May 4 Lockdown Regulation Changes

Photo courtesy Repubblica Firenze

It is common knowledge that parks, construction sites and manufacturers throughout Italy can reopen on May 4, as well as companies that export at least 50% of their products, but further modifications to restrictive Coronavirus ordinances in Florence and Tuscany have been announced respectively by city mayor Dario Nardella and Tuscan governor Enrico Rossi.  Unchanged is the fact that no one can travel outside the region or even commute except for work and health reasons, always wearing a mask.

In Florence, while residents need to still call or send an email to restaurants, cafés, diners, pastry shops, pizzerias, gelaterie and chocolate shops place an order, it is no longer necessary to make an appointment to be handed the item or meal or have it delivered.  One can stop at any time during opening hours to pick it up, with the distinct possibility of finding a line out front.  Food still cannot be served on the premises.

The Vivoli ice cream shop and café near Santa Croce has found a creative way to overcoming the problem; as pictured, Vivoli is serving its coffee and its world-famous gelato by reopening its historic “wine window.”  These so-called wine windows were used from the fifteenth century onwards in Florence by well-to-do families who used them to sell wine made on their Tuscan estates in the city, in addition to giving alms to poor beggars, all without having to open the (usually massive) front door.  James Bradburne, the former director of the Palazzo Strozzi foundation and the current head of Milan’s Brera museum, who has a home on Borgo degli Albizi, was caught by a Repubblica photographer while receiving his order through Vivoli’s “wine window”(buchetta del vino).

Community gardens have also been authorized to reopen, although people will be admitted only one at a time, and must wear masks.  The gates will come down at the Cascine and Anconella parks (see related article), but not, however, at school and public playgrounds for children.  Visitors still needsto keep a security distance from another, ditto for those taking advantage of the newly granted freedom of visiting their relatives (up to and including sixth cousins), and partners.  Friends, however, still remain off-limits, as recently specified by the Italian government.

As of May 4, service will resume to and from Florence’s Pertola airport. The Florence Cathedral (the Duomo) will also reopen — only from 9 am to 1 pm — for those who would like to come in and pray.  During this time of transition, the Duomo is accessed only by going in through the Porta dei Canonici, a side entrance.  Churches still cannot host public religious services, although cemeteries will once more become accessible (with a restriction of not more than 15 people at a funeral).

As of May 1, everyone can take walks in their town or city of residence with no restrictions except for wearing a mask, keeping a dog on the lease and observing a minimum security distance of one metter (3.2 ft.).  People can run, while always carrying a mask for when they stop.  Walks along the beach are allowed, without sitting on the sand.

The Italian government is contemplating the implementation of shifts at schools when institutes of learning reopen in September, along with a percentage of continuing online classes.  (rosanna cirigliano)

To read more in Italian, visit Florence’s La Repubblica news site.