As the coronavirus continued to spread across Italy, authorities announced they would place the entire country in lockdown. Bustling cities, beaches and ski resorts across Italy are now vacant. Squares and streets of Rome, Venice, Padua, Florence, just to name a few, are empty. They become monuments to solitude. Only a man walking dog, lonely photographer, soldier, gendarmerie, or preaching priest can appear in the frames. And sadly, many ambulance cars.
Now we are all at homes in quarantine, but webcam technology allows us to travel virtually. I combined technology with a human touch. By the press of the PrtScn key just in time, I captured how crowded places are transformed into the empty theatrical scenery without performers. Earlier, we had to wait for hours to capture an empty moment of the cities. And it was usually late at night. Now, I've been waiting for hours in front of my computer for a person to appear in the frame during peak hours. St. Mark’s Square is abandoned without a soul, Spanish Steps are empty, Piazza Navona is guarded by soldiers, Juliet's balcony has no visitors. Italy is now paused, people are in quarantine.
The practice of quarantine began during the 14th century in an effort to protect coastal cities from plague epidemics. Ships arriving in Venice from infected ports were required to sit at anchor for 40 days before landing. This operation, called quarantine, was derived from the Italian words quaranta giorni which means 40 days.
That is the reason why I take exactly 40 photographs by screenshotting different webcams across Italy and subsequently processed them to show quarantine from my point of view.
Venice - St. Mark's Square
Two soldiers and policeman crossing empty St. Mark's Square of Venice. Italy, March 25. 2020.
Venice - Ponte Rialto
A swimming seagull on the quiet Grand Channel in the front of the famous Rialto Bridge. Venice, March 27. 2020.
Rome - Trevi Fountain
A policeman with a protective face mask guide one person in the front of Trevi Fountain, Rome. March 25. 2020.
Verona - Juliet's House
The court with the famous balcony where Romeo is said to have declared his love to Juliet is deserted. Verona, March 26. 2020.
Fano - 20th September Square
A woman crossing the square in Fano, Province Pesaro. March 25. 2020.
Verona - Liston
A cyclist passes military car perked behind the barriers decorated with face graffiti on the Liston which is among the favorite places of Veronese people and tourists to meet up and walk. Verona, March 25. 2020.
Naples - Vesuvius
Seagull resting in the front of a webcam and looking at Vesuvius volcano. Naples, March 25. 2020.
Ravello - Amalfi Coast
Perched on a hilltop more than 1200 feet (~365 meters) above the Mediterranean Ravello is far removed from the crowds. Nevertheless, now it is covered by the strange darkness. Ravello, Province Salerno, March 26. 2020.
Rome - Colosseum
Colosseum at dusk lit by reflectors. Rome, Italy, March 25. 2020.
Milan - Cathedral
Statue of Vittorio Emanuele II and police cars facing Duomo di Milano. March 26. 2020.
Pisa - Mezzo Bridge And Garibaldi Square
Two lonely figures crossing the bridge over the river Arno near the famous leaning tower of Pisa, March 26. 2020.
San Candido - Ski Center
A working man silhouette behind the window seen from the pedestrian area of San Candido, Bolzano province, South Tyrol. March 25. 2020.
Padua - Sant'antonio Basilica
A lonely person with mask covered face crossing the square in the front of Sant'Antonio Basilica. Padua, March 25. 2020.
Marostica - Chess Square
The local citizen with two dogs takes an evening stroll through the Scacchi square named by a giant chess set. In the background Castle of Marostica. Province Vicenza, March 26. 2020.
Venice - Schiavoni Promenade
Old lady with his trolley walking towards the Vaporetto boat station on the "Slavic" promenade of Venice. March 26. 2020.
Florence - Santa Maria Novella
Ambulance cars in the front of Santa Maria Church. Florence, March 27. 2020
Trieste - Unità D'italia Square
The largest square facing the sea in Europe is depopulated. March 25. 2020
Sienna - Del Campo Square
Police patrol in the front of Town Hall on Campo Square of Sienna, Tuscany. March 24. 2020.
Deliceto - Belvedere Square
Two dogs meet at barricaded and snow-covered square while blinking gendarmerie's car cares about the security of Delicetto. Province of Foggia, March 25. 2020.
Pistoia - Duomo Square
Police car patrolling on the empty main square of Pistoia, Tuscany. March 26. 2020.
Rome - Spanish Steps
Two patrols in the front of famous Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy. March 24. 2020.
Jesolo - Beach
A man crossing the empty beach. Jesolo, Venice province, March 29. 2020.
Lido Di Jesolo - Milano Square
Italian with his white dog walking across the empty square in Lido di Jesolo. Province Venice, March 26. 2020.
Perugia - Square Of The 4th November
Man navigating his drone, seen as white dot, on an empty square to take a top-down photograph of Magiorre fountain. Perugia, Italy. March 25. 2020
Terni - Sport Center Soccer Angel Di Enrico Frossoni
View by webcam for a live broadcast of soccer matches that are played every day at 5 and 7 pm. Terni, Italy. March 25. 2020.
Cefalù - Piazza Duomo
Blinking ambulance car just arrived at the square and corpsman behind the car waiting for the patient coming out from the apartment. Cefalù, Sicily, March 25. 2020.
Milan - Central Station
Empty street in the front of Central Railway Station in Milan, March 26. 2020.
Padua - Sant'antonio Church
At Padova’s church of Sant'Antonio, a priest pray in an empty sanctuary, reciting a coronavirus invocation, and broadcast it through his phone. Padua, March 23. 2020.
Rome - Navona Square
Photographer taking a symmetric picture of Fiumi Fountain of empty Navona Square, Rome. March 26. 2020.
Rome - Campo De'fiori
Only one local and soldiers under the tent seen on the Flower's Square of Rome, March 25. 2020.
Sassi Di Matera
Rain drops covering the front lens of webcam looking at the city well-known for their ancient cave dwellings inhabited since the Paleolithic period. Sassi, Province Matera. March 26. 2020.
Rome - Pantheon
Two police cars blinking in the front of Pantheon. Rome, March 25. 2020.
Padua - Sant'antonio Basilica
Cameraman covered with protective gear approaching his camera before the start of evening coronavirus invocation at 6 pm. At Basilica of Sant'Antonio, priests pray in an empty sanctuary, the sermon is broadcast by Italian TV. Padua, March 30. 2020.
Rome - Panorama
Panorama of Rome with a dark line of rainy clouds on the horizon, seen from the top of Spanish Steps. Rome, March 25. 2020.
Cento - Guercino Square
One lone figure passing Guercino square of Cento, Province Ferrara. March 26. 2020.
Rome - Barberini Square
Triton fountain on depopulated Barberini Square in Rome, March 26. 2020.
Torino - Giambattista Bodoni Square
Men collecting poop of his dog after an evening stroll on Bodoni Square of Torino, Italy. March 26. 2020.
Thiene - Chilesotti Square
A lone figure passed Chilesotti Square of Thiene. Prevence Vicenza. March 25. 2020.
Livigno - Ski Center
One of the many empty ski lifts of Livigno ski center, Province Sondorio. March 29. 2020.
Verona - Castelvecchio
Lonely walker passing Old Castle, one of the main tourist attractions of the city, and the most important construction from the middle ages. Verona, March 26. 2020.