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Cruising around the world famous waterways of Venice might be one of the iconic images of the city of canals but one day soon you might well have to do that during scheduled hours only. As a result of growing concern about pollution the city imposed a motorboat ban between the hours of 10am and 3pm.

This week's ban was the first to be implemented and officials claimed it was put in place to highlight the damage that pollution could be doing to the city's stunning architecture. Motored boats such as the speed boat that James Bond and friends piloted during hit movie Casino Royale were banned.

Powered gondolas were exempt from the ban and free gondola rides were also laid on for tourists needing to cross the canal.

Medieval architecture within the city has been known to be eroding and sinking for some time and the ban on motorboats has come about following complaints by conservationists that the smoke and fumes from their engines was further exacerbating the decay. Additionally boats such as these travelling at greater speeds cause currents and wake that also add to deterioration. Cruise ships have also come under fire for similar reasons.

It is claimed that they create large waves that are gradually eating away at historic buildings. It may not be long before restrictions are placed on these.

Venice is one of Europe's most popular tourist destinations particularly for romantic getaways. Should travel on the waterways start to become more restricted there is plenty more to occupy visitors than trips on the canal.

The city is small enough to be navigated on foot and pretty streets are packed with stunning buildings and character. The city has a strong art scene with works dating as far back as the fourteenth century and beyond right up to contemporary works. Some are held in the city's many historic churches and but there are also galleries aplenty that are just a short walk from the famous Piazza San Marco including the modern Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Within the square take the trip to the top of the Bell Tower of St Mark which delivers spectacular views over the city. While in the city it is impossible to miss visiting a church or two. In fact Venice is so packed full of highly ornate churches that it is possible to buy a 'Churches Pass'

to gain admission to all of them more cost effectively.

Of course there is also no shortage of opportunities to sample the world renowned Italian cuisine in Venice. The delights on offer certainly extend further than the ice-cream vision portrayed in famous advertising campaigns.

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