Venice in the Time of Corona

I didn’t dare tell you in 2020, let alone write it, but I was in Venice that year too. No one could remember when there had ever been so few tourists in the city. The water in the canals was of unknown clarity. Shops and restaurants were happy about every single visitor. Queuing for the ride up the Campanile took less than 5 minutes and there were less than 50 people walking in the Piazza San Marco.

Corona or not, Venice looked really refreshed. The city should treat itself to a time-out every two years. (Yes, I am well aware of the downsides of this suggestion).

My Venice trips always start and end with a view of San Simeon Piccolo, the church opposite the central station. In the morning, unfortunately, it is in the shade.

Obviously I have my problems with domes, so I chose another church for the next drawing. I went to one of my favourite places in the city. It was 2017, summer heat in May, I was thirsty, tired and annoyed by the crowds of tourists as I trudged to Tintoretto’s former home and a few steps further to his tomb. As soon as I entered Madonna dell’Orto, I was enveloped by a pleasant coolness and that holy tranquillity that also surrounds Torcello. There were hardly any people in the church. I sat down in a pew, let the interior take its effect on me and became visibly more relaxed. Since then, just the sight of the church has calmed me.

So far I have not found a place from which to draw the front and the Campanile. The small forecourt is too narrow for that. For this view of the Campanile, I had to sit down in a courtyard of the neighbouring housing estate.


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