Venice prepares to close off streets and divert cruise ships
The mayor Luigi Brugnaro spoke of a “black alert”, a term normally used to advise drivers against motorway travel on the days of most intense holiday traffic. Venice is preparing to cordon off its streets, set up diversions and one-way streets, and to move motorboats from St Mark’s to a less central area, to cope with the expected assault of tourists over the long May bank holiday weekend. A taste of the summer to come, with crowds, bottlenecked streets and queues at the vaporetto landing stages was already seen at Easter, which is why the council has decided to take action and experiment with interactive tourist flow management. “We want to defend and safeguard Venice,” explained Brugnaro. “It’s a commitment that we have entered into with UNESCO, but above all with the residents.” The mayor is asking for more extensive powers, which would allow him to cut off access to the historic centre on the busiest tourist days by introducing mandatory booking and passes. Residents, workers and commuters, meanwhile, will be able to move around freely with the “Venezia unica” travel card.
cordon off – to prevent people from getting into (an area) by putting a line of people or objects around or in front of it
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