Photos of a Deserted Italy During Lockdown

As we enter our 12th day of a full national lockdown, the bad news seems to have become a part of our regular lives. We are hoping this changes soon, but we still can’t leave our homes unless we are going out briefly for food, medicine, or a medical appointment. The European Union has closed its borders to non-residents and non-citizens and Italy is closed for business. 

That has all left Italy’s most famous sites completely empty. 

As curious as I was to try to see the Trevi Fountain with no people in the early days of our less stringent quarantine, we stayed home. It didn’t feel appropriate to go out, no matter how much we wanted to. However, there are several webcams throughout the country operated by Skyline, and they offer a real-time look at some of Italy’s most famous locations. You can drop into Piazza Navona, or watch the beach at Positano, all from the comfort of your couch.

These days, it looks a little bleak. It is so odd to see Italy this way, but so necessary to save lives.

Here is what Italy looked like at 12 noon on March 21st, 2020 – a perfect early spring day. (I have added some of my other photos for comparison of what it normally would look like with people).

Trevi Fountain

empty trevi fountain

Compare to normal crowds:

The Spanish Steps

Sitting on the steps was recently banned and I thought they looked empty then, but this is so strange. You can see that police are out patrolling and enforcing the lockdown.

empty spanish steps

Compare to normal crowds:

The Pantheon

empty piazza della rotonda

Compare to normal crowds:

coffee granita in front of the pantheon in Rome

Piazza Navona

piazza navona empty

Compare to normal crowds:

piazza navona obelisk

Campo de’ Fiori

Note the people in line, one meter apart on the bottom right. They are waiting to enter a shop one-by-one. Only food stores (like supermarkets and butchers) and pharmacies are allowed to remain open during the lockdown.

italy lockdown empty piazza

Compare to normal crowds:

campo dei fiori rome


empty milan duomo square

Compare to normal crowds:



Compare to regular crowds:

Mondello, Sicily

Compare to: 


Compare to: 

It hurts to see Italy this way.

All screenshots of empty sites are from Skyline webcams where you can find a live feed 24 hours a day.


Want to find more ways to enjoy Italy from home? Here are six museums you can visit virtually, podcasts all about Italy, plus the best Italian news sites to follow in English

7 thoughts on “Photos of a Deserted Italy During Lockdown

  1. Wayne says:

    I am supposed to coming to Rome and a cruise June 3. Do you predict this is a possibility? Just your opinion please.

    • Natalie says:

      It is so hard to know or even to guess because it depends not only on Italy but the entire world. If there are still cases rising in multiple countries, I doubt that cruises will be running at all.

  2. Lynne Sambola says:

    it is so surreal. i qasb.c.thffere in October for a month there were always lots of people on the street. all the tourist sites were packed with people. it is so weird. hope this all over soon. love from the USA to Italy 😥♥️😘🇮🇹🇺🇸

  3. Mary Elizabeth Lund says:

    My heart breaks for the Italian people. I was so lucky that I traveled there last June. I met family members in Sicily for the first time. One of those family members was suppose to come this June. She had to cancel. I pray that soon this will be behind us. God Bless Italy and the people there.

  4. MK Blaney says:

    This is so surreal. My husband and I we were there from 2/15-21. The Piazza Navona was one of our favorite spots. It is so sad to see the emptiness. Here in California, our thoughts are with you and all that are patiently waiting for all to be well and healthy.

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