It’s 10 am and I’m heading toward the city center. It’s the middle of the morning, in the middle of the winter, on a weekday. This piazza should be buzzing with activity but it’s also smack in the middle of Coronavirus Shutdown Week. Schools, theaters, museums, the opera house, cinemas, and the like are all closed.
There’s a strange emptiness. It’s as if we’re in limbo. We’re waiting. We’re holding our breath, too.
Via della Spiga looks dreamy. There are a few pedestrians and two carabinieri on motorcycles. I’m not entirely alone in this city after all.
When in Milan, shopping, of course, but with masks when it’s Coronavirus Shutdown Week.
Not even in August is this piazza, a stone’s throw from the Duomo, so utterly empty.
I find there are mostly pigeons in this square.
Masked, but with pigeons.
While I’m wandering, I see at least six different journalists from the international press set up camp. I overhear a Spanish-speaking journalist telling his audience that paranoia and hysteria have taken over the city. I butt in and tell him that this is not true. We’re calmly waiting and watching, like everyone else. We’re mostly at home since schools, museums, theaters, the opera house and cinemas, etc. have closed. But there’s no paranoia. No hysteria. No fake news, please.
At the castle, the crowds of tourists are not here. Nor are the guides, the itinerant vendors, the hawkers of balloons, the busses, the hangers on.
The sun sets the marble and glass glowing. There are few to admire the golden light reflected and magnified.
This is what rush hour looks like in this vacant city.