This week, ACCENT Rome Programs Coordinator Alice Mangia discusses what life in Rome is like during the national lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this uncertain hour, a message of hope is unfurled across every balcony in Italy, reminding us that everything will be all right: “andrà tutto bene.”
As Italy enters its third week of lockdown, balconies and windows have flourished with a multitude of Italian flags and banners made by children bearing what has become the motto of this quarantine: “andrà tutto bene” – everything will be all right.
Although Spring has arrived, bringing the bluest skies and trees in full bloom, Rome is strangely quiet. The silence is only interrupted every night at 6 PM for musical flash mobs. It all started with the National Anthem, but night after night, we are now listening to the entire Italian musical repertoire from balconies, windows, and rooftops. This is just one of the initiatives fueled by social media. There are actors reading novels on Facebook, fundraising campaigns for hospitals, cooking tutorials, and fitness videos. Even museums have opened their virtual doors to the public and the highly anticipated exhibition celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Renaissance painter, Raffaello, can be visited online. A number of funny jokes and memes where Italians make fun of themselves and laugh about the surreal situation we are in are going viral.
Surely what this lockdown has brought is a new sense of community and pride for our country, for the strength of our doctors and nurses, and our public health system. We have rediscovered the humor, strength, and resilience of this nation. It is hard being inside all day, not going out and meeting others – after all, Italians are probably some of the most extroverted and sociable people in the world – but all these initiatives are a great source of hope for everyone. On these sunny spring days, when we feel anxious or sad, we just need to look out the window to see that everything will be all right – andrà tutto bene.
~Alice Mangia, ACCENT Rome
While writing this post, Alice reached out to the ACCENT team in Rome, asking them for photos of what they saw outside their windows. Below is a collage she put together of all the pieces she received.