Venice is studying a new proposal for reducing the impact of the colossal cruise ships that enter its lagoon on a daily basis.
Cruise ship passengers would disembark on the man-made, 940-metre island and board a fleet of catamarans to ferry them into Venice. Each catamaran would be able to take about 800 passengers, with the transfer to Venice's historic center taking less than an hour.
The proposed solution would allow passengers to experience the thrill of entering the lagoon by boat, but would satisfy the complaints of Venetians who say that the cruise ships are an eyesore, dwarfing the city's bell towers and palazzo as they lumber into dock.
Critics also say the cruise ships pollute Venice and exacerbate the erosion of its fragile foundations as they pass within a few hundred yards of St Mark's Square and along the narrow Giudecca Canal to the existing cruise ship terminal.
Duferco Engineering, the Italian company behind the idea, said the island would take about two years to build. It hoped for a decision from the Italian government within the next two months.
Source: The Daily Telegraph