A pianist took his grand piano on a barge, to serenade the canals of Venice

26 May 2020, 15:04 | Updated: 26 May 2020, 15:06

A pianist took his grand piano on a barge, to serenade the canals of Venice
A pianist took his grand piano on a barge, to serenade the canals of Venice. Picture: Paolo Zanarella

By Helena Asprou

In uncertain times, this dreamy outdoor piano performance along a serene Venice canal is just perfect.

An Italian pianist has treated local residents in Venice to a beautiful outdoor concert, while sailing down one of the city’s most colourful canals.

Ever since Italy’s lockdown measures were put in place to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the usually bustling Grand Canal has seemed much quieter than usual – but now, the soothing sound of a grand piano rings out over the water.

In the mesmerising clip (watch below), we hear pianist-composer Paolo Zanarella (who likes to call himself “the out of place pianist”) say: “Another small gift for you all… I’m currently leaving Venice but I wanted to be with you for another minute. I hope this doesn’t disturb you…”

He adds that it’s his mission to take music out of the concert hall and bring it to streets and squares, where everybody can enjoy it. Hear him playing his beautiful ‘Venezia – Ricordando carnevale’ in the video below.

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Posted by Paolo Zanarella il pianista fuori posto on Saturday, 16 May 2020

Zanarella’s wonderful one-hour display, which took place on Saturday 16 May at 6pm, is clearly a welcome distraction for many – as the barge floats past ornate buildings and under bridges towards the lagoon, passers by can be seen waving and clapping him on.

But this isn’t the first time he’s chosen to perform in the great outdoors – he’s also been spotted pitching up his piano in leafy forest settings.

In the video below, he treats online audiences to The Pink Panther theme before moving on to a melody by Italian composer and conductor, Ennio Morricone:

Posted by Paolo Zanarella il pianista fuori posto on Friday, 8 May 2020

As for his latest performance, it comes as Venice’s canals appear clearer than they have for years, with lockdown measures meaning there has been less need for transport – and the water’s newfound clarity certainly adds to the scenery in this gorgeous clip.

Beautiful musical scenes, in a beautiful Italian city.

Listen to Zanarella’s track ‘Venezia – Ricordando carnevale’ on Spotify here.