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Letter from... Venice

20 May 2020

By Francesco Astolfi, Account Executive, SEC Newgate Italy

During the last two months, Venice definitely went into hibernation. Day by day, the crowded maze of calli -  that’s the typical local narrow streets - emptied out; boats disappeared from the canals; and an odd silence covered the islands, disturbed just by the chirps of hungry seagulls. 

Thankfully, the recent easing of national Covid-19 restrictive measures is now waking the city up from its unnatural sleep, making the Venetian heartbeat gradually recover.

Following new regulations, people have been partially resuming some habits of their “old” daily routine. Since the 18th May, for example, we can freely circulate within the borders of our region, meet friends, drink a creamy Espresso inside a coffee bar, reserve a table at our favourite restaurant and enjoy a tasty meal. We can even relax at the seaside!

As a consequence of the reopening phase, most urban firms are working hard to restore their own activities. Retail shops, boutiques, restaurants, pubs and hotels are carrying out massive sanitization campaigns and they are trying to rethink inner spaces and organization, in order to welcome customers safely and comply with the minimum social distance fixed by law. 

However, some typical Venetian firms (e.g. art galleries, souvenir and glassware shops) are struggling to cope with the crisis, since they are suffering from the lack of tourists due to the closure of national and regional borders. As a matter of fact, despite the end of lockdown measures, St Mark’s Square – the heart of Venice – still remains silent.  We hope its shops will open up at the weekend.

Our beloved “Sleeping beauty” is slowly regaining consciousness, but she hasn’t got up yet.