a giant wooden violin carries musicians on the Grand Canal in Venice

Tourists and residents of Venice experienced a musical feast on Sunday when a giant wooden violin floated on the city’s Grand Canal.

Musicians on the hand-carved instrument performed pieces by Vivaldi, Venice’s most famous musical son, as they floated along Il Canalazzo.

Performers from the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory stood barefoot on the 12-meter-long floating instrument, designed by Venetian sculptor Livio De Marchi.

Dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns, the musicians read sheet music on stands placed on either side of the violin, which somehow managed to stay in place throughout the journey.

The long violin neck extended into the stream, with pegs and parchment.

Called on Noah’s Violin, the ship was designed to represent those affected by Covid-19, the city’s exit from the pandemic and its intrinsic connection to art, culture and music.

“As Noah put the animals aboard the Ark to save them, we will spread art through music on this violin,” said De Marchi. Venice today in August.

The wooden violin took De Marchi and his team over a year, but it wasn’t the designer’s first foray into water-based sculptures. Previous work includes a floating high-heeled shoe, origami crane, and a driftwood Ferrari spotted cruising the canals of Venice.

With more musical performances scheduled for the next few days, Venetians and tourists alike can hope to get a glimpse of a classical live concert with a difference.

The violin has also been designed in such a way that it can be taken apart and rebuilt easily, meaning that after launching in the Floating City, you might see it in a stream near you in the future.

How the Covid-19 pandemic affected tourism in Venice

A screenshot from a video shows dolphins swimming in the Giudecca Canal not far from St. Mark's Square in Venice, Italy on March 22, 2021. Manuel Silvestri / REUTERS TV via REUTERS

Travel restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19 have halted tourism in one of the most visited cities in the world.

Although many of Venice’s tour operators, hotels and restaurants suffered, the city flourished in other ways. Dolphins have been spotted in the city’s waterways, swimming near St. Mark’s Square. And the water in the world-famous canals became clearer thanks to almost no boat traffic during the country’s lockdown.

Large cruise ships have since been banned from Venice and a tourist tax of € 10 ($ 11.7) has been introduced as authorities work to preserve the ancient city’s fragile ecosystem and curb overtourism.

Updated: September 20, 2021, 10:04 AM

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