A group of protestors jumped into Venice’s Giudecca canal last week, in a bid to stop cruise ships from sailing into the city.

The 50 protestors were backed by 1,000 supporters who claim the ships are destroying the city’s foundations, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The demonstration took place on the canal’s busiest day, with 12 cruise ships queued up to sail past St Mark’s Square. This is up from the average of two ships daily.

Protestor, Silvio Testa said the demonstration was a success and hopes the government will use it as an opportunity to remove ships from the Venice lagoon.

Although cruise operators claim they are not damaging Venice’s palazzo, locals say they fear for their safety after the Costa Concordia crash and more recent incidents.

Ships also claim they contribute to the local economy by providing jobs for 5,000 local families, however, protestors say their city is receiving waves of tourists who disembark, buy something small and then leave.

Italian politicians also appear to be ready to move ships out of the city, with Environment Minister, Andrea Orlando, preparing a proposal to reroute ships to a mainland port, Marghera.

Earlier this month, Mr Orlando said if passed, the proposal would aim to reduce water traffic in the city and prevent ships of more than 500-tonnes from coming within two nautical miles of landscapes of value.

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