Cruise ships to be banned in Venice?


Cruise ships to be banned in Venice?PA


Calls are growing for cruise ships to be banned from passing through Venice due to the tourist hotspot's precarious foundations.

According to Italy's Corriere della Sera newspaper, local officials will be discussing the issue this week.

According to the Telegraph, Venice mayor Giorgio Orsoni told the newspaper: "The problem of these juggernauts of the sea needs to be confronted."

He believes that cruise ships sailing out of Venice could instead go from Porto Marghera, located on the mainland not far from Venice, an idea that has the backing of Italy's new environment minister.

Many locals believe that cruise ships are damaging to the city's foundations, and the paper reported that the number of cruise ships visiting Venice tripled between 2000 and 2007.

The news comes as Venice introduces a tourist tax to raise money to help save the 'sinking' city.

Visitors are now charged anything up to €5 a night per person, depending on the hotel star rating, in a bid that its deputy mayor says will 'save this unique city, which is precious and fragile'.

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Editor's picks: Romantic winter city breaks
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Cruise ships to be banned in Venice?
Antwerp ticks all the boxes when it comes to romantic picture postcard opportunities - the cobbled streets, the horse drawn carriages, the art nouveau architecture…and the abundance of diamond dealers won't go unnoticed either. The Boulevard Leopold is the perfect place to stay - a converted 19th century townhouse, with just three guestrooms, beautifully decorated with vintage relics.

Stay: Boulevard Leopold
For six months of the year, tourists our number the locals, but after October, Florence becomes a tranquil city when you can explore the historic streets without fear of crossing another soul, let alone tour group. Walk the Ponte Vecchio at dusk, wander tourist-free galleries at the Uffizi, drink local chianti and indulge in the best gelato in Italy. Treat yourself to some scented candles at Santa Maria Novelli - quite possibly the world's most enchanting apothecary.

Stay: Hotel Mona Lisa
For lovers of the night, Edinburgh's winding alleyways and secret passages make for illicit liaisons away from prying eyes… Book a room at The Witchery, in the shadows of the castle, where you can stay in a fabulously opulent suite and make the most of the roll top bath. For push-the-boat-out dining book a table at the beautiful Rhubarb Restaurant at Prestonfield House.

Stay: The Witchery
Wait - don't read on just yet - not your typical romantic getaway, granted, but what says cosy night in more than a log cabin? The Caban Cariad (meaning, literally, The Loveshack) is situated in the woods of Penlan in West Wales, and comes with all the seclusion and privacy your heart could desire. Kitted out in a kitsch retro style, it gives you the perfect excuse to get your roll neck jumper on and drink wine in front of the log fire.

Stay: Caban Cariad
New York in the winter is like every Christmas movie you've ever watched; the hot steam rising from the subway, bitterly cold fingers entwined against the elements, snow-topped yellow cabs….To make it romantic you may want to think less Home Alone and more Breakfast at Tiffany's. Take in the scenery from the High Line , skate in Central Park, then kick off the evening with intent with a shot of aphrodisiac at John Dory's Oyster bar before sundown cocktails at the lounge-like Milk & Honey.

Stay: The Standard
If you're more likely to believe that chocolate be the food of love, then get your lover on the Eurostar to Bruges quick smart. A chocolate lover's haven, but a medieval, fairytale town to boot, Bruges is so tranquil and full of pretty, scenic walks that even the hearts of the most hardened of cynics can't fail to melt. And if that doesn't work, there's always the beer.

Stay: The Pand
Forget all the preconceptions that come with suggestions of enjoying a little romance in Amsterdam; it's not all about the cheap thrills. Cosy cafes, amazing chocolate shops (puccinibomboni.com), cycling along the canal…it doesn't all have to be sedate either - book a room at the elegant Dylan hotel over a Sunday, and receive a discount at the luxe lingerie boutique run by designer Mariles Dekkers.

Stay: The Dylan
Can there be a city as ridiculously seductive as Venice? So picturesque it practically smoulders, Venice is the perfect city to get lost in. Skip the gondola (waste of money, mildly embarrassing) and go the vaporetto route, or simply go on foot – exploring Venice's myriad islands and hidden palazzo. Stop by Peggy Gugenheim's art collection and Francis Pinault's sumptuous Palazzo Grassi for a taste of Venice's decadent side, then wind down with prosecco at a back street Osteria.

Stay: Hotel Ciprani
Fulfil some fairytale fantasies on the shores of Lake Bled; Slovenia's emerging destination for lovers. Bled Castle is picture book romance - couples can even seal the deal by bottling and labelling their own wine - brewed by the castle's resident monks. Hedonism is a long way off though - it's all about the long walks and gazing at the moon. The honeymoon suite in Vila Bled has a lot of seventies kitsch value too, and is all the better for it.

Stay: Vila Bled
More accessible than you might think, Marrakech has a near-perfect, sun-kissed climate during our cold snap, and the heady concoction of the age old Medina, Andulusian architecture and North African culture, make it an intoxicating place to visit. Book a few nights in the AnaYela raid - an homage to star-crossed lovers everywhere. When the 300 year old palace was being renovated by its owners they discovered the old diary of a teenage girl - Yela - who writes about forbidden love with the boy from next door, and stolen kisses in dark alleyways. Her diary is ensconced in the raid walls and her words hammered in silver calligraphy on the door panels. A guesthouse which you can't help but fall in love with - thanks to its petal-strewn plunge pool, the dramatic red 'flying carpet' canopy on the terrace and the bath tubs made for two.

Stay: Riad AnaYela
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