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Two gondoliers waiting for clients

Rows of gondolas, traditional Venetian boats, bob up and down while moored to the banks of canals, without any hope of being used.

Coronavirus and the subsequent lockdowns have hit Venice hard: its 150 canals, so admired by tourists, are empty.

Gondoliers who have delighted couples are now without work and are desperate.

Gone are the days when enthusiastic visitors would only be too happy to spend €80 for a 30-minute ride with a gondolier willing to charm his clients with operatic arias.