Venice Carnival in the Time of COVID

Venice is one of the world’s premiere places to be for Carnival, the two-week period leading up to Lent. The city goes all out with elaborate costumes, entertainment, and celebrations for the thousands of tourists want to experience a one-of-a-kind Carnival. But this year is different. Italy was hit pretty hard by the coronavirus last year, and no one wants to see a repeat of that.   

The Venetian Carnival in the time of COVID is decidedly different, not least because all public celebrations have been cancelled and are instead being streamed online. Restaurants are closed at 6 p.m. and the city must button up at 10 p.m. by law due to a nationwide curfew thanks to the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Normally, Carnival is a time when many Venetians head out of town due to the influx of tourists, but with travel between Italian regions prohibited and tourism from abroad at a standstill, Carnival this year is very local indeed and for some Venetians, it is the first time in years they have not skipped town. On the last Sunday of the Carnival season, St. Mark’s Square was full of locals. “It’s so odd to only hear Italian being spoken here,” a masked Venetian woman dressed as a courtesan told The Daily Beast. “I don’t know if I like it this way. It just doesn’t seem like Carnival.”

It is a rare privilege to see Venetians celebrate this year’s Carnival alone due to COVID restrictions, and one that—as amazing as it is—no one really wants to see ever happen again. “Of course we can’t deny how magical it is to see Venice like this without the usual onslaught of foreign tourists,” a shop owner who sells hand-pressed paper off St. Mark’s Square told The Daily Beast. “But once in a lifetime is enough.”

Read how the city dealt with restrictions and a lack of tourists this year at The Daily Beast.  -via Digg

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Source: neatorama

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