Motorboats go silent on Venice's Grand Canal

Apr 14, 2013
A night view taken on December 2, 2012 of the Grand Canal in Venice. Venice on Sunday enjoyed the sounds of silence as authorities imposed a five-hour ban on motorboats plying the Renaissance city's main waterway in a bid to raise awareness about noise pollution and architectural damage caused by waves.

Venice on Sunday enjoyed the sounds of silence as authorities imposed a five-hour ban on motorboats plying the Renaissance city's main waterway in a bid to raise awareness about noise pollution and architectural damage caused by waves.

Boat traffic on the Grand Canal in the world-famous lagoon came to a standstill from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, with only public transport and electric-powered or hybrid vessels allowed to cut through the waters.

"This day demonstrates the commitment of in the fight against the pollution and the backwash caused by boats," said local councillor Ugo Bergamo.

The city offered free gondola rides to those wanting to cross the canal during the ban.

Venice, whose resident population is just 58,000, is a major tourist attraction, receiving around 20 million visitors a year.

The facades of its Renaissance buildings are under constant threat from the waves caused by boats—whose speed is strictly limited—as well as from levels caused by global warming.

The city, which rests on wooden piles driven into boggy ground, has been steadily sinking for centuries.

Planning official Pierfrancesco Ghetti said he hoped Venice would increasingly be considered a "" for its use of anti-pollution technologies.

Explore further: Muddy forests, shorter winters present challenges for loggers

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nearly half of Venice underwater

Nov 30, 2009

Much of the historic Italian city of Venice, including St. Mark's Square, was underwater Monday following a meteorological depression combined with natural tide waters, officials said.

Mass tourism threatening Venice lagoon, say ecologists

Jul 04, 2011

An Italian environmental group warned on Monday that mass tourism is slowly eroding the Venice lagoon, which it said is also threatened by major real estate development and an inadequate transport network.

Venice hasn't stopped sinking after all: study

Mar 20, 2012

The water flowing through Venice's famous canals laps at buildings a little higher every year – and not only because of a rising sea level. Although previous studies had found that Venice has stabilized, new measurements ...

Recommended for you

Rising anger as Nicaragua canal to break ground

Dec 21, 2014

As a conscripted soldier during the Contra War of the 1980s, Esteban Ruiz used to flee from battles because he didn't want to have to kill anyone. But now, as the 47-year-old farmer prepares to fight for ...

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

Dec 20, 2014

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.