While Italy has been crippled by the coronavirus pandemic, there's one good news story to come out of the country as a result of the lockdown.

The canals in Venice - typically dirty and murky - are running clear, due to less traffic on the water.

A spokesperson from the office of Venice's mayor told CNN the water quality hasn't improved, but the clarity is a result of sediment not being stirred up by boats.

"The water now looks clearer because there is less traffic on the canals, allowing the sediment to stay at the bottom," the spokesman told the news agency.


The clear water means fish are more visible in the canals, and Italians have been sharing photos on social media of marine life which usually steers clear of heavy traffic in the ports.

"Boars in the middle of my hometown, dolphins in the port of Cagliari, ducks in the fountains in Rome, Venice canals have now clean water full of fishes. Air pollution dropped. Nature is reclaiming its spaces during quarantine in Italy," tweeted Francesco Delrio, of Sardinia.

The Space Academy shared a video on Twitter of a canal showing the clearer water.

"After a week of lockdown... The canals in Venice are all clear and full of fishes. Kinda gives you the idea what will happen to Earth without Humans!" it tweeted.

However, as always, you can't believe everything you see online.

There have also been images shared on social media of white swans, said to have returned to Venice's canals because of the lack of boat traffic.

Many have been quick to point out the image isn't from Venice, but the colourful city of Burano, where swans have been living in the lagoon for years.

The viral photos have also become the focus of Reddit discussions, where users have been commenting on the positive impact the lockdown has had on the environment.


"It is weird how a pandemic is giving humanity a glimpse into a beautiful world without humans to ruin it," wrote one user.

"Humans: Are we the baddies?" wrote another.

"I love how nature happily fixes itself when humans stop polluting it. I hope people see this and maybe continue to stop polluting well after the pandemic is over," another user replied.

One user commented that he'd seen hundreds of photos of Venice during this course of his life of 59 years. "Parts of "Moonraker" was filmed in Venice and it re enforced my thoughts of how dirty the water is in the Big V. All of that to say this is the first pic I've seen of clean water in Venice. Surprise! Even with the flooding last year the water is surprisingly clear."

Meanwhile, Italy's government approved a €25 billion aid package this week, aimed at bolstering both the health care system and helping businesses, workers and families weather the economic hit.

It's expected that coronavirus deaths in the country will surpass China's total in just one more day.