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Even in the darkest of times, glimmers of light break through.
With the halt of travel and tourism, closure of museums and the postponement of the Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice's usually murky waterways have become crystal clear in places.
As the impact of mass tourism is slowly undone, residents have filmed schools of fish appearing in the canals and swans gliding through the water.
Italy is the country second worst impacted by the coronavirus, with 31, 506 reported cases and 2,503 deaths at the time of writing.
Anxious citizens have been placed on lockdown nationwide.
Here's an unexpected side effect of the pandemic - the water's flowing through the canals of Venice is clear for the first time in forever. The fish are visible, the swans returned. pic.twitter.com/2egMGhJs7f
- Kaveri :flag_in: (@ikaveri) March 16, 2020
Faced with such testing times, stories like the return of fish to Venice's canals signal a small silver lining.
Real estate agent and life-long Venetian Marco Capovilla, 40, filmed several schools of tiny fish swimming in clean waters which were previously muddy and filled with debris.
Marco commented that he "had never seen" such clear water in his home city, and added that it was a "striking" view.
Marco said: "During these days, traffic in Venice has become almost absent.
"The city doesn't have sewers, so normally everything goes into the canals, including detergents and cosmetics.
"Thanks to the quarantine, we are experiencing a cleaner environment."
Bank worker and local resident Martina Bettoni, 33, said: "Seeing so many fish in the canals was extremely rare before the quarantine.
"I hope we'll learn from this tragic time, and that when this is over Venice will be able to strike a balance between tourist crowds and cleanliness."
The Facebook page and Twitter account Venezia Pulita ('Clean Venice') has been sharing the videos created by local residents.
Venice hasn't seen clear canal water in a very long time. Dolphins showing up too. Nature just hit the reset button on us pic.twitter.com/RzqOq8ftCj
- Gianluca De Santis (@b8taFPS) March 17, 2020
"Incredible images of the Rio dei Ferali, behind San Marco Square, [which is] usually murky. Nature reclaims its spaces," reads the caption on one video.
For a city like Venice - whose heritage has been hugely impacted by mass tourism, pollution and rising water levels - stories of the return of wildlife are a cause for celebration in a deeply challenging time.
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