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Coronavirus: Deserted Italian street rings out with song as people lean out of windows to sing together during lockdown

‘We shine our best in the darkness. Thank you Siena’

Kate Ng
Friday 13 March 2020 11:48 GMT
Coronavirus: People on lockdown in Italy sing together

As life in Italy grinds to a halt amid a nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, one street was filled with song as the community banded their voices together in solidarity.

A video of people singing out of their windows on a neighbourhood street in Siena, Tuscany, went viral on social media, with many calling it a “beautiful” act of humanity.

“People of my hometown Siena sing a popular song from their houses along an empty street to warm their heart during the Italian Covid-19 lockdown,” wrote a Twitter user who posted the video.

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The song, titled ‘Canto della Verbena’ (‘And While Siena Sleeps’), is a popular folk song in the city typically sung to express local pride.

It focuses on the Piazza del Campo, the main square of the city, and is traditionally sung by members of a contrada, districts set up in the Middle Ages to supply troops.

Social media users were deeply touched by the communal singing, with some admitting it brought them to tears.

“People breaking out in song, lifting each other’s spirits during this tragedy, is an act of striking beauty,” said one person.

“It’s a reminder that, especially during a tragedy, the human spirit keeps us all going in hope. We shine our best in the darkness. Thank you, Siena. You made my day.”

Another said: “Reminiscent of the chants from Wuhan high-rise apartments early in the epidemic there. Stay strong Italy. Praying for you guys.” ​

The lockdown in Italy has effectively quarantined nearly 16 million people and shut down all shops except supermarkets and pharmacies.

The death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rose to more than 1,000 in Italy, and officials confirmed cases increased to over 15,000 on Thursday.

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