"'If you love Italy, keep your distance.' This was the message from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte when he announced plans for stage two of Italy's exit from eight weeks of coronavirus lockdown. Now this country---which has been among the worst affected by COVID-19---is taking the first tentative steps out of one of Europe's most stringent lockdown regimes while the rest of the world looks on. Modest changes had already been felt here in Tuscany. Bookshops and stationers were allowed to re-open on April 14, and plant nurseries and florists had been working since the beginning of the month. The day that tall, handsome Lando pitched up his weekly flower and plant stall in my local piazza in sad, locked-down Florence was a disproportionately joyous one, and his sweet-scented stock was all but sold out in a couple of hours. But for most of us, the positive changes brought about by the easing of lockdown are tinged by an underlying anxiety about what happens next---especially if the virus is not kept under control." Florence resident Nicky Swallow shares what it feels like to be in Italy as it slowly reopens---link in bio for the full story. 📷: @victo_somewhere
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