Detained at home in the Tuscan countryside
Covid-19 has hit the Siena region less than other provinces and seems to have stopped sooner. Stories as a group and personal anecdotes from Alice and Alessia
The Province of Siena seems to have managed to contain the pandemic better than other areas in Italy. Regardless a strong flux of visitors from the Lombardy region to their second homes, a dance contest in Chiusi and a football team called Pianese from Piancastagnaio, who have all spread Covid-19 to entire municipalities, in southern Tuscany, the numbers regarding positive cases are low, as those who are in hospital and in ICU. What is surprising is the reduced amount of new positive cases since the beginning of April, regardless of the increased amount of swabs.
THE TUSCAN REGION DISTRIBUTES MASKS AND MAKES IT OBLIGATORY TO WEAR THEM
The Regione Toscana (like a county) has sent all citizens two masks (in blue and white boxes with writings in Chinese) and has forbidden us to leave the home without protection. Florence has been hardly hit by this pandemic in a consistent way, but the province of Siena will be one of the first to come out of it in Italy.
In truth the sensation of danger is felt less because of the smaller sizes of the villages and because of the vast green spaces in the spring countryside. There is then the trust in a national health system, the institutions and the voluntary workers that has demonstrated its worth and that has control over the territory. Well done!! to the Regione Toscana, the mayors, the healthcare workers, voluntary workers of Racchetta, Misericordie and Pubblica Assistenza.
TOURISM COLLAPSES BECAUSE OF COVID-19
Next to this positive scene there is the preoccupying state of tourism that is actually falling off a cliff. Nobody can foresee if and when visitors will return. Tuscany receives mostly visitors from abroad, with a large percentage of US guests. Italian tourism is made up mostly of people coming from Lombardy. So, two areas of origin that are worrying even for those who are to welcome visitors. It is also very evident that local clientele is not sufficient for hotels and restaurants to open up again.
For the moment, the most difficult thing in lockdown with just an hour or so a day for smart-working. Here are the experiences of two of the people who welcome guests in the winery and country inn at Fattoria del Colle: Alice and Alessia.
ALICE GRASSI NEW ENTRY AT FATTORIA DEL COLLE
Alice is the new entry in hospitality team. She is half Tuscan and half Lombard an she has taken her snap in the antechamber of her home in Montepulciano, where she has a wall to wall bookcase with travel books and guides. What for her is most difficult during lockdown is << to be forced indoors, even though fortunately I have a garden, but I miss the liberty of going out when I want, even though it is just for a walk or dinner with friends, and without the worry of coming into contact with someone>>. Her first project as soon as the government “lets us out” is to <<organize a pizza dinner with friends, to spend time in good company and forget this peculiar period>>. She has no anecdotes about this period of the pandemic <<except for long video calls with friends and relatives or entire mornings spent preparing cakes or homemade pasts with my husband. In other words during this detainment it feels as though we just keep eating and eating, and when it all shall be finished I’ll have to become member of a gym!>>
ALESSIA BIANCHI TOURISM TEAM LEADER AT FATTORIA DEL COLLE
Now the last testimony of the Covid-19 detainment. Alessia responsible of the tourism department at Fattoria del Colle. She coordinates the hospitality team and creates projects to be proposed to visitors. She comes from Chiusi and lives in Foiano, she is open-minded to all that is new and technological. Her photo portrays her in her lounge at home <<a room that I have discovered being very well lit and that I had never enjoyed as much as in this period, to read, to make video calls with relatives, to play with my son and in the most critical moments to listen to the 6 pm bulletin from the Crisis team>>. Alessia is a dynamic person and for her it has been difficult <<to get used to a new normality made up of daily house chores, those things that before the emergency were done quickly and marginally as most of the day was spent out of the home>>. As soon as it will be possible she wants to <<go to visit my family that I have not seen for a long time, to go to the seaside to eat some fish and to go out for a bike ride>>. She is in fact a sporting cyclist able to cycle 50 km on the Tuscan hills without getting exhausted. More than an anecdote, she gives us something to think about <<born in a moment. A practically surreal moment, queuing up in front of the supermarket, with gloves, masks, distant from the others. The look on people’s faces, lost, frightened, and incredulous. A new virus has forced us to face danger and has united nations in difficulty. Let us hope that not only can we come out of this stronger than before, but that the whole world remembers it. If this happened we would all be richer, more aware and more organized. I hope that each of us does their small part>>. A wish shared by us all.