The women are all members of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice, which focuses on preserving traditional Venetian culture

By Joelle Goldstein
April 23, 2020 01:47 PM
Credit: ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty

A group of women in Venice is using their love for rowing to help their community members in need while the city prepares to lift its coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

The women — who are all part of a nonprofit organization called Row Venice — have been traveling via gondola and delivering groceries to the elderly, as well as those who cannot shop for themselves, according to the Associated Foreign Press.

Donning masks and gloves, the female volunteers can be seen in photos loading up their gondolas with baskets of food and then making their way down the canals of Venice to deliver groceries to those in need.

They’ve also been serving as volunteers for local farmhouses to deliver organic produce and other products to the elderly and immunocompromised, according to their Instagram.

“You can easily order the groceries on their website, and then we will bring it to you! 😉” the group wrote in a April 10 post. “We are happy to help companies that promote organic as a lifestyle.”

Members of Row Venice
| Credit: ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty
Members of Row Venice
| Credit: ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty

Row Venice was established with the goal of preserving traditional Venetian culture — specifically, the Venetian style of rowing, according to their website.

The all-female group consists of at least 15 “passionate” women, many of whom have backgrounds as athletes or champion rowers, the website states.

Because Italy has been locked down since March 9, the women saw a need for grocery deliveries and thought using their gondolas to do that would be the perfect way to help their city, as well as promote their message.

“We were more than happy to volunteer our boats and crews to lend a hand,” they wrote on Instagram on April 4. “We hope this is a reminder to every one of the alternatives Venice has for transportation of both goods (and people!), even after this crisis has passed.”

Members of Row Venice
| Credit: ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty

Despite being one of the hardest-hit European countries during the coronavirus pandemic, Italy announced last week that it will begin easing lockdown restrictions, according to CNBC.

The government allowed a small number of businesses to reopen on April 14 — including bookshops, stationers, and shops selling children’s clothes — after observing that the number of coronavirus cases continued to decline.

However, lockdown restrictions are expected to remain in place for the rest of the country until at least May 3, according to the outlet.

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While Italy overtook China in the number of deaths related to the virus on March 19, the European country has since been surpassed by the United States, which currently has the most coronavirus cases in the world.

As of Thursday, there have been at least 187,327 confirmed cases in Italy, the third-most worldwide behind the U.S. and Spain, and 25,085 people have died, according to the New York Times. In Venice, at least 2,279 cases have been reported, according to the Times.

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