No stranger to plagues, Venice opens film fest with caution

ROME (AP) — Venice’s central place in the history of battling pandemics provides the backdrop to this year’s Venice Film Festival.  In an early screening Tuesday, Italian director Andre Segre presents a documentary shot last year showing how Venice organizers managed to stage the first and only in-person international film festival during the first year of the pandemic. For Venice, it was nothing new, since for centuries the city has helped provide the baseline of what the world knows today about containing pandemics. It was in Venice that the term “quarantine” was coined, after merchant ships arriving in the 15th century were moored for 40 days (“quaranta giorni” in Italian) to see if their crews were infected.