International tourists have started to return to Venice after Italy reopened its borders as the once worst-hit country recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
The city’s streets and squares were still relatively empty, highlighting the profound change for its 50,000 residents, reports Efe news.
Before the pandemic, Venice welcomes around 30 million people annually.
Shops, markets and restaurants have reopened after almost three months of lockdown.
Since the relaxation of the quarantine measures a couple of weeks ago, the outdoor tables of the city’s cafes and restaurants had begun to come to life, mostly with locals and visitors from neighbouring towns and cities in the Veneto region.
Angela Barbato, an advisor at the Bel-Air Fine Art Gallery, says around 70 per cent of her clients are foreign.
While waiting for their return she has been responding to inquiries from callers in the US, Australia, Germany and other places asking when they can return to Venice.
“We are a group of international galleries and we already have loyal clients abroad and Venice is clearly a very international recruitment site,” she said.
The gradual return of foreign visitors has revived the local economy but also fuelled the anxiety of some residents who have become accustomed to a quiet and clean city and are afraid of a surge in mass tourism.