A sixth generation Neapolitan and second-generation Classic Journeys guide, Ulisse lives in Naples with his wife, Anna, and their son, Lorenzo. An award-winning tour leader following in the footsteps of his iconic father, Sergio, Ulisse has been guiding travelers around his beloved southern Italy for more than a decade. He also was the first intern in the Classic Journeys office in La Jolla 20 years ago. In the wake of Italy’s Coronavirus outbreak, Ulisse has taken his role to a new level, as our man on the street, keeping us posted on how life in Italy is being impacted by COVID-19. This post follows Ulisse's first update here.
"An Italian can face anything on a full stomach!"
The cheesecake was delicious and we are very proud! Lorenzo loved it. Photo as promised:
Our boy is 6 months old today and we took him to the park. He loves the sun and fresh air. Italy may be in lockdown but you can still go for a stroll, keeping the safe distance and not congregating. The weather is beautiful, cherry trees are blooming and you can feel spring arriving.
I’m writing as I stand in the queue for the supermarket—stores will take only a certain number of people at a time, since one of the strongest measures is maintaining the ‘droplet distance’ of 3 feet between us.
I had never felt the need to keep a journal until now. It suddenly hit me like a slap in the face. We are not free to do what we want anymore. We are being limited in our movements. Work has suddenly vanished like a castle made of sand and for the first time in years, I have doubts and questions.
A lot of restaurants and cafes have spontaneously shut up shop until April 3rd. There are no clients around and it is almost impossible to keep a 3 feet distance between individuals indoors. Also, people are not really in the mood for eating and drinking out these days. Better to order pizza delivery... OH NO! We can't! Now THAT'S tough on an Italian!
Will the Italian health system be able to resist and not crack? I really pray that it does. As Italians we are known internationally for being very relaxed but in situations of emergency we are able to be amongst the most hard working, creative, smart and resilient people around.
The image of empty streets from Naples to Florence to Venice, Palermo and Milan is something I never thought I’d be seeing. But that is actually good news, as everybody has now realized how vital it is to follow the rules.
One positive I am taking from the whole Coronavirus situation is that for the first time, I’ve been forced to slow down. This is a break from the frantic and fast paced lifestyle we live and I’m grateful for the chance to spend time my family, making cheesecake together and enjoying the sunshine in the park.
All of a sudden, I am hearing a voice yelling: ‘5 more people!’
It is my turn to enter the supermarket.... Wow, I have it almost entirely for myself!
An Italian can face anything, on a full stomach!
Ciao for now, Ulisse
Other updates from Ulisse:
1: "When life gives you lemons, make cheesecake!"
3: "Pondering what's important during isolation"
More Classic Journeys guide updates from around the world:
Vibeke in Norway
Susana in Portugal