By Lee Moran
Video footage of quarantined Italians singing to each other across deserted streets from their windows, balconies and doorways during the coronavirus lockdown is as beautiful as it is haunting.
David Allegranti, a writer for Il Foglio newspaper, shared footage of residents’ stirring rendition of a local folk song in the northern city of Siena on Twitter on Thursday night.
A Siena, città alla quale sono molto legato, si sta in casa ma si canta insieme come se si fosse per la strada. Mi sono commosso pic.twitter.com/IDPqNEj3h3
— David Allegranti (@davidallegranti) March 12, 2020
“This video is touching,” Rome-based Allegranti told HuffPost via email on Friday. “The first time I saw it I started to cry.”
Allegranti said a friend sent him the footage, although it wasn’t clear who actually took the video that has now spread across social media.
Here’s another view that appears to capture the same singing:
I contradaioli dell’Oca a Siena intonano dalle loro case il Canto della Verbena. Per esorcizzare la paura, per sentirsi meno soli.
Città che nella difficoltà si riscoprono comunità. Questo virus passerà, noi ce la faremo, e saremo più uniti e più forti di prima.#iorestoacasapic.twitter.com/jgXCL8aGfo
— Nicola Danti (@DantiNicola) March 13, 2020
Twitter users were equally moved by what appeared to be an impromptu communal singsong:
Now I’m crying. So beautiful.
Ora sto piangendo. Così bello.
— Lorelei King (@LoreleiKing) March 13, 2020
As evening falls in locked-down Siena, citizens confined to their homes are singing together as if they are on the street. What a moving testament to the instinctively musical & open-hearted people of Italy ???❤️ https://t.co/kgUyImV6Fe
— Howard Goodall (@Howard_Goodall) March 13, 2020
Humanity is beautiful.
— Anatole Jenkins (@AnatoleJenkins) March 13, 2020
HuffPost Italy also posted this video of Naples residents singing from their high-rise balconies:
There were reportedly similar scenes of neighbours spontaneously singing together in Wuhan, China, in the initial days of the outbreak there.
Residents in Siena plan to hold a citywide rendition, from the safety of their houses, at 9pm on Sunday:
Italy has the world’s second-highest number of Covid-19 cases, following China. Some 15,000 people in Italy have been sickened and more than 1,000 have died. Worldwide, the virus has infected more than 138,000 and killed more than 5,100.
Elsewhere in Italy, a bakery in Sorrento, near Naples, is giving away its unsold pastries at the end of each day in a bid to boost morale.
“We hope to have cheered someone up during quarantine. Maybe in these days of isolation we were able to give a bit of sweetness to an old man or a child,” Teresa “Titti,” daughter of the owner, Pasquale Russo, told HuffPost Italy. “This isn’t a heroic gesture; we haven’t done anything special, and we are very happy it was received so positively. It didn’t cost us anything, we’ll do it again.”