants that hordes of cruise ship tourists don’t patronize in the slightest. Buying fake Carnival masks made in China at tourist trap shops around the corner from San Marco is not what’s going to save Venice.
Sometimes the situation facing a person, a city, a community doesn’t really need to be described in words, as one can tell just by looking when something is plainly wrong. This is one of those situations, as merely watching this behemoth churn through a narrow dredged canal near Venice shows you just how silly it is for La Serenissima to tie her fortunes to these floating monstrosities. You don’t have to be an oceanographer to realize why a city sinking into the sea shouldn’t have its fragile foundations attacked by the turbulence these beasts generate.
To hear hoteliers and restauranteurs tell it, it’d be one thing if the upshot having a series of city-sized ships slinking through the canals was netting them an influx of customers who make their businesses more profitable, but that isn’t happening–cruise ship folks generally don’t have a professional guide like Doug Sassi showing them where to find the authentic Venice away from the tourist traps. They don’t stay over night for multiple nights if they stay at all, they don’t venture past Piazza San Marco and the Rialto, they don’t spend money with local businesses other than the occasional tourist trap trinket shop selling fake Carnivale masks, and they don’t really take in the real Venice in a sustainable way. There needs to be an alternative to driving sustainable business here.
English translation of the petition. If you haven’t already signed it, please do!
We are destroying one of the wonders of the world, Venice, for the profits of the few who want to bring in cruiseships that are double the size of the Titanic, with a devastating cost to the ecosystem, the embankments and threatening symbols, like St Mark’s Square, with the first wrong move.
The Government is under pressure from the cruise lobby to give the go-ahead for the dredging of a new channel in the next few days. But following the resignation of the Infrastructure Minister, Lupi, the government must demonstrate that the era of large projects and large corruption is finished, that work against the interests of the citizens and the environment.
The moment of truth will come on Sunday: Renzi will be in Venice. We must act immediately.
Sign and share with everyone: once 100,000 signatures have been collected, we will hand the petition to the candidates for Mayor and President of the Region who will stand with him on the stage, until he agrees to withdraw the Government’s support for the project.
To Prime Minister Renzi, and all candidates for President of the Veneto Region, and for Mayor of Venice:
Venice isn’t at risk from natural causes, but from speculation and environmental devastation caused by humans. We are asking you to choose to save it, stopping local projects that threaten its existence, starting with the dredging of the Contorta Canal, keeping large cruiseships out of the Lagoon, and making Venice a global symbol of the fight for the protection of the planet’s beauty, choosing a sustainable future for the city and 100% powered by clean energy.
Apparently it’s not so simple as just dredging an alternate channel for the 90,000 ton floating behemoths to traverse, as that might worsen flooding and churn up sediments from an unregulated industrial era that have settled on the bottom and been covered up. Venice needs tourism, yes, to survive as we know it, but they need to find a way to dock the huge ships farther out and ferry passengers in via vaporetto.