Italians Take to Singing at Windows to Beat Virus Blues
Italians are beating the social isolation imposed by the country's coronavirus lockdown by taking to their windows and singing in unison, with videos of the phenomenon racking up thousands of views online.
Since Monday a series of decrees from the Italian government have drastically limited citizens' movements, with vast swathes of the economy shut down and people instructed to leave the house only when strictly necessary.
All cultural events have also been suspended, prompting some celebrities to start organizing online performances and museums to put virtual tours online.
Another attempt to boost morale has now come in the form of impromptu music at people's windows.
One recording in the Tuscan city of Siena has been viewed over 600,000 times on Twitter.
In it, residents sing the traditional "Canto della Verbena" about the city from their windows, including a rousing verse with the words "long live our Siena!".
Italian singer Andrea Sannino posted a compilation on his Instagram feed of people singing his song Abbracciame ("Embrace Me") at their windows in the southern city of Naples, his hometown.
"A day I will tell my children and grandchildren about," the singer wrote, adding: "Thank you for making me cry floods of tears!"
In another video purportedly of an apartment building in the northern city of Turin, residents can be seen on their balconies trying to perform the Macarena, a Spanish dance song, in unison.
An appeal has also been circulated on WhatsApp groups calling on Italians to play instruments at their windows at 6pm on Friday.
"For those few minutes, our country will become a huge free concert!" the message said.
Another message is encouraging people to sing specific songs on certain days.
Italy has been struck by the worst European outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, with more than 15,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.