Financial fears are growing amongst Venice’s expat community

Published:  12 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Italy, Teach Abroad
British expats in locked-down Italy are fearing the worst financially as well as health-wise.

As if things weren’t bad enough, the World Health Organisation’s declaration that the coronavirus is now a pandemic is striking even more fear in the hearts of expatriate Brits living in Italy as well as sending worldwide stock markets into dramatic meltdowns.

Long-stay British expats living in the iconic city of Venice are reporting eerie scenes in the historic visitor destination’s heart of San Marco Square, with one saying it’s as though someone’s switched the entire city off. As yet, there’s no panic buying, with stores insisting on only allowing a few shoppers in at any one time. The queues are calm and there are no food or commodity shortages as yet.

Part-time expat workers and the self-employed are afraid of the pandemic’s effect on their budgets, with one dance and music teacher worried because her work has suddenly stopped. According to another British couple, most of the expat community is now squeaking by financially, with language schools closing down or putting lessons on hold.

Some saw the emptying of the normally crowded city as a novelty, with the streets far more attractive to its residents than when they was packed with tourists, but the novelty is fast wearing off as economic issues take hold. The crisis comes as Venice is still recovering from damage caused by the late 2019 floods, with some classifying the two events as similar to the medieval Black Death plagues as regards their effect on the region.
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