The Venice Film Festival is where quarantine was first introduced

VENICE — Visitors to Venice could be forgiven for not realizing that beyond the majesty of St. Mark’s Square and the romance of gondola rides lies a city that helped provide a baseline of what the world knows today about containing pandemics. It was here that the term “quarantine” was coined, after merchant ships arriving in the 15th-century Venetian Republic were moored for 40 days (“quaranta giorni” in Italian) to see if their crews were afflicted with the plague. It was here that the first isolated pestilence hospital was built on a solitary island in the lagoon, a precursor to today’s COVID-19 isolation wards. And it was in Venice that 16th-century doctors donned beak-nosed masks filled with aromatic herbs to

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