A quartet of musicians from the Benedetto Marcello Conservatory performed Vivaldi on top of the floating instrument 

A violin-shaped boat took to the waters of the Venetian Lagoon on 18 September. Dubbed ‘Noah’s Violin’, the instrument carried a string quartet performing works by Antonio Vivaldi, one of the city’s most famous musical sons.

Made from wood and steel, the violin is 12.5 metres long, 4 metres wide and 1 metre high. It is powered by an electric motor. According to sculptor Livio De Marchi, it symbolises the rebirth of Venice after the problems of Covid. After the musicians had performed, the violin received a blessing from the priest of the Santa Maria della Salute church on the banks of the lagoon, and a wreath laid in the water to pay tribute to the victims of the pandemic. It is now planned for the violin to embark on a world tour.

De Marchi’s other vessels have included a high-heeled shoe, a coach and horses, a paper hat, an origami crane, and a vintage Volkswagen car. 

Read: ‘Noah’s violin’ to take to the Venetian canals in September

Gallery: The decorated instruments of Leonardo Frigo

Gallery: ‘Thematic instruments’ by Brazilian luthier Saulo Dantas-Barreto

All photos courtesy Mieko Ban