Posted by: Debra Kolkka | June 28, 2020

Venice and covid 19

I have been to Venice many times and I love this beautiful city. I usually go in winter to avoid the hordes of tourists that descend on the city in the warmer months. I could not resist the opportunity to see Venice sparkle in the sun while tourists are kept away by the virus that is preventing many people from travelling.

Now that we are able to travel more freely in Italy I set off to arrive by train. It is a good idea to buy tickets ahead of the day of travel because the number of people allowed on trains is reduced and every second seat is to be kept free. Masks are to be worn at all times on board and Trenitalia staff check constantly to make sure this is happening. I didn’t feel unsafe or crowded at all.

As soon as I checked into my hotel in the Cannaregio district I headed off to San Marco. My plan was to have a spritz at Florian to celebrate its 300th anniversary.

Unfortunately this was not to be. Florian is only open Friday to Monday for the moment and this was Wednesday. I will return before the end of the year.

Instead I found a shady spot on the opposite side of the Piazza where I had a sandwich and a shakerato, a delicious cold coffee made by shaking together a shot of espresso and ice cubes…perfect for a hot day in Venice.

My position offered a perfect view of the Basilica San Marco.


There was a tiny queue outside waiting to get into the basilica. The church itself is closed for restoration, but the museum above is open. I have been a couple of times (The bronze horses of San Marco ) 

There is plenty to see outside the basilica. Beautiful things are everywhere.

There are tourists in Venice, but it is certainly not crowded. The majority of visitors seemed to be Italians. Most of the foreign languages I heard were German and French. The main thoroughfare from San Marco to Rialto was reasonably busy, but once away from these streets you can wander almost alone.

The best thing to do in Venice is to wander with no agenda. You will get lost and it will be fun. It is easy to get back on track when you are ready to find your direction again, especially if you use your phone, but wandering aimlessly is the very best way to enjoy Venice. Your eyes need to be everywhere to enjoy all the details.



In the church above we found “Lucy’s eyes” on a previous when we were on a quest to find things in Secret Venice, a book filled with interesting things to discover. Lucy’s eyes

I was delighted to find a restaurant I enjoyed on a previous visit, Taverna al Remer. I had forgotten the name, but I knew roughly where it was and after going down a few blind alleys I finally found the correct one. It is in a courtyard opposite Rialto. A small party was there celebrating a first birthday and there were groups sitting along the edge of the canal making the most of the view.

This is a view from the mooring.

Dinner was delicious. Grilled octopus was my choice for first course, followed by pumpkin ravioli with pheasant ragu.

Afterwards I walked to the empty Rialto bridge to see the Grand Canal. The shops on the bridge are closed and I had the bridge almost to myself.

The other restaurant I went to was La Zucca, recommended by a friend who knows her food. It was excellent and well patronised. All the outside tables were full, but it interior was lovely.


First course was sformatina di carciofi (artichoke), followed by pork fillet with fresh plums and carrots with lime and ginger. Dessert was mango in aspic with honey and almonds.

The main street in Cannaregio was busy in the evening. People were generally not wearing masks outside as it was quite hot, but you cannot go into a shop or restaurant without a mask and there is hand sanitiser at every door.

This is what the street scene is usually like right now. It is amazing to be in Venice in summer without tourists!

I stayed at the Pesaro Palace which is right beside the ferry stop C’a d’Oro. It is only a few steps from the ferry to the front door…very handy. It has a lovely courtyard, with resident cat.

I spotted this tub which I think could find a place at Casa Debbio.

The views from the private mooring are gorgeous.

I took far too many photographs for one post on Venice, there will be more.


  1. Gorgeous!!!
    I love the pictures without the crowds! 🙂

    It’s very chilly in Brisbane and I wish I was there instead 🙂

    • It was great to b there to see beautiful Venice without having to deal with crowds.

  2. Great photos, Deb. I have never been to Venice and it not be crowded. It would have been wonderful. Experts are saying it will be the end of the year before Australians are allowed overseas.

    • Jim is hoping to come in September, but we just don’t know at this stage. I have been in winter without crowds, but this was a different experience.

  3. Love your post on Venice, and agree best way is to wander freely & observe. Beautiful photos on a beautiful subject. Such a pity for Florian especially as its 300th Anniversary. Love your dinner choices- Yum.

    • Because I have been several times it didn’t matter that several things were not open as I have already been there. Wandering and getting lost is the best way to see Venice.

  4. Italy is seriously beckoning … 🙂

    • I arrived this year a couple of weeks before we were locked down. It has been a very different trip from other years.

      • That’s right! Shame, but I am sure you saw a different side of things?

  5. Thanks for the tour. Fabulous!

    • Venice is a place I am happy to go back to often.

  6. Superb pics Debra. What a time to go, a once in a lifetime experience fo see beautiful Venice without the hordes. I enjoyed wandering around with you.

    • It was excellent to stay in Venice for a couple of nights. I love this city. Its very existence is a miracle.

  7. It is stunning to see Venice without the hordes of people everywhere. I usually visit in November when there are less crowds. The light is so different then compared to now when you are there. Your photos are fabulous, as usual, and the light is so bright. Today is 11 to 22C in Brisbane in what is supposed to be winter but it’s bright and sunny. I’d love to be in Venice again now even though it’s only been 7 months since I was.
    Thanks for your beautiful photos Debra.
    Cheers, Robyn

    • The light is different! I usually go in autumn or winter. I have been a couple of times in late spring when it was packed. This was a great experience.

  8. Fabulous photos. What a beautiful city!

    • It is an incredible place to be. I want to go back at least once this year.

  9. Thank you for sharing your stunning trip to Venice. It is one of my favorite places in the world! You can never post too many pictures of such a lovely place!

    • There is just so much to see in Venice. There is a delight at every turn.

  10. Thank you for sharing. Venice is on my bucket list.

    • I hope you get there soon. October is a nice month to go to Venice, before it gets cold and when there are fewer people about.

  11. Oh nice to be able to travel and not have as many tourists around. Still seems like a fair amount of people wandering about which is nice after so long being locked down. Let’s hope things stay safe!

    • There were people about in the early evening when the photo was taken, but during the day it was quiet. I was happy to see people in restaurants. I feel for businesses trying to make a living at this difficult time.

  12. Your wonderful post about Venice, awakened so many memories I have, back than when I lived in Germany, I would visit Venice for numerable times, most often by night train from Munich. Once I went there in November , it was fantastic , no tourists, yet a bit cold at my little hotel without heater. Venice has certainly a big place in my heart. I am glad , you had such an enjoyable time.

    • I love Venice. I have been a couple of times in winter when it can be very cold. I like autumn the best. This was a completely different experience.

  13. How lovely it is to explore Venice without the usual crowds of tourists. I wonder if the locals are actually enjoying this.

    • A couple of locals I spoke to like having their town back, but are, of course, worried about the future of their businesses.

      • I guess they and the local government really should think of a more sustainable tourism industry in Venice for the future — one that does not put too much pressure on the city itself, but still brings a lot of benefits for the locals.

  14. So nice to see Venice clean and bright. Magnificent city

    Sent from Kendall on a very effective small device that never rests…


  15. Simply stunning. If I were in Italy right now I too would make a trip to visit Venice.

    • I am lucky to be here!

  16. Oh, marvellous images!

    • I had fun collecting them.

      • Good!

  17. Great

  18. […] Venice and covid 19 […]

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