Residents of the Venice have staged protests over what they call “the invasion of cruise ships”, which they claim is turning St. Marks Basin into a motorway.
An expected 13 large vessels are set to arrive this weekend.
With the Costa Concordia accident that killed 32 fresh in the minds of Italians, there are fears that a similar incident could occur in Venice.
Filippo Olivetti, who represents cruise ship tourism in the city says “the accident of the Costa Concordia occurred on the open sea in different conditions from those of a lagoon port such as that of Venice.” He added that “ships must sail within a very narrow line.”
Silvio Testa who is against the vessels says “the solution” to the problem is only allow cruise ships “compatible with the needs” of Venice to enter.
The protesters believe the floating hotels pose a risk to the city’s infrastructure and inhabitants.
The number of tourists arriving in Venice on cruise ships has risen from below 100,000 passengers in 1999 to 1.7 million in 2012.