Italians take to singing at windows to beat virus blues

ROME (AFP) – 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 organising 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!”.

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.

On Friday evening, in several districts of Rome, music and singing could be heard coming from people’s windows, including renditions of the national anthem.

A man plays the guitar on the balcony of his home in Milan, Italy. PHOTO: AP