Venice Port Authority president Paolo Costa has recently announced plans to build a US$2.6-3.6 billion mega-port in Venice.
The news comes despite a government ban on the biggest cruise ships potentially coming into the city and ruining the historic site.
According to Costa, Venice was in danger of becoming a Disney-style heritage attraction, with its only source of income coming from tourism.
He said the port would enable the city to handle far more trade than its current container terminal at Porto Marghera and reprise its role as a successful trading city.
Costa told Corriere della Sera newspaper: “Venice cannot just be a heritage Disneyland preserved in mothballs. Without a busy port, Venice will die. The platform would enable the Adriatic, not only Venice but also Trieste, to resume a role in world trade.”
He added: “Today we have an historic opportunity – to once again connect East and West with a big port in the Adriatic.”
He said he hoped the new channel could be dredged within two years, with the finance for the project sourced from both government and private enterprise.