The Smell of Venetian Canals

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The Smell of Venetian Canals

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In January of 2021 my husband and I traveled to Venice Italy for a quick weekend getaway to meet up with my brother & his family. My husband and I had visited Venice before, but not since COVID, let alone during a time when regulations in Italy were quite strict; vaccine documentation had to be shown everywhere we went, masks needed to be worn at all times, etc. Upon arrival to the city, there were several things that instantly struck both my husband and I in regard to the changes we were now witnessing. A far different Venice than the one we experienced a few years before. Not only FAR less crowds, all the masked faces, empty plazas once the sun set, the clear waters of the canals, but the SMELL of Venice was different. Even though I love Venice as a city, I vividly remember the unpleasant smell of the canals when we visited a few years prior, in the height of the summer. Remebering that as we took a gondola ride through the canals, I couldn't help but notice the unpleasant aroma coming from the canal waters. But now that we have found ourselves in a COVID world Venice, the smell was noticably gone, and you could actually see the bottom of the shallow canals as you walked over the bridges throughout the city. I was previously unable to notice how truly shallow the canals were until this COVID world allowed for less polluted waters of Venice, and therefore a better smelling Venice as well.

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This item was submitted on August 21, 2022 by Heather Deremer using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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