in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak and governmental advice to distance ourselves from one another, earth has begun reminding us that other creatures live here too. with human interruption down to a minimum, wildlife that has typically kept away from busy ports in italy and venice’s canals, appears to have returned.




in early march, italian prime minister conte signed the decree called ‘io resto a casa’ (I stay at home), instructing italians to leave their home except for work, health and emergency reasons. as a result, the country’s tourist landmarks, local piazzas, and seaside towns have been left empty.




in addition to welcoming back dolphins by the port of cagliari on the italian island of sardinia, the water in venice’s canals has cleared up and swans have returned. while bottlenose dolphins are common in certain corners of the mediterranean sea, they don’t come close to the shores of the bustling port city, which is typically packed with freight ships and ferries.


popular tourist destinations have also seen a drop in air pollution, which can be seen in the video below. satellite imagery by the european space agency shows a clear drop in nitrogen dioxide from early january, particularly in the north where restrictions were imposed in march.


video courtesy of european space agency, ESA



in other news, acclaimed filmmaker oliver astrologo has created a visual celebration of italy’s once busy spaces. released on the 17 march, the anniversary of the unification of italy, the short film was created to uplift communities in the midst of social distancing.