For Venice, the question of the relationship between modification and stabilisation is ancient and in fact goes back to its origins. The city has always had to come to terms with the variability of its support and has always acted to create a base that is as solid as possible. Its base also includes its foundations, but it equally brings into play the relationship between regulation of its aquatic ecosystem and broadening its land-based support. The definition of Venetian ‘territory’ still today falls within a variable scope which involves the following: the destruction of sandbanks to provide stable level supports to excavate the large canals open to navigation, the appropriation of wide areas of the lagoon to create ‘valley’ fish farms, the creation of artificial islands and last but not least the inclusion of phenomena connected with cruise liners in the city. It is an environment of perennially contested interests.
Keywords: Venetian lagoon; the modernity of Venice; cruise liner terminal