The lockdown has been a blessing in disguise for the people of Venice. Since the travel bans have been placed due to the developing situation of COVID-19 the city has become more beautiful.
With the lack of tourists, the waters are now more pollution-free and clear. This has been a major challenge in the past decades, the water around the city had become polluted.
The President of Italia Nostra in a recent interview mentioned, “cormorants dive into the canals to catch fish because the water in the lagoon has become transparent again.” She also hopes that the pandemic will help clean the city which was previously polluted due to tourism.
Venice attracts about 27 million visitors a year. The motorized transport churns up the muddy canal floor and disturbs the ecosystem of the lagoon.
The Climate Change
Unfortunately, the historic city floating on top of the water is much susceptible to the global climate change. In November, the city saw the waters turn dark due to heavy rains and high tides. The city was swamped and reached the level of just a few centimeters away from the 1966 flood.
If the carbon levels do not reduce then the sea level will rise and submerge Venice by 2100. This responsibility lies with the world leaders to protect Venice against global warming.
The current solution of 6 billion euros network flap gates to control the water and protect the city from heavy rains, high tides and flooding is far more complex. This technology is now considered obsolete by many environmental scientists and engineers as it was designed 20 years ago and ice in the world is melting at a faster rate than anticipated.
Venice Without Tourists
With the death toll in pandemic making Italy one of the worst-hit countries. The government has taken a few steps to keep the citizens at home. Using social media and police controls, the locals are still moving out and about to meet their daily chores. Venice without the tourists is an amazing makeover for a city that until recently saw protests against over-tourism under the No Grande Navi (“No more cruise ships”) slogan.
The Venetians are happy to have regained control of the city. All markets are open but they are only allowed to serve the customers from a one-meter distance. With the cruise ships gone, the souvenir shops and other interests and attractions for tourists are also closed.
Although the economy is brutally hit by the pandemic, the locals are still taking refuge in the remarkable recovery in the beauty of their city. The key in the future will be a balance between the city and tourism.