on air now

‘Distressing’: Italian tourism mecca now a city of empty tables

Italy now has 650 confirmed COVID-19 cases and a death toll of 17 as the European nation’s coronavirus crisis deepens.

Cases are now confirmed in 13 of Italy’s 20 regions. The highest numbers are 403 in Lombardy, near Milan, and 111 in Veneto, near Venice.

The Age‘s European correspondent, Bevan Shields, crossed to Ross and John from Venice (pictured above by Shields), which he described as “close to deserted”.

“It’s pretty bizarre to be quite honest,” he said.

“It’s actually quite distressing to see.

“Restaurant after restaurant, hundreds and hundreds, thousands of tables are absolutely empty.

“We talk about this virus in broad terms … (but) when you actually see first-hand what it’s actually going to do to ordinary people …. it’s actually quite devastating.”

Click PLAY to hear Ross and John cross to Bevan Shields in Venice