An Italian Blogger Shares Her #QuarantineJournal

The blogger behind “mydaphne” tells us her experience amid the coronavirus outbreak in Florence. 

GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (The fiorentine blogger @mydaphne walking)
GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (The fiorentine blogger @mydaphne walking)

Daphne Palmitessa is the fashionable woman behind popular mydaphne. She’s an advent traveler who resides in Florence. Since Italy is one of the countries hit hardest by coronavirus, Daphne shared her personal experience amid the global outbreak. Here is her #QuarantineJournal (originally in Italian, our team later translated it to English) about the changes she has witnessed in Florence, a city typically welcomes a million visitors to now zero visitor and the toll it has taken on the Italian people.

In recent times, Florence has changed a lot. Like all the cities in the world, of course. In fact, it all started here during the first weeks of January, when Asian travelers and businessmen stopped coming to Italy as the coronavirus emergency was already active. So the Tuscan capital completely emptied itself. Above all, the historic center has become surreal: empty shops, deserted streets, no queues to museums. There were only Florentines, already worried about this situation. 

GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (driving the bus in Florence)
GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (driving the bus in Florence)

Unfortunately, everything precipitated also in Italy and the quarantine began for us too. At the beginning, I was unable to recognize my city: the liveliness and buzz that distinguish Florence no longer existed. To tell the truth, a bit of sadness has fallen, slowly we had to get used to it – all this change. I now look out the window and I see the Duomo and the Baptistery in the distance: they are always beautiful even if there is no one around. One day I went to Piazza Santa Croce for work and it seemed almost more beautiful, free of any tourists and stalls. I saw it in its fullness, golden with the reflection of sunlight. And then the silence: it was incredible! 

Florence is visited by millions of tourists every year and it is almost impossible to walk alone in a street or hear the chirping of birds. Not now, you can hear everything, even the music that comes out of the windows of the houses. 

GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (Repubblica square)
GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (Repubblica square)

During difficult moments like these, we Italians look out the window for a greeting, hearing our music to feel closer and we hope that everything will be well in the end. 

But the thought is for the thousands of small businesses that characterize my city: apart from large hotels and boutiques, I refer to the stalls in San Lorenzo, small bookstores, small restaurants in the center, bars and “tripe” ( which exist only in Florence), at the typical leather shops of our district, who are struggling. 

At the moment we continue to be in lockdown, it seems that on May 4th we will enter phase 2 and open some businesses. Hopefully, we get to leave our homes and see our city shine and swarm with people soon! 

GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (santo spirito square in the night)
GIUSEPPE CABRAS PHOTOGRAPHY (santo spirito square in the night)

Anastasia Vazquez

Contributor

Anastasia loves exploring the world, animals, reading books, writing, fashion, and laying on a beach on a hot summer day. She has explored most of the United States, some European and many Caribbean countries. She loves being in new places, trying authentic food, talking to locals, and living in the moment.

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