Italy Phase 2

Italy Phase 2

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

Phase 2 is the long awaited relaxation of restrictions in Italy started on May 3rd. In Phase 1, which was the initial lockdown that started on March 10th, the stay at home rules were VERY strict. Stay at home other to go to buy groceries or to a pharmacy and little else. Parks were closed and travel more than a modest distance from your home was banned. All stores, restaurants and bars (the name for cafes here) were totally closed. You could visit aging parents that needed care but only if they lived nearby. You couldn’t go to a nearby town or even to a different neighborhood in the same city without a valid reason and needed a filled out form ready to show to a policeman if questioned. The fines for violations were very steep. Later they moderated it just a tiny bit. I could go to the hardware store near me to buy a replacement for a burned out light bulb. Then a couple of weeks ago they allowed bookstores to open with some restrictions. You could walk or run for exercise outside if you stayed within 200 meters from your house (about 200 yards). Whoopee.

So what relief does phase 2 provide? Well, now you can you can go much further from your house and the park gates are no longer locked so you can go to the parks to get a taste of nature but only for exercise and social distancing rules must be rigorously observed. If you want to go to a different neighborhood you still need to fill out a form saying that you are going from point A to point B and why in case you are stopped by a policeman (or woman) to check the validity of your trip but the valid reasons are significantly expanded. You are permitted to visit relatives, even distant ones as long as you stay in the same region, the equivalent of a state in the U.S. but generally significantly smaller than most states. For example all of Italy is a little bit smaller than California but has 20 regions. So you get the picture. There is ambiguous language about going to see a girlfriend or boyfriend, which we’re all waiting to have clarified, but only within the same region but going to visit friends is still forbidden. So my hopes of going to see Laura in Torino are still on hold as well as seeing friends here in Bologna. Restaurants and bars are open for take-out only. You can’t enter the establishment and of course you need to wear a mask anytime that you are in any form of enclosed space.

I took the bus for the first time since March 10th. I went to the new apartment to meet the realtor and get a copy of the lease registered with the city and take some pictures and measurement to further prepare for the planned move. To limit the time in the bus I walked about half a mile to a bus stop so that I wouldn’t need to change buses and would be in the bus for only 7 minutes. I returned by a similar route. The buses have about half of their seats blocked off to assure that social distancing is reasonably maintained and are less than half full instead of standing room only just over 2 months ago. Still I walked about 2 miles for the trip. That’s a good bit of exercise in addition to the exercise that I’m doing at home; push-ups and other weight exercises as well as stretching.

The expected release of phase 3 rules are expected at about May 18th but it will depend on infection rates which is the measure of progress in combating the virus. Of late that rate is under about 0.6% and the goal is to have it at around 0.2% to have significantly more freedom of movement with a continuing requirement of social distancing. it seems hopeful that I will be to go to Torino before the end of the month to see Laura and help her with packing for her move to Bologna. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Of course Italians are totally aghast to see the actions in the U.S. including photos of crowds demonstrating or going to the beach and the huge recent relaxations of rules in many states. I am absolutely stunned and think that this is going to result in really hard times there. By the way I saw a very good editorial in the New York Times by Beppe Severgnini, a well known Italian journalist, which sums up very well the comportment of Italians during this very difficult period.

Changing subjects, I have collected a bunch of interesting quotes from Baci (kisses). These are chocolates made in Italy by the Perugina company. I think that they are widely available in California but I’m not sure if the dark chocolate ones are there. The chocolates are both light and dark chocolate with hazel nut inside – I vastly prefer the dark chocolate. They are very tasty and each one has a little paper inside with a quote written in four languages; italian, english, german and spanish. I’ve collected some of the best quotes and will start ending each post for awhile with one of them. I’ll include both the english and the italian – a tiny italian lesson. Let me know if you like it.

Here is a picture of a Bacio (kiss singular).

And todays quote is:

The rules for happiness: have something to do, someone to love and something to hope for.

Le regole per la felicita’: qualcosa da fare, qualcuno da amare, qualcosa in cui sperare.

Emanuel Kant

Quite appropriate for this period, don’t you think.

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6 Responses to “Italy Phase 2”

  1. Marcia Nance Allen Says:

    Love the Baci quote.

  2. Joe Says:

    I’m glad that you liked it. There’s another on in the post I’m writing today.


  3. Lori Says:

    I like the Baci quotes…keep them coming! Had to look up “Baci chocolate near me”. Looking forward to trying it. I love a good dark chocolate!
    I hope phase 3 is not far off for you. Take care.

  4. Joe Says:

    They are on Amazon there but they are significantly more expensive than here and the wrapper is a bit different.

    Wash your hands and stay away from people for awhile and wear a mask at least in enclosed spaces. Can’t help but advise. ;^)


  5. Sandra Says:

    Yes we have the dark chocolate baci on Amazon. Not sure if they are the same though. Love the blogpost.

  6. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment Sandra. There’s a lot going on for me here during this period and also I have a lot of time on my hands. I hope you enjoy my future posts.


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