Venice Canals are Crystal Clear During Italy’s Coronavirus Shutdown

March 18, 2020 at 3:08 pm

The water in Venetian canals is the cleanest it’s been in “living memory”

Every tragedy has a silver lining, even Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. Since gondola rides have come to halt along with the rest of the economy, the typically murky water in Venice’s famous canals is sparkling clean.

The water is so clear residents report seeing schools of fish beneath its surface and white swans filling in the void left by tourists, the Daily Mail reports.

That’s because the sediment, normally stirred up by boat rides, has been allowed to settle at the bottom of the canals, officials say.

“The city doesn’t have sewers, so normally everything goes into the canals, including detergents and cosmetics,” a local estate manager told the Daily Mail.

Air pollution, specifically nitrogen oxide, has also plummeted over Northern Italy since the country went into quarantine.

“I hope we’ll learn from this tragic time, and that when this is over Venice will be able to strike a balance between tourist crowds and cleanliness,” a local bank teller said.

The city is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, attracting more than a million visitors from China alone last year.