Women's International Network

Rossana Santoro – Member

We all felt helpless but at the same time this feeling was uniting all of us and we were starting to react in a joyful creative way.

My Experience:

Lockdown made me go through different phases, in fact it was not just phase one as far as I was concerned.

First, I was feeling worried and overwhelmed. My best friend Teresa is a doctor and professor in pulmonology and intensive care, so her unit started working exclusively on Covid. It was hard to elaborate the idea that something could happen to her and that I couldn’t see her until who knew when.

Something I’ll never forget is listening to Diodato’s song over and over again while watching those videos about people in all Italian cities singing it on their balconies. Diodato’s song “Rumore” was just the exact photograph of what was in our hearts: a “huge noisy silence”. You can find the song of Diodato here

We all felt helpless but at the same time this feeling was uniting all of us and we were starting to react in a joyful creative way.

Group video calls with my friends and my relatives from all over Italy would become a daily appointment that I couldn’t renounce to and made me reunite with many people. Friends from England, the US, from South Korea would check on me during the first phase when only Italy was in lockdown and that made me feel so blessed.

Then I started reacting and took to cleaning my whole apartment, baking cakes I never thought I could bake: I followed an original recipe of the pastiera napoletana, a typical Easter cake made in the South of Italy in general but the original recipe is from Napoli.

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I knew I should try to get out of my comfort zone and put myself out there as I learned during the course I have been taking for over a year and half now. So I gradually overcome my online shyness by posting stories on my Instagram about other people in lockdown from all over the world and got unexpectedly popular so I created a highlights section just about lockdown with the hashtag #iorestoacasa https://www.instagram.com/roxyaroundtheworld/

Also, I started making a fruity body scrub with natural ingredients for my mom and my sisters (see pic), learning a Shakespeare sonnet by heart, attending online training webinars that would support me and give me the strength I needed to keep up and stay motivated.

Many British theaters started streaming online old shows for free and all international and Italian famous singers and actors started performing live on their social media every day. Finally, the performing arts were made available to the public for free.

I started working online more than before, giving communication and language assistance in Italian and English to a few professionals and that’s what I keep doing right now.
The people in my building have been crucial, we would all help each other when buying food, cooking, or just chatting from our windows.

Very often I would open the window of my kitchen early in the morning and find a basket full of croissants (see pic. attached). That’s how my neighbors are, they are my friends and we take care of each other.

Then other songs would bring up that noise while our mood was improving:

Calabrese artists

Fedez and Cara

My phase 2 is full of hope and it could be summarized by the picture of the Frecce Tricolore flying over Florence on May 26.

I ran 3 km from my house to Piazzale Michelangelo just in time to take a video of the Frecce flying over our heads with the Italian flag’s colors and it’s a moment I’ll never forget, I was out of breath for running and wearing a mask on my face, the Frecce flew over me with that “huge noise” that we all needed again to wake up from our lockdown, it was a liberatory moment I guess, all fears and worries were put aside and hope took over.