Venice Locals In COVID-19 Lockdown Are Busy Documenting The Unusually Clear Canals
With Italy in coronavirus lockdown, the canals and streets of Venice are unusually deserted. Absent hordes of tourists, the city’s waterways are looking dramatically different.
Venetians are sharing photos of the change in a Facebook group called Venezia Pulita.
Twitter user @yagefudo, who attends university in Venice, shared a few initial photos that quickly went viral. In one, the usually murky canal water is visibly teeming with small fish. (Update: the user’s tweets are now private, but not before others lifted the photos for their own posts.)
Because this is Twitter, much conjecture about the actual water quality followed in the replies. (Some users, bless them, also took the opportunity to Photoshop dinosaurs and alligators into the newly hospitable Venice.)
Here’s an unexpected side effect of the pandemic – the water’s flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f
— Kaveri 🇮🇳 (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
This is how the water and the canals looks like in Venice Italy since the quarantine!
They are people they lived there all their life and never saw the bottom of a canal like Now 👇 pic.twitter.com/VQzbDCykF8
— Cristina Balan (@3d_Cristina) March 16, 2020
A spokesman for the Venice mayor’s office told CNN the clear canals aren’t a direct result of improved water quality, as some tweets have suggested.
“The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom,” the spokesman said. “It’s because there is less boat traffic that usually brings sediment to the top of the water’s surface.”
Another Twitter user in Italy shared videos of fish in Venice, a swan on Milan’s Naviglio canal and a dolphin at the port of Cagliari in Sardinia.
Tornare a inquinare sarebbe un delitto: sfruttiamo questa scia per ripensare a come sviluppare la società in armonia con la natura pic.twitter.com/dH0PLqm4Q1
— Roberto Dupplicato (@duppli) March 16, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has had an unexpected side effect in Venice—where the normally cloudy canals have transformed into water crystal clear enough to see fish swimming below. https://t.co/qrr8iphSPd pic.twitter.com/37H7iiB09Y
— ABC News (@ABC) March 18, 2020
— . . (@ThierryJFT) March 17, 2020
As reported by the Washington Post, coronavirus measures have led to a significant decline in Italy’s air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. This change is particularly pronounced over northern Italy, a region hard hit by the virus. With a sharp decline in traffic on the roads and across-the-board closures of schools and public gatherings, the flow-on effect to the environment is already profound.
And if you need a laugh, there’s always the emerging genre of Venice canal memes.
Here’s an unexpected side effect of the pandemic – the water flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/iHa5DzBCwh
— Snolly (@snollygoster123) March 18, 2020
stunning photos from venice where the lockdown has led to reduced pollution and incredibly clear water. HEART WARMING! pic.twitter.com/p9ipRLbQgA
— Jemima Skelley (@jemimaskelley) March 18, 2020
(Lead Image: Twitter / @ikaveri)