With Love From Italy During Lockdown

30th March 2020

We’re heading towards a month into lockdown here in Italy. Being a few weeks ahead of most countries, I watch intently on, especially my beloved UK. I receive so many messages just wanting to know what the situation is like here, mostly for reassurance and to be ready what to expect…

So I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learnt or have gone through during the last few weeks. 

Firstly the answer to the main question that you guys ask me is: YES, there will be plenty of food. No need to panic, there has been no shortage of food. You’ll cherish the moments of being able to pop out to the shop. It’ll be like a day trip. On the other hand, it does feel like a tremendous task, and you’ll feel anxious going out the first few times. But you’ll get the hang of it.

Here, only one person per household is allowed, queuing in an orderly manner maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres. You might see someone you know from your neighbourhood, and a wave from a far can evoke so many emotions.

You’ll find joy in setting the table and cherish those meals. These moments become extra special. 

The streets are empty, hardly any cars, no planes but just the sound of birds chirping. The air is fresher, the sky is clearer. There’s a sense of peace, it’s as if the world has pressed the pause button. All seems very surreal yet magical at the same time.

With Love From Italy During Lockdown Coronavirus
A completely empty San Marco Square

You’ll appreciate the simple things, and realise there’s a lot of things you really do not need.

You miss going for long walks, but you smile and look forward to it.

Your waistline might expand a little; you’re ok with that, but still look for that online workout. You slowly get into a routine and you start to be fit again and mentally you feel strong for it.

The first few days you’ll make an effort with your outfits, you then realise you prefer your comfy loungewear. You’ll still wear lipstick and it feels good.

At first, you’ll join so many online courses, tutorials and you’ll want to be super creative. All good intentions are there but give it a few days/weeks you’ll slightly lose interest.

Your social life will suddenly become virtual and you’ve never been as busy and as popular. Daily Face Time, Skype with friends and relatives are the norm. You get invited to virtual house parties, you cannot make them all because of clashing times, especially on weekends, because some habits are hard to kick. 

You will play music from your windows, balconies and connect with your neighbours.

You will feel more united than ever with your country and everyone you connect with.

Your online community keeps you going when the going gets tough.

You become more empathetic than ever; your emotions go up and down. You will be totally delirious; one moment you feel incredibly sad for what is going on and incredibly useless. The next you will laugh so hard, like you’ve never done before.

You won’t complain because it seems too futile compared to the real heroes that are keeping our country going, fighting this every day!  Your problems will seem minor.

With Love From Italy During Lockdown Coronavirus
Illustration by Charlie Mackesy

You’ll worry, a lot about your situation, for others that are struggling… But you’ll learn to take it one day at a time.

You miss your family so much. You miss hugs from your loved ones and you cannot wait to fly over to see them soon. 

You’ll watch the news only once a day because it all gets too much.

Your house has never been so spotless.

Gratitude! You will become incredibly grateful for so much. For being safe at home and for being able to connect thanks to technology.

The surprise of it all? You will find yourself agreeing with Piers Morgan.

As the weeks go by, you develop a sense of calm. We have no idea what the future holds, but all will be ok in the end.  You really believe that.

Sending you lots of love from a country full of hope!

Directed by: Oliver Astrologo; Voiceover: Paolo Buglioni; Words: Daniele Sigalot; Music: Joe Alexander Shepherd; Translation in English: Alessandra Atripaldi.


  1. Mel

    30th March 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you Bella. Sending you much love from London. Keep safe xx

  2. Alisa

    30th March 2020 at 5:05 pm

    Love this, Arianna. Funnily enough, I mentioned to my husband today that nothing will stop me applying my lippy on a daily basis! X

  3. Anna Berkeley

    31st March 2020 at 1:54 pm

    I loved reading this. Thank you and good luck. Anna x

  4. Susan Bradfield

    31st March 2020 at 2:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing Arianna, I hope you are well. xxx

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