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Not really, of course. But she’s being criticised for being associated with the new MSC Divina – she’s the regular Godmother to all of MSC’s new ship, and Divina is the latest – and MSC Divina has sailed into Venice. Apparently it’s the biggest ship to do so, and those who object to cruise ships in Venice have been laying into both the ship and her. Here’s a link to an article about all this on the Daily Mail’s website. It all seems a bit unfair on Sophia Loren – she’s not responsible for where the ships go – but I suppose it all helps to get publicity for the point.

Some of those pictures in that article do make the ship appear to loom over the city. However, you have to understand what you’re looking at. That first image was taken very carefully with a long (‘telephoto’) lens. The point about such lenses is that they make distant objects appear large in the scene, and compress the perspective, and that’s what you’re seeing in that picture. Yes, it’s a true picture, but taken with a lens that distorts perspective and size compared with what the human eye would see. You could take another picture from the same spot with a wide-angle lens, and you’d barely be able to see the ship – there would be so much else in the image that it would be insignificant – and that would be an equally true picture. So the photographer has chosen to take a particular shot, in a particular manner, and has also chosen not to take it in a different manner. Possibly to make a point?

All of which isn’t to disagree that having cruise ships pass up and down the Guidecca canal across St Mark’s Basin may not be such a good idea. I don’t know the truth about either the subsidence or pollution arguments; but I note that there doesn’t seem to be agreement on them. However, I agree that if the ships could be routed differently into the port then it would be a good idea to do so, but unfortunately such a route doesn’t exist (yet). It could be created but would cost a lot of money to do so.

I’ve done several previous posts on this topic, and you can find them here.

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