In Pictures: See Eerie Pictures of the World’s Most Popular Cultural Sites Emptied by the Coronavirus

From Rome to Jerusalem, cultural sites are unsettlingly devoid of people.

Left, the Trevi Fountain in Rome on April 20, 2019; right, as it stands on March 10, 2020. Photos: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket/Getty Images & Andrea Pirri/NurPhoto/Getty Images.
Left, the Trevi Fountain in Rome on April 20, 2019; right, as it stands on March 10, 2020. Photos: Frank Bienewald/LightRocket/Getty Images & Andrea Pirri/NurPhoto/Getty Images.

On the first day of Italy’s national emergency-mandated quarantine, the country’s most famous landmarks are eerily devoid of life. On Monday, Italy’s prime minister Giuseppe Conte declared the “whole of Italy will become a protected zone,” instituting travel restrictions that can be avoided only for work or health emergencies.

Around the world, countries are experiencing striking declines in tourism as people have been instructed to avoid large groups and limit travel. Recent photographs give a sense of the apocalyptic feel in these hallowed sites, which are usually buzzing with activity. Vendors have abandoned their posts, restaurants and bars are empty, and most heritage sites are closed to the public—even the Pope broke with centuries of tradition to deliver his weekly prayer by live videostream to discourage the faithful from gathering en masse in St Peter’s Square. See snapshots of cultural sites around the world below.

St Peter’s Square before the live-broadcasting of Pope Francis’s Sunday Angelus prayer during the Coronavirus emergency, on March 8, 2020 in Vatican City. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

The live broadcast of the Pope in Vatican City on March 8. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

Tourists, some of them wearing respiratory masks, visit the Coliseum in Rome on March 6, 2020. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Tourists arrive at an empty and closed St. Peter’s Square on March 9, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The few tourists pose outside Ho Chi Minh mausoleum in Hanoi on March 8, 2020. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

A small number of tourists visit the nearly empty Sensoji temple in Tokyo’s Asakusa district on March 9, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)

A general view of Red Square Moscow, Russia, on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

First day of quarantine for Italy in Milan on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

March 9, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

An empty Riva degli Schiavoni next to San Marco Square on March 9, 2020. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Tourists take pictures of the closed Ancient Forum on March 8, 2020, in Rome. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

A nun crosses the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square on March 10, 2020 after the square and its main basilica were closed to tourists as part of a broader clampdown aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Capitoline Hill square without people during the coronavirus emergency on March 10, 2020, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

Capitoline Hill desolate during the Coronavirus emergency on March 10, 2020, in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)

A man rides a bicycle past the Altare della Patria – Vittorio Emanuele II monument on Piazza Venezia in downtown Rome on March 10, 2020. (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

A lone woman walks down the steps of the Great Theatre at the Pompeii Archeological Park on Friday 6th March 2020 in Pompei, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images).

A lone woman walks down the steps of the Great Theatre at the Pompeii Archeological Park on Friday, March 6, 2020 in Pompeii, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Three young tourists pose for a photograph in the nearly-deserted Forum at the Pompeii Archeological Park on Friday, March 6 in Pompeii, Italy. (Photo by Jonathan Perugia/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Few tourists at Red Square after restrictions placed on Chinese and Iranian tourists following the coronavirus outbreak in Moscow, Russia, on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

San Marco Square on March 9, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

A general view on March 10, 2020 shows the deserted Piazza del Duomo in Florence, Tuscany, with the Battistero di San Giovanni (center) and the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral (rear) as Italy imposed unprecedented national travel restrictions. (Photo by CARLO BRESSAN/AFP via Getty Images)

A general view on March 10, 2020 shows the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Square and its main basilica empty. (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)

Basilica of the Pantheon with very few tourists on March 5, 2020 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Simona Granati – Corbis/Getty Images)

Women stand outside Notre Dame on March 9, 2020 in Paris. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

The deserted Piazza San Marco on March 6, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo StefanoMazzola/Awakening/Getty Images)

A completely empty San Marco Square on March 9, 2020 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

Outside the Dome of the Rock mosque at the Al-Aqsa mosques compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on Sunday, March 8, 2020. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


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