If you visit Venice today, you'll see that all the souvenir stalls are closed, and all the cruise ships are missing. The lockdown caused by the coronavirus outbreak has transformed the waterways of La Serenissima.
The waters of the canals is a surprising sight. You'll have an unobstructed view of the sandy bottom of the trenches, but you'll also see aquatic life, such as schools of tiny fish, crawling crabs, and colorful plants.
These beautiful sights result from a tourist-free Venice. The owner of a popular hotel in Venice mentioned that the water was clear and blue. Their hotel is right by St Mark's square, and it has a view overlooking the Venice lagoon.
She also mentioned that the waters were as calm as a pond because of how there were no more boat motors causing waves. These boats were often transporting tourists, which there is a lack of now.
Venice goes 100% eco-friendly
Venice's government has implemented strict rules relating to self-confinement. This is how they are trying to prevent coronavirus from spreading from person to person. Journeying outdoors is something the government prohibits unless you're buying groceries or walking your dog.
These strict rules led to a tourist-free Venice that made the ancient city transform over a single night. The hundreds of canals in La Serenissima lack the motorboat taxis, tourist boats, and transport boats that tourists usually ride.
Vaporetto water buses on the channels are now running less often because of a changed timetable. The amount of improvement the water's clarity has gone through is dramatic. Cormorants are diving for fish in the canals since they can see them again.
At one of the Vaporetto stops, there is a nest that ducks made. A citizen even put up a sign warning people not to step on the duck eggs.
What made Venice change?
Italy's death toll from the coronavirus is exceeding the death toll of China, which the government is using as a motivation to keep their citizens from going outdoors unless they have to. They are telling people to stay home using police controls and social media outlets.
The locals of Venice are still outdoors being careful while doing their shopping, except it's all in a tourist-free Venice. The city went through an astonishing transformation for a place that had protests where they protested against too many tourists where they wanted to get rid of cruise ships.
The reason the water is clean is that of the missing motorized transport, which is what causes typically the mud from the canal floor to churn up. Pollution is not what causes the muddiness of the canals.
The locals of the town feel that nature has returned, and it is taking back the city. The bright blue skies and clean water is something they wish they could have for a while longer.
The locals, however, depend on the income that tourism brings to them. They are looking for a way to balance the city and tourism when the coronavirus outbreak is over.