Venice’s Canal Turns Crystal Clear During Coronavirus Quarantine

Clean Canals in Venice During Coronavirus

Photo: Stock Photos from muratart/Shutterstock

It's been a difficult 12 months for Venice. With record floods in November, the city was already in recovery mode when the coronavirus began its grip on Italy in late February. As of March 18, the Veneto region, where Venice is located, has the third most cases of coronavirus in the country with over 3,200 positive cases and nearly 100 deaths. But as the country remains on lockdown in an effort to force social distancing, something interesting is happening in the city. For the first time in recent memory, Venice's canals are crystal clear and wildlife is returning to the waters.

As more people stay indoors, and off the waterways, locals are seeing the effects that their daily activity has on the environment. To put things into perspective, each year Venice sees an average of 26 million to 30 million people per year. March is typically the start of the tourism season, with people pouring into the city on large cruise ships and using private water taxis, public ferries, and gondolas to make their way around. Add to that the local boat traffic, which includes ambulances, police, and delivery boats, and you can imagine how crowded things get.

All of this boat traffic causes the canals' sediment to stir up and give the water its murky appearance. The activity also doesn't allow for fish and other marine life to swim without disruption. But now images coming out of Venice have shown that, in just a few short weeks, nature is reemerging. Fish and swans are swimming freely in the canals now that they don't have to compete with the overwhelming human traffic.

This trend is actually noticeable throughout Italy, where people have viewed dolphins swimming close to the shoreline, wild boar roaming about small towns, and ducks enjoying a bath in Roman fountains. Even the air quality has improved across the country due to people staying off the roads and industrial factories closing their doors.

At a time when Italy is facing enormous hardship, these signs of nature are bringing a smile to people's faces. “Nature resumes its life….how beautiful,” commented Maria Lanaro in the Venezia Pulita Facebook group, which has been sharing photos and videos of the transformation.

With Venice under lockdown due to the coronavirus, locals are seeing a transformation in the environment.

This trend is actually spreading throughout Italy as people stay home, allowing wildlife to thrive.

h/t: [CNN, Story Pick]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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