I’m not the right person to debate over this situation; too many and different opinion on the origin of this virus, how it’s expanding, clinical, healthy and economical short or long effects…
My work is to record moments, events, images, to show to others what is happening, as far today, in Venice.
Most of us have the knowledge about how much Venice is normally overcrowded by people because it’s beauty and because it’s uniqueness.
Let me try to show you how is Venice living during the Coronavirus infection and how people is respecting the rules the will help us to fix this problem.
Venice suffered in the past from 4 plague events: in 1348 plague arrived from Dalmatia to Venice by sea through merchant boats, transported by infected sailors who fled Caffa, where the pandemic began, which mingled unconscious among the population.
The second pestilential wave in Venice occurred in 1423 and for three months daily the number of deaths was high, up to 40 deaths a day.
Subsequently, there were two large waves of plague: that of 1576 and 1630.
The pandemic of 1630 was the last of the Serenissima Republic, thanks perhaps to the hard lesson imparted by the last infection and without doubt thanks to the efficient health management. Unfortunately this did not happen in several European cities and ports.
February 2020: a new virus arrives, probably from China, to North West of Italy and from here to the rest of the country. One of the first town affected by this new “plague” is Venice. Starting March 8th, the Italian Prime Minister declare the Quarantine Restriction, the city is completely different compared to a city that is normally overcharged with the 25-30 billions of tourists per year. A city occupied by less than 52,000 residents.
Venice today looks like another Venice: a town affected by unknown “presence”.
It looks so different… the railway station without passengers, deserted “calli” (streets), gondolas stopped at berths, all the “campo” (small square) with no people walking, San Marco square completely empty, no pigeons flying around. None in front of Bridge of Sighs; nobody in Via XXII Marzo, the luxury brand street in Venice; the Caffè Florian, since 1720, never closed one day, not even between the two World Wars, even during the tides, the high water phenomena, the Aqua Granda, never. Now it closes. Rialto’s bridge with no people on it’s top, shaking their smartphone trying to take the best shot; the famous Fish and Vegetable Market with no desks open. There is a strange and uncomfortable “sound of silence”…
One can imagine how the phenomenon has completely destabilised social and economic relationships, almost completely blocking relationships between people, even among close relatives. Living in a town with mandatory lockdown is unusual, fears sometimes. Only supermarkets and pharmacies windows are open. Only one person from each household can go on a shopping run or workplace, if smart working is not allowed or to walk the pet. People must fill out a form explaining why they have gone out. Police write tickets for people who are out wandering. Lines form outside the markets sometime because only few people are allowed to shop at one time, and they must remain 1 meter (about 3 feet) apart.
Supermarkets, an eerie place are strangely quiet, no children in, at least everything is still available. The only missing tools are face masks and hand gel sanitisers; these have disappeared from store shelves and sold out online. People queue neatly, don’t speak, don’t touch each other but greet each other with a look. Someone use a scarf to protect the mouth, others have paper tissues in their hands ready to protect themselves.
Children make signs that say “Everything will be fine”, shops and activities use ”We will overcome this”. This will be if we will respect the rules.
Ponte della Costituzione as known sa Calatrava’s Bridge
Vaporetto are like private cabs… no people in
Rail Station; is only the 17th bringing bad luck?
Rail station main corridor (1)
Rail station main corridor (2)
Ticket Office and Waiting room
None waiting (1)
None waiting (2)
Where are you going?
Several activities still open but… why?
Rail Station Main Entrance (1)
Rail Station Main Entrance (2)
Main Square front Rail Station.. normally a lot of porter with their cars are waiting for travellers
Lista di Spagna; this is one of the main street to Venice downtown
Cannaregio; From Ponte delle Guglie. Normally this popular area is overcrowded because the small but good market for food and fresh fish. Take a look right now…
Strada Nova, Santa Fosca; another very popular and (normally) crowded area… Only people that have to move for important reasons
Another vaporetto with no (or few) passengers
Activity in Canal Grande; normally at 9:30am (same time i took this shot) there is a lot of traffic
Calli and Fondamenta are so unusual with no people walking throgu
Piazza San Marco
Gondola ready to go… where?
Caffe’ Rosso in Campo Santa Margarita; 10:30 am but no coffee there
No need to write more but, as usual, waiting your comments and/or suggestion.
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