Monday, April 13, 2020

Pasquetta As It Would Usually Look Today--But Not This Year

Today, the day after Easter, is the holiday of Pasquetta in Italy, when one would typically try to get out into nature. If you lived in Milan you'd head out to the countryside or maybe Lago Como for a picnic (or at least to eat lunch at a restaurant in a more natural setting). If you live in Venice you head out into the lagoon.

And in the years before we had our own boat, I used to like to spend the late afternoon of Pasquetta on some fondamenta overlooking a major waterway--such as the Riva dei Sette Martiri--watching the boatloads of families or friends returning home after their day in the lagoon, which was always a pleasant sight, as (to repeat what I've written in this blog before) Venetians never look so content as when they're in their own boat, no matter how modest or weather-beaten that boat may be.

But it's not something you'll see this year, as the restrictions on movement in the city apply even to Pasquetta excursions.

So the image at the top of this post was captured on March 8, in the Giudecca Canal, in that strange, sweet period when all the tourists had fled the city but no lock down had yet been announced, and no one fully understood how long the city would be emptied out and how serious that emptiness would be for people and businesses, or, really, how deadly the virus would become in Italy.

In those few days before all non-essential movement was forbidden and being out in a boat on the abruptly vacant canals still seemed like a holiday--a temporary respite, not some new reality--something like Pasquetta.


  1. Cherish that memory - and look forward to the future. It will improve, it must, and we all must hold firm until we get there. Thank you for maintaining our sanity with your venetian bulletins!

    1. Thanks for continuing to look at this blog, Ella, which I suppose is one way I try to keep up my own sometimes tenuous hold on sanity!