While all eyes are on Italy, Italians are looking out their windows towards one another. As we hold our breath, they’re singing.
Facing a multi-week quarantine after an infectious and deadly spread of the Coronavirus across the country, Italians have officially been on lockdown since March 9. Some communities in the north, where the virus started its rapid spread, even longer.
Yet despite the desperate times, Italians are displaying camaraderie from window sills and showing the world the spirit of human resilience via social media. With the hashtag #italyfromawindow — started by the Italian lifestyle brand and travel confidant, Italy Segreta — Italians are sharing their beautiful views and moments of hope and positivity amidst these uncertain times.
“When I heard that my whole country was going to shut down for weeks, I panicked,” admitted Marina Cacciapuoti, founder of Italy Segreta. “We are extremely social creatures, we are all about being together. How will we survive for days with no social contact? …. And then I thought of windows and felt a sense of relief… those rectangular escapes are, and will be, a constant reminder that life will go back to normal.”
The photos range from sweeping countryside views to cosmopolitan sunsets. Amongst the most viral and uplifting, though, are the videos of Italians singing and playing instruments from their windows. Often not just in serenade, but in unison with their quarantined neighbors.
It is a brighter snapshot of the ever-serious situation, shedding a light on the positive moments and how communities are staying socially connected despite social distancing.
While speaking to Elisa Granzotto from Venice, who posted this photo of her cats peering out over the storied, Venetian canals, she told us that she joined the project simply because it brought her joy, and she hoped her view would do the same for someone else.
“Right now it is really important to avoid contact (with others) and this project can really help to feel part of a community. Our community. Italian people,” Elisa told us. “The message of this project, I think, is that we have to remember that even if now we have to stay at home, there is something beautiful outside waiting for us. We need to stay strong because everything will still be there at the end of this.”
As of March 14, local officials report COVID-19 has infected more than 21-thousand Italians and killed more than 1,400. The numbers are the largest and deadliest outside of China, and are what propelled the country to take drastic measures like closing all schools, bars and restaurants, as well as restricting the movement of people unless they have to go to work, seek medical attention or get groceries and other essentials.
But as the news continues to develop, Italians are still sharing their views. They’re still belting songs out of their windows. They’re still finding ways to connect. Amidst a global pandemic, uncertainty, and even our own lock-downs, the Italians are illustrating how to be strong and come together for the greater good.
“I would have never thought this would have been a worldwide thing. I’m getting so many beautiful messages of support and love from all over the world — Brazil, Israel, Argentina, Azerbaijan, US, Germany, Saudia Arabia, etc,” Marina explained over email. “And as every country is slowly being quarantined, more and more are adopting the hashtag. Just look at Spain who took inspiration and started #spainfromawindow.”
Take a moment away from the developments today to browse some of the images and videos shared via #italyfromawindow, here. Over on @ItalySegreta, they’re continually updating their stories with tags, too.