Authorities in Italy have made the bold move of banning all cruise ships from Venice lagoon in an effort to save the water's ecosystems and heritage, putting conservation ahead of potential lost revenue for the city.
The United Nations cultural organisation Unesco had earlier threatened to add Italy to its black list if it didn't go ahead with banning the ships from the World Heritage site.
At the peak of lockdown, life appeared to be returning to the waters around the city. While photos of dolphins swimming through Venetian canals that spread across social media at the time were fake, water quality improved and some of the less visible life forms did return.
From August 1, any ship weighing more than 25,000 tonnes will be banned from entering the Giudecca Canal that then leads to Piazza San Marco, one of the area's most popular landmarks.
For years, local residents and communities from around the world have been pushing for the government to ban the massive ships from entering the lagoon. The ships often tower above the buildings that surround them, threatening sealife and the stability of the land.
Protests peaked when the 92,000-tonne MSC Orchestra traveled through the lagoon on its way to Greece.