Italy remains on lockdown until at least May 3rd. A few days before the country asked us all to stay home, we were in Venice where things were already very quiet. Below are some pics of that time – around March 6th. The gondolieri were out but had no business. It was the same situation for most cafès and restaurants. In fact, we made a quick coffee stop at the historical, Caffè Florian. It was a little sad that it was almost empty, but at the same time, kind of fun hanging with the Venetians. They were talking about all the hardships Venice has seen over the years including the dramatic floods of late 2019. But they also talked about the several plagues that the city survived ranging from the 1300s to the 1600s. Those folks are so full of resolve!
So here are some photos of that day painting a pretty clear pic of what was to come when the true lockdown was announced.
Awesome views I would have never otherwise been able to see
The views in the pics below can be seen from the luxury shopping center, DFS aka The Fondaco dei Tedeschi. This building was once a trading post for German merchants and later became a post office (pretty fancy for a post office!). It was first built in 1228 and was rebuilt in the 1500s after being destroyed in a fire. The rooftop views are amazing and access is free but reservations are suggested. You can make reservations online here. Even with the reservation, there is a waiting room. It is the big empty room I took a picture of. The security guard said that room is always full. The day we went, we had no reservation and the room was empty.
So that is what Venice looked like shortly before total lockdown. For what things actually look like in Italy right now, below you can click on the photos below and you will be connected to a webcam showing the stillness of the old country. It will be nice to monitor these webcams to see the cities slowly come back to life once the restrictions are lifted.
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