So Venice opens to tourism after 15 months, as the pandemic seems to abate in early summer 2021. As city focusing on tourism during the past 30 years, there’s some good news as you’ll discover. But there are also issues, which Venice inherited from “pre-pandemic times”.
During the past few weeks, we received several questions on “how do you travel and visit (a historical city like) Venice once the pandemic is over / traveling is possible” ? Has Venice changed in the meantime?
As Nonna Lina says, traveling is all about attitude and behavior, and this concerns both guests and their Venetian hosts:
“Traveling after Covid-19 might as well be a privilege, much like it used to be in the 1960s and 1970s. During the past 15 months of pandemic, we’ve seen things precipitate within weeks, if not days. In the future, traveling should take on the function of reassuring, learning, and connecting: Traveling consciously means two things: Visitors staying longer, and preparing their trip better. It also means that hosts take care of their guests. In other words, if these two components go together, a trip will turn into a “journey of discovery” worth recalling for a very long time.”
Lina, a hotelier since 1968, created her own “tool box for responsible visitors” decades ago. It’s all about quality and respect towards guests, hosts, Venice and the Lagoon. This may sound too general but we’ve packed it all into our Return to Venice Itinerary that you can download here: Seven special days, during which you’ll rediscover Venice from a completely different perspective.
What will await you in Venice when you return after the pandemic? Well, you’ll find that outwardly, Venice hasn’t changed so much. Colors are the same, the weather is a bit more unstable this year than usually. For the time being, crowds are only around on weekends, the vaporetti are back to 80 per cent of capacity and are expected to run normally during summer.
But if you look more closely, you can make out the effect of 15 months of pandemic and solitude: Some businesses, hotels, and restaurants closed or changed ownership. Venice was under a very strict lockdown from early March to mid-May 2020, then opening carefully in summer 2020, and closing again in early fall 2020. Several lockdowns ensued and until mid-May 2021, the city was a zona rossa, a red zone under complete lockdown. Now in June 2021, Venice has become a “relatively safe white zone” called zona bianca.
Zona bianca means that shops, restaurants and hotels may open (in theory), but still we advise you to ask in advance which shop / hotel / cafe / restaurant etc. is open, as some restaurants and cafes have restricted their schedules.
I’d say that most change has gone on behind the scenes, with so many projects and ideas! Our neighbor recently said that they were far too many to implement in a small city like Venice!
Getting the big picture of Venice in summer 2021: JoAnn Locktov, author of the Dream of Venice book trilogy, has written a comprehensive and insightful article on where Venice stands right now. Venice faces big decisions and has lots of open questions, but in the end, you’ll also discover all the positive news and what’s been going on behind the scenes during the past 15 months. Click to read her article.
La Venessiana’s seven-day itinerary for the responsible visitor
We’ve created a seven-day experience for everyone who wishes to return to Venice, based on Nonna Lina’s way of explaining Venice to her guests over the past 60 years! It’s all about reconnecting with Venice, researching her past, visits to the Lagoon with unexpected insights, visits to the home of spice merchants, eating historical dishes, the best cakes and pastries of Venice, and more!
And then, it’s about discovering the best views of Venice, and what they call tell about the secrets of the Lagoon ..10