Visiting Venice

Hi everyone,

First of all, thanks for all the good wishes, which are very much appreciated. We are all absolutely fine and life is going on pretty much as normal.

Now, a number of you have contacted me to ask if you should still visit. This is, of course, very flattering and I’m happy to help as best I can. However, I am not a virologist or epidemiologist – I am a bloke on the internet who writes crime novels and just happens to live in Venice. So any advice I give should be taken with that in mind.

This is the situation as it currently is, to the best of my knowledge :-

There have been two cases of the COVID-19 virus in Venice. Both were recorded ten days ago (at the time of writing) and there have been no further cases in the city since then.

The city is not in quarantine or in ‘lockdown’. However, schools are closed and are scheduled to remain so until 8th March. Theatres and cinemas, likewise.

Most museums have reopened. Churches are open to visit but not for Mass. St Marks’s Basilica has, at the time of writing, reopened as well.

People are calm, getting on with life and I have seen no evidence of panic buying. Public transport is working as normal. Bars, restaurants, hotels, shops and markets are all open and would, frankly, be very grateful for your business.

The city is as quiet as I can remember. Here, for example, is a photograph of St Marks’s Square at 10.00 on a Monday morning.



The risk, in my opinion, is minimal. But that is not, of course, the same as absolutely risk free.

Should you still come? Well, that’s up to you. If you genuinely have concerns about your health, or if the thought of it is worrying you, then I would say not. There is, after all, no point in visiting if you’re not going to be happy. I have also heard – first-hand – of visitors effectively being quarantined at home by their employers after visiting Northern Italy. So it would seem best to check your personal situation before visiting.

If you do visit, however – and I hope you feel able to – you really will have a unique opportunity to see the city at its most beautiful. And people will be delighted to see you.

All good wishes, whatever you decide, and thanks again for all your messages. The next blog post, I hope, will be back to the usual nonsense.


14 thoughts on “Visiting Venice

  1. A very sensible response, Phil.

    I look at the photos of Venice being posted now, and it takes me back to those wonderful early visits when you could walk along, swinging your arms and not bump anyone!

    Love to the three of you. ❤


  2. So sensible, and yes, it takes me back to early visits, we always go in the quieter, cold months of winter, ( and as you know, it can be very cold in Venice) and sometimes even until quite recent years, you could wander around without being overwhelmed by the proximity of everyone else. I recall one Christmas day wandering around and seeing almost no-one else.
    The situation is so sad for those who make a living from tourists, and must fear for their livelihood, and for those who are apprehensive about visiting at present. But I’m sure that all will come back, soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We hope to come and not cancel our visit at the end of the month. We want to support Venetians and see the city while less crowded. Our two fears are germs on the plane and possibly being quarantined when we return, but not enough to not come. See you there!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Philip, thank you for a sensible and well stated assessment of the current situation the beautiful city of Venice. Also thank you for your writing, I have read the first two books set in Venice and have come to like Nathan as a character. They are very well written, up with the best crime authors, a little like the Lovejoy books in that fine art is really appreciated however your stories are set in arguably the most beautiful and magical city, Venice.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi there thanks for this article, Im really struggling to get any clear information. I am flying into Treviso on Thursday I presume we will be allowed out of the airport, and to get on a bus to Venice? Thanks 🙂


    1. Hi Grace, I wrote this piece over a week ago and the situation has now changed. Are you flying from outside Italy? Because flights are being cancelled all the time. Secondly, are you coming here as a tourist or for reasons of family/work? If you’re a tourist I think it will be extremely difficult to get here…indeed, you would be risking a heavy fine.

      Since this morning, everything in Italy is effectively closed down. Museums, galleries, theatres, schools, universities, gyms, swimming pools are all closed. Bars and restaurants are open only from 6am to 6pm. The government is trying to encourage everyone to stay at home if at all possible.

      I’m sorry to have to write this, especially in light of what I wrote above, but my advice now would be not to come. Not because I think Venice is particularly unsafe but it’s effectively closed.


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