The movement to push large cruise ships away from the Giudecca Canal in Venice may be gaining momentum, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal
The WSJ said officials in Venice have opened talks with cruise lines about redeploying ships over 40,000 gross tons away from the route that takes them past St. Mark's Square, the city's most recognized landmark.
Protestors gathering under the banner "No Big Ships" hope to make the Serene Republic a little more serene, but many merchants object, the story says.
About 1.8 million cruise tourists passed through Venice on 650 ships last year, leaving millions of euros in their wake.
The WSJ reports that officials want alternatives by July 25 to present to a government panel in Rome. The Venetian port authority's preferred option, to dredge a new approach to the passenger terminals in Venice, would take about a year and cost 120 million euros, the paper said.
Following the Costa Concordia disaster, the Italian government banned cruise ships from coming too close to the coast but made an exception for Venice. Cruise operators say they already take extra precautions when navigating near the venerable city. — Tom Stieghorst