A virus in Venice. In the past, Virus outbreaks
What effect does that have? Can you still go there?

By Rudmer Hoekstra (author):


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Until recently, the only infection in Venice was the plague of tourists, at least 23 million a year. Now the streets are empty because of the virus in Venice (corona)... Venice hit by floods and has a long history of epidemics.

Virus outbreak Venice - Virus in Venice

There are no more inbound flights at Treviso (TSF) and Marco Polo Airport (VCE). (Click on the links for the latest updates). Tourists shortened their vacation in Venice, and when the news came out, they had to wait for a flight home.

"The first announcement that Venice was locked was pretty terrifying, but everything at the airport is pretty calm. Tourists were a bit panicked, thinking they would stay in Venice for a month."

The Carnival of Venice ended prematurely with only two days to go. "We hear it is the flu, but it's very contagious and aggressive, and we need to stay indoors and pray as much as possible." All because of the COVID-19 virus (corona).

The Carnival period in Venice usually marks the beginning of the high season in one of the world's most visited cities.

With hordes of tourists piling up on the vaporettos to cruise the Grand Canal, stroll through cobbled streets, and linger in picturesque cafes.

Venice has been suffering from flooding for some time due to rising sea levels. Venice, the UNESCO world heritage city, had already fallen to its knees last year when near-record tides flooded the lagoon city.

Tourism in Venice accounts for more than a tenth of the Italian economy. However, in the time of the coronavirus, the city is a shell of its own, with empty squares, shuttered basilicas, and gondoliers having to get through their days.

Almost real: The cholera epidemic that raged silently through Venice in the book of Thomas Mann's "fictional" "Death in Venice" has been replaced by a lifelike fear of COVID-19.

You would say Venice knows how to do it. Really? Yes...

..."The Plague" and the Virus in Venice used to be conquered

virus in Venice with mask dr. PesteHerbs in the beak defeated the Virus in Venice.

Venice has had centuries of shadow from the plague and other virus outbreaks. The city, therefore, has experience with it. There were about 22 bubonic plague outbreaks in Venice between the years 1361 and 1528.

Another outbreak in the year 1576 killed a third of the population. And in the year 1680, 80,000 people were killed in 17 months by the virus.

The memory of the plague is the famous masked figure during carnival: Dr. Peste, the embodiment of the plague doctor, who wears a long black cape and a long-billed mask filled with herbs as a prevention against the mist of the disease.

So it has had quite an impact on the city. But is it there now? Are the...

...Venice hotels closed?

Tourism in Venice evaporated in late February and March 2020. According to the Association of Hoteliers, 80% of the hotels (400 in the association, including the municipality  Mestre) planned to close temporarily. And 90% of the 8,000 employees in the sector stay at home. Hotel losses have reached a billion euros, including damage from the flooding in November. Larger companies with more financial support will have more resilience. 

The gondoliers in Venice are concerned. They have never had so few tourists. Like the thousands of fellow citizens, gondoliers work in tourism, an industry crucial to the prosperity of the historic city of Venice.

The city on the water, with its Lido, is one of the most popular destinations in the world, but you hardly see anyone around. Do you want to visit Venice? Then you can book a cheap hotel room. 

Then you wonder...

...Do tourists still come back after the virus in Venice?

Officials had hoped tourists would return as soon as the water receded after the high tide of fall 2019. And they did to some degree. Hotels were at 95% capacity during the last weekend of the Carnival celebrations. But then the virus hit Venice and claimed its first Italian fatal accident in the region. The first positive cases were in the historic center of Venice.

The government ended Venice's decadent Carnival celebration with two days to go, forcing party-goers in ball gowns and painted masks to cancel their parties. Venice has remained silent ever since. Only residents and intrepid tourists wearing a different type of mask stay to take advantage of a city that is otherwise full of tourists.

Delayed event openings cut the attractions that offer a steady stream of visitors to Venice's art and film festival circuit. Economic losses are piling up in a city that is already undergoing, given the more existential long-term threat Venice is sinking.

But I am sure tourists come back to Venice. The city is so unique and has enormous appeal. Book your hotel in Venice many times cheaper this summer >



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