Venice in Lock-down over Coronavirus Threat

Venice, affectionately nicknamed ‘La Serenissima’ (the most serene), has announced emergency procedures following concerns around an outbreak of Coronavirus.

With the Italian city in the throes of their annual ‘carnevale’, new rules have been imposed which see the celebrations cut short by two days. With confirmed reports of a 3rd death from the virus within the region, the governor of Veneto, Luca Zaia has declared that festivities should be brought to a halt.

Two Venetian patients have tested positive for the virus and are currently in intensive care at the local hospital, resulting in increased precautions within the city.

The north of the country has felt the impact of a breakout, with more than 130 cases reported since last Friday.

As well as the early end to the carnival, Venice and the surrounding area will be subject to stringent restrictions to try to prevent the spread of the virus, with schools and public gatherings forced into a lockdown situation:

“”We have to adopt drastic measures,” Veneto President Zaia told reporters. “As of this evening there will be a ban on the Venice Carnival as well as on all events, sporting as well, until March 1 inclusive,” he said. “All private and public gatherings” must be avoided, Zaia said, adding that all schools will also be closed until the end of the month.

The ban is also thought to extend to a wider Italian circle, with Barcelona players reportedly set to undergo additional checks on arrival at Naples ahead of their Champions League tie on Tuesday.

Any players found to have an elevated temperature and showing any signs of illness will be transported immediately to hospital on arrival.

While the cause of the initial outbreak still remains a mystery, with ‘patient zero’ apparently having no connection to China or having had any contact with anyone from the region, everything necessary is being put in place to stop the disease spreading further.

Further restrictions have also been put in place in Milan, where there will be limited access to the annual Fashion Week.

Venice in the Moonlight- Elizabeth McKenna

As a lover of Venice, this book captured my interest from the outset. The fact it was set in the 18th century during Carnevale only added to the allure and by weaving in historical characters so closely linked with the city in Foscari and Casanova, there was both a real sense of magic and history in the tale.

The only thing preventing a five star rating was that I found the idea of Marietta’s night-time excursions into the homes of some of the wealthiest men in Venice slightly implausible, although I acknowledge that this did add to the intrigue of the story.

The other main theme, that of her encounters with Nico, I found completely compelling. The way the two themes interlinked as the story progressed added to the suspense and enjoyment and for once in tales like this, the ending did not prove a disappointment.

A thoroughly enjoyable read!