Letters From Italy in the Time of Coronavirus

Oh my has life in our beloved Italy – and indeed, in the world – changed so drastically in such a short time. It is so very hard to put our heads around all of this of course. Over the last few weeks, I’ve checked in with some friends in our beloved Italia. They each had something touching and unique to say. I think you will appreciate their perspectives on what may be changing but that which will always remain constant. — Kathy McCabe

Letter From Rome: Beauty, Ashes, Finding Comfort in One Another
Danielle Abbazia: This is what you learn about Italy immediately: it is a car on fire on the brink of explosion and it is the most vibrant pink flowers you have ever seen at the very same time. It’s the black smoke billowing in the air and it’s the oleanders swaying in the breeze, baking in the sunshine.

Letter From Lecce: A Renaissance Retreat
Ylenia Sambati: On day five of the lockdown I decided to rename it a “Renaissance Retreat.” The Italian Renaissance was by definition characterized by a revived interest in learning and values, but also art and a different way of approaching life. A retreat is a well deserved time for rethinking on many things, so the opportunity is now of finding a new way to be happy being home and appreciating the little things in life. 

Letter From The Veneto: Holding On To Dreams
Monica Ceserato: I dream of the moment I will be able to go with all my friends for a tour of the bacari, the famous Venetian little osterie, drinking a lot of “ombra”, small glasses of local Veneto wines, paired with lots of “Cicchetti”, the typical snacks from Venice, which has become so famous in the last 10 years.

Letter From Chianti: To Live Again and Be Reborn
Arianna Cini: Our neighbor makes homemade yogurt for all of us. we collect wild plants like nettle and fennel and cook delicious recipes. Cheese farms deliver fresh cheese every week, and same can be said for vegetables, eggs, and other products. The local bakery delivers fresh pastries and bread every weekend, and gives its sour dough as a gift to anyone who orders flour and wants to make bread at home.

Letter From Florence: Patiens at Ground Zero
Chandi Wyant: To find my way each day through Italy’s pain and death to a place of hope, is to be in Dante’s dark wood, pushing aside cobwebs, seeking sunlight on a meadow. It is to be exhausted for no apparent reason except for the overwhelm of a collapsing world.

Letter From Florence: Finding Solace in Food and Podcasting
Toni Mazzaglia: Florence, I will never take you for granted again. Not even your wobbly stones, your crowded piazze, your unrelenting summer heat.

Letter From Rome: Piccolo Pleasures Post- Lockdown
Lisa Tucci: Starting with the piccolo pleasures, I don’t dream of a trip to the manicurist or hair salon. Even lipstick under a mask is no longer a basic accessory. My first day from lockdown would be marked by a luscious scoop of gelato. And as it turns out, each day following.