We have never lived in times like these. In a matter of days, actually hours, the virus called coronavirus or Covid-19 has changed the life of every single Italian. When the elderly, like our parents/grandparents, were children, they lived through times of war, strife, and hunger. This too is a war, but against a deviously underhanded and invisible enemy that has insinuated anguish and uncertainty into our lives.
The streets and squares are deserted. The shops are shut. People are locked away in their homes, small or large, ugly or beautiful. Even the grand historical buildings, which we talk about passionately on a daily basis, seem not to exist anymore. They’ve disappeared from our minds and have been replaced with bigger fears and problems. The buildings are now dormant, awaiting our return. And looking around, we realize that this life we are living is not a film and a deep sense of melancholy enshrouds everything.
We are living this situation and feel it in the depths of our souls, even though we try to think of other things. We listen to music. Hosts of radio programs try to entertain their listeners with lighthearted humor and on television, they try to do the same.
It doesn’t feel right talking about tourism during a pandemic, actually, it seems kind of crazy to do so. Now that we are forced to rest, we lack the mental strength to think about and envision day-to-day life, a life of travel, movement, ‘active’ rest, food, flavors, emotions, lightheartedness, and beauty. This was what tourism was until a few days ago, a few hours ago.
That said, nonetheless, no matter where we find ourselves in this dramatic moment, I am certain we will be able to start afresh. I don’t know when, but we will.
When the last clouds disappear and the skies are blue and clear again, people will once again want to see what lies beyond the horizon. Under the sunny skies of Lucca and Tuscany, people will gather and meet with no limits or fear. So I, along with my colleagues, friends, companions, and other guides of Lucca and Italy will be prepared, better than ever, with more enthusiasm and more energy, to welcome and show you the best of our country. The Bel paese, the Beautiful country. The most beautiful Bel paese: Italy.