Dolphins and swans appear in Venice canals

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Dolphins and swans are returning to the Venice canals.

Residents of Venice have reported spotting dolphins, swans and fish in the now clear canal waters.

Canals have been closed as the city has gone into lockdown with Italy becoming Europe’s COVID-19 epicentre. 

But, in the lockdown, Venetians have been posting photos and videos of animals reclaiming the city’s canals, usually muddied by passing boat traffic. 

Venice hasn’t seen clear canal water in a very long time. However, the water is not any more cleaner. It is just the usual traffic of boats has not been able to stir up the sediment from the sea floor.


  • Venice is divided into six areas.
  • There are 118 islands, 417 bridges, 177 canals and 127 squares in Venice.
  • Of the 417 bridges, 72 of them are privately owned.
  • The S-shaped Grand Canal is the most famous canal in Venice, and it divides the city in two.
  • Of the 127 squares, Piazza San Marco, often known in English as St. Mark’s Square, is the most popular.
  • There are over 450 royal residences (palazzi) in Venice. The structures are built in a variety of styles: Byzantine, Baroque, Gothic and more.
  • Venice is sinking at a rate of 1-2 millimeters a year. Another challenge is the Acqua alta, a particularly high tide. It occurs in special conditions when warm winds and the moon cause a 9cm rise in water level and most of the town is flooded.
  • Taking a trip to Venice and not riding a Gondola is like going to France and not seeing the Eiffel tower. These traditional and symbolic boats have been used as transport around the narrow Venetian waterways for more than 10 centuries.
  • There are only 350 gondolas and 400 gondoliers in Venice. A gondola is typically 11 meters long and can weigh up to 600 kg.
  • According to Venetian tradition, when riding a gondola, a couple that kisses under each bridge will remain in love forever.

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