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7th July 2011
Venice faces irreversible damage if tourist and cruise ship numbers are not capped
According to Italia Nostra, an Italian heritage organisation, the lagoon city risks 'losing its soul' if tourist and cruise ship numbers are not controlled.
Currently, 60,000 tourists visit the city everyday – double what the city can sustain. Campaigners say city officials should discourage mass tourism and instead invite high-spending visitors only.
Italia Nostra said, “The Italian government has not lived up to its commitment, made to UNESCO, to safeguard Venice and its lagoon.” They added that the city should be taken off the World Heritage List due to the level of threat towards it.
Venice already floods in high tide in the winter and sea levels are expected to rise in the lagoon by 20 inches by the end of the century. This could threaten centuries-old palaces and put parts of the city completely underwater.
Giant cruise ships have not helped the situation. According to Italia Nostra, their arrival erodes the delicate mud banks and wooden piles on which the city sits.
The construction of a new satellite city on Italy's mainland, just a few miles from Venice, is radically changing the lagoon's ecosystem and poses an enormous threat.
There is also a proposed six-mile underwater subway which will connect the mainland to Venice. Cristiano Gasparetto, a former member of the city’s Commission to Safeguard Venice, said the planned subway is at risk of being an 'ecological disaster.'
Venice is not the only destination in danger of being destroyed... Keep an eye out for our Endangered Destinations 2011 feature: a round-up of the world's most threatened travel icons.
Only one month ago Venice announced plans for a hotel bed tax | News... More
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A local's view of Venice: don't miss the insider's guide here | Destinations... More
Check out news of Venice's first-ever female gondolier | News... More
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A city centuries old, a paragon of architecture, a jewel in the crown of all western society, ruined so thoroughly int he space of just a few years due to the over zealous profiteering of the greediest, most short sighted generation in known history. Well done.
A highly ironic post, given that Venice was built solely on the greed and profiteering of the exclusively mercantile Venetians - most of Venice was stolen from elsewhere anyway!
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