Banning tourist-engorged seagoing behemoths from Venice’s lagoon has been on the city’s mind for years, but now it’s actually happening, the Italian government has announced. The Times of London had reported that cruise ships—500 of which normally visit the city every year—might be “blocked from cruising past St Mark’s Square and along the Giudecca Canal where they have been accused of weakening the foundations of vulnerable palazzi before disgorging hundreds of visitors,” and henceforth they will indeed be docking across the way at the mainland port of Marghera. The hordes will then be conveyed to Venice proper in flotillas of smaller vessels, an amphibious invasion that screams, “Head for the hills!”
During lockdown the locals have apparently come to appreciate the reclamation of their city, which no longer feels like the 42nd Street subway platform back when the 42nd Street subway platform felt like, well, Venice. And in an apparent show of support for the new plan, two dolphins—real ones, unlike last year’s Photoshopped versions—were recently filmed swimming off of St. Mark’s Square.