Coronavirus, Italy: Flashmobs and music keep spirits high during lockdown

Italians are nearing the end of their first week of a lockdown imposed by the government in a bid to slow the spread of Coronavirus. For a country that values socialising and community life so highly, isolation at home has been tough. But people have been finding novel ways to interact with neighbours and share a message of hope through organising flashmobs and playing music.

Videos have been emerging on social media of Italians picking up instruments and engaging in group singalongs from their windows and balconies in a bid to fight the atmosphere of fear. Musician and conductor Renzo Arbore, talking about the phenomenon, told the Italian press, “here, with music, we will exorcise sadness.”

It is becoming something of a nightly ritual now across the country, with performances getting ever more creative.

In Rome, one man took to the roof of his apartment block with DJ mixers and giant speakers and blasted the national anthem over the rooftops, encouraging participating from residents.

Many have chosen traditional or folk songs, such as one trumpeter who plays the Milanese classic “O mia bela Madunina” to enthusiastic applause.

From Venice, instead, comes a video opera singing drifting through the quiet canals.

Although the general overtones have been patriotic, one street in Rome was treated to the Chinese national anthem, and a man in the video can be heard shouting ‘thank you China’. A team of medical experts from China arrived in the country on Friday to give advice on managing the crisis in Italy.

As Italy starts a new week under lockdown, initiatives like these flashmobs are invaluable not only for keeping spirits high, but also to prevent boredom and fatigue that might cause people to be less willing to abide by the ‘stay at home’ regulations.

Author badge placeholder
Written by

Rebecca Ann Hughes

Share your story with us by emailing, by calling +34 951 38 61 61 or by messaging our Facebook page