Cruise Ships: Senate Rejects the Excavation of the Vittorio Emanuele Canal

Amendments by the PD are approved in commission with the yes vote from the Lega and Forza Italia. No to excavating Vittorio Emanuele, yes to a “Venice Class” for ships. Ferrazzi: “An important step”

22 April 2021

By Alberto Vitucci

VENEZIA. Only ships of the “Venice Class” dimensions will be allowed in the lagoon; small, compatible and non-polluting. And “no” to the excavation of the Vittorio Emanuele canal to connect Marghera with Marittima.

In the end the Senate Environment Commission unanimously approved, or almost (the only vote against what that of Fratelli d’Italia), the proposal of Venetian PD Senator Andrea Ferrazzi. He goes to the Chamber with a shared document, as at the local level the Lega and Forza Italia would also prefer the insertion of the amendment.

Another step towards alternatives to the cruise ships at San Marco. However, the path is still long. The Government Decree will go to the Chamber next week, then to the Camera. It calls for an international competition for “creative proposals and projects that are technically and economically feasible” to find space outside the lagoon for a terminal to dock ships that are over 40 thousand tons, and for large container ships.

An “off-shore” dock that will have to be designed with the contribution of experts and individuals indicated by the local authorities. “Venice without a port is unthinkable”, says Ferrazzi, “and continuing with the naval gigantism in the lagoon is just as unthinkable. Now we must move forward with definitive solutions, to guarantee environmental sustainability and jobs”.

Which means that the timeframe for identifying the definitive solutions for the sea terminal has to be “fast”. In the meantime there is the “temporary” solution, Marittima Station to Marghera, in the industrial Canale Nord Sponda Nord.

But even here the timeframe will not be less than 2-3 years, with a cost of 60 million Euros. There is no trace of the other two provisional solutions indicated by the Comitatone of 21 December, the  Vecon and Tiv docks, still in Marghera but not as far from the inlet of Malamocco. The work there has never begun. Therefore, if as  seems to be the case, two MSC cruise ships will arrive as soon as June and cruises will resume, there will not be a solution. And the cruise ships will continue to pass through San Marco and the Giudecca canal. Citizens’ committees are crying scandal. “It is an international embarrassment”, they say, “Minister Franceschini announced that the government had banned the cruise ships from the lagoon”.

However, the timeframe is long. And no one is willing to give up the cruise ships and the jobs. So?

“There is an immediate solution, we only need to follow it”, says Ambiente Venezia, and it is Venis Cruise, the port at Lido designed by Duferco-De Piccoli and already presented seven years ago to the ministries. The Environmental Impact Evaluation was positive, with prescriptions from the Superintendent, and the Minister of Cultural Heritage’s willingness to authorize the experimental mooring of a ship at Punta Sabbioni, in front of the artificial island of MoSE.

There is also the project of Boato, Vittadini, and Di Tella,  which was donated to the Ministry. And then the idea of Santa Maria del Mare, proposed by Ferruccio Falconi, the same chief of the port pilots who many years ago also designed the reversible and experimental system of defense from acqua alte with the ships sunk at the port inlet.

Source: La Nuova Venezia

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