Updated: Mar 15, 2020
Hello Everyone, I wanted to take the chance to thank you all for the hundreds of emails and messages I have received in the last weeks, you cannot believe how much I appreciate your thoughts and prayers in these sad times. It is true that you can see true friends in the moment of need, grazie mille!
I am writing this blog to answer your questions about how life in Italy during this period of lockdown that we are living in this particular time of our history: to be frank, I don't think we are even realizing what is really going on. All stores, bars, restaurants are closed. No people walking on the streets. We need to fill a self-certification to be able to go to the supermarket or to the pharmacy. Our health care system is about to collapse because too many people need to be hospitalized and many families had to pay the highest price of all, loosing their loved ones before their time. Our economy is at stake, personally I have no idea what the future has to offer, considering that hospitality business might be affected by this virus for a long time, not just for Italy itself but for the rest of the world. To make you all understand how I feel now, I would compare this time of our history to 9/11: while that tragic day in New York City saw the certainties of Western cultures unfolding in 2 hours under the attacks of reckless enemies of humanity, this virus is exposing the weaknesses of our society day after day, week after week.
But, as 9/11 awoke national pride and an incredible sense of belonging to a community, this virus has made Italy re-discover a spirit of unity that was somehow lost in the last years. I have never been so proud of my country and its people: I see people singing the national anthem at their windows with their neighbors, young boys and girls going grocery for elders. I see the sacrifice of a whole nation to protect the ones in need, I see a country whose main goal is to save the lives of its citizens. After I fell in love with Italy, I am now in love with Italians: generous people, willing to help each others, unified to defeat a common enemy, showing bravery, courage and a unique sense of humour in the most difficult moments.
We Italians, have a collective social life, very florid, very expansive, we have lots of contact, we shake hands, we kiss each other, we hug each other: now it is time to stay apart for a few weeks so we can hold each other tight soon!
I shot this video from the terrace of our restaurant Osteria del Borgo: you can hear people singing the national anthem in the background, it was such an overwhelming moment for me that I want to share with you
A famous British Doctor, in a talk show from the UK, has said that 'Italians are taking this as an excuse to not go to work for 4 weeks, to take a long siesta': well, I wish this gentleman to come to Italy and see how Italians work, eat, drink, laugh, love...so he will start to appreciate our lifestyle and our courage.
And you, my friends, are more than welcome to Italy. We will be ready sooner than you think, we decided to lock everything now in order to be able to recover asap and show everyone the beauty of our country and our people.
I wish you all the best my dear friends, stay safe, wash your hands and protect people you love. This will be over very soon!
Much love from Montepulciano