Protesters in Venice demonstrate against mass tourism and huge cruise ships


Protesters gathered along Venice’s scenic waterfront to demonstrate against mass tourism and huge cruise ships in the Italian floating city.

The protest – which saw members of the Comitato No Grandi Navi campaign group rally on the Zattere seafront – came on the same day that one of Venice’s top attractions reopened to tourists after the coronavirus.

Covid-19 has killed more than 34,000 people in Italy and caused the effective closure of the country’s tourism sector to slow the spread.

Protesters formed a “human chain” along one of Venice’s most popular boardwalks to highlight problems caused by large cruise ships.

Protesters gathered along Venice’s scenic waterfront to protest mass tourism in the Italian floating city

The protests - which saw members of the Comitato No Grandi Navi campaign group rally on the Zattere seafront (pictured) - came on the same day that one of Venice's top attractions reopened to tourists after the coronavirus crisis

The protests – which saw members of the Comitato No Grandi Navi campaign group rally on the Zattere seafront (pictured) – came on the same day that one of Venice’s top attractions reopened to tourists after the coronavirus crisis

An article on their website ahead of the protest said the group wanted Venice to “start over in a new way” once the lockdown is lifted.

They also want to keep large ships out of the Venetian Lagoon and encourage permanent residents to focus on tourism.

The town remained largely empty for three months during the lockdown with scenes of empty squares and alleys and gondoliers stranded on dry land.

Protesters formed a 'human chain' along one of Venice's most popular boardwalks to highlight problems caused by large cruise ships

Protesters formed a “human chain” along one of Venice’s most popular boardwalks to highlight problems caused by large cruise ships

An article on their website ahead of the protest said the group wanted Venice to

An article on their website ahead of the protest said the group wanted Venice to “resume in a new way” once the lockdown is lifted

Protesters (pictured) also want to keep large ships out of the Venice lagoon and encourage permanent residents to prioritize tourism

Protesters (pictured) also want to keep large ships out of the Venice lagoon and encourage permanent residents to prioritize tourism

The town remained largely empty for three months during the lockdown with scenes of empty squares and alleys and gondoliers stranded on dry land.  Pictured: protesters today

The town remained largely empty for three months during the lockdown with scenes of empty squares and alleys and gondoliers stranded on dry land. Pictured: protesters today

Members of the Comitato No Grandi Navi campaign group gathered to protest today

Members of the Comitato No Grandi Navi campaign group gathered to protest today

Protesters requisitioned boats to highlight the damaging impact of large cruise ships and <a class=mass tourism” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Protesters requisitioned boats to highlight the damaging impact of large cruise ships and mass tourism

But tourists have now flocked to the city for the reopening of the Doge’s Palace.

Hundreds of Italians and foreigners lined up for more than 300 meters on Saint Mark’s Square, in front of the Ducal Palace.

A local news agency said 1,000 internet bookings had been recorded for the day of the reopening.

“There were people queuing at 8:00 am this morning and, to be honest, that’s exactly what we were hoping for,” said Maria Cristina Gribaudi, president of the Venice Civic Museums Foundation.

“It’s a very strong emotion, like the first day of school,” she explained.

Inside the palace, masks are compulsory, there are many signs urging people to “keep their distance” and all rooms are controlled to avoid overcrowding.

Tourists flocked to the city today for the reopening of the Doge's Palace (pictured)

Tourists flocked to the city today for the reopening of the Doge’s Palace (pictured)

After months without tourists, Saturday marked a clear change, with Venice coming alive like any regular spring weekend.

Souvenir shops have reappeared in St Mark’s Square and almost all shops and restaurants – including the historic Café Florian – have reopened.

Around the Rialto Canal, visitors made their way through the narrow lanes, and the famous gondolas and vaporetti, the city’s water buses, were again loaded with passengers and going about their business on the canals.

Inside the palace (photo), masks are compulsory, many signs encourage people to “keep their distance” and all rooms are controlled to avoid overcrowding

“If the most widely spoken language is Italian, there are a lot of Germans and, surprisingly, French,” Ansa reported.

“We hope to have slow tourism in the future,” said Gabriella Belli, director of the Venice Civic Museums Foundation.

“It doesn’t mean less tourism, it means better organized tourism.

The COVID-19 epidemic has claimed more than 34,000 lives in Italy but as the number of new cases steadily decreases, the country is continuing the process of deconfinement that began last month.

Almost all of the country’s many landmarks, famous buildings, museums and iconic places have reopened, including St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the site of Pompeii, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Cathedrals of Florence and Milan.

In order to recover the summer tourist season, Italy reopened its borders on June 3.


Comments are closed.