Monday, June 1 – Newly Found Freedom

By Alessia Martino TURIN, ITALY

Italians are technically not under quarantine anymore, although still bound only for regional movements. Even that is supposed to change soon, making interregional movement possible again. This is welcomed news, especially for those that have family elsewhere in the country. Anyway, since May 23, bars and restaurants can operate with physical distancing measures in place, therefore sitting down is now possible. Hairdressers and other beauty salons opened as well, answering to all identity crises of people in need of an image of themself they know of or those in need of reinvention.

It’s a new week, with new rules, and new adventures. I still spend a lot of time around the house perimeter and surroundings, but I do want to take advantage of the newly found freedom while applying safe common sense, because slowly dies one who becomes a slave to routines and never changes paths.

I have sat at a cafè with my sister on a hot Tuesday afternoon while waiting for the other one. It was surreal and perhaps sad. We entered to ask for ice-cream but ended up settling for ice tea, as they didn’t have that which we desired. The place was completely empty, we were greeted nicely, after making use of the free hand-gel at the door. We sat outside in the massive dehor, which now has three tables and few chairs. The extra ones were stacked on each other and chained to the poles, almost as if it was a display. Small squared tables that in a pre-COVID world could sit four people are now solo tables as they don’t measure a meter. My sister and I sat in a two-tables- three-chairs setting. It was awesome to have peace and everything for us, but we couldn’t help to think how bad the economic situation was for small-town cafés like the one we’re at. The bigger towns still get people coming, just in smaller numbers. The ice tea was a little expensive but totally worth it, other than contributing to a small business because those are the ones affected in the long run. Also unplanned, we dined at Burger King, sitting in the outside tables. We wanted to do initially do drive-in take away, but as the line was long, we just ordered inside. The fast-food opted for a one person for family/group only inside while keeping masks on and a meter distance, after having made use of the hand gel (by law all stores need to have it plus other require signs listing the appropriate behavioral measures in place). It all went smoothly, although the poor lady at the counter might not agree due to the extra stress that falls on her shoulders now, and we were enjoying hot and yummy food outside soon enough. It was peaceful as only two or three other groups were out and very distanced from us.

However, the greatest adventure of the week was on Sunday. Just the day before, My siblings and I decided on a hiking trip to the mountain and get there for yummy food. We got out of the house much later than planned, and although we were lowkey dying at the beginning of the hike, we got to the destination. We matured the love of mountains since little hiking places with dad. We knew well the chosen one, been there many times, and we just had to call to book a table before opposite to just showing up and eat. We got a table outside, good thing we were well covered, and, like everything else, safety rules were in place and respected. We had a pleasant lunch: cutlets, mountain cheeses, polenta with sausages, and mashed potatoes. Then we finished with apricot jam pie, espresso, and a shot of mountain liquor. That’s tradition, no lunch in the mountain doesn’t end without the liquor. We didn’t have time to lay and sleep, so I had a power nap head on the table. Then we hiked down and then got home. It was great to be all four together, and it doesn’t happen too often. Anyway, although pretty tired, we managed to watch Avengers infinity war to continue the Marvel movies marathon.

Another month is gone; I am excited for the next. I see more sun and mountain trips in my future.