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Satellite Images Show How Iconic Canals Of Venice Have Cleared Up Amidst COVID-19 Lockdown

Italian government imposed a nationwide lockdown which drastically reduced the movement of Venice’s boats including the vaporetti or water buses, wrote ESA.


The European Space Agency released the satellite images of Italy’s famous waterways that demonstrated the difference in the pollution level and the boat traffic amid the lockdown due to the coronavirus across the region. The famous waterways were captured in images by the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission and were compared with the photos taken before Italy issued the home confinement measures as of March 9, 2020.  

Sharing the images on its official website, the agency wrote, “Italian government imposed a nationwide lockdown which drastically reduced the movement of Venice’s boats including the ‘vaporetti,’ or water buses, as well as cruise ships.” It further added, “These images show one of the effects of the locked-down city of Venice, in northern Italy. The top image, captured 13 April 2020, shows a distinct lack of boat traffic compared to the image from 19 April 2019”. 

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Air pollution decline in Europe

As seen in the images, The Grand Canal and the Giudecca Channel, two of the major water-traffic corridors in Venice, appeared less crowded and relatively cleaner. The water in the waterways, and the nearby lagoons, shines vibrant emerald green in the photos. The space agency further explains that the two natural channels, “appear almost empty compared to last year, and traffic from Venice to the island of Murano appears to be non-existent. Two large cruise ships can be seen in the U-shaped Port of Venice in 2019, west of the city, while this year the port appears empty.”

Further quoting the Italian news agency, ANSA, the European Space Agency wrote, “the streets and canals of Venice remained almost empty over Easter – with only police officers patrolling the streets and waterways.” Therefore, the agency claimed, the lockdown across Italy “has led to a sharp decline in air pollution across Europe – particularly in Rome and the Po Valley in northern Italy.’ 

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