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Heavy restrictions mean new normal is awkward: Canadian living in Tuscany

Last Updated Mar 12, 2020 at 5:58 am PST

(Images courtesy of Lisa Annnicchiarico)

MONTALCINO, ITALY (NEWS 1130) — A Canadian woman, living in Italy for nearly 18 years, says some people are coping better than others with new heavy restrictions on their daily life.

Lisa Annicchiarico, who’s originally from Kamloops, says the focus now is helping the elderly.

“People who are alone, to get their groceries, so everyone is being taken care of.  Our heroes right now, are those people who work in these essential services.  Our doctors, our nurses, everybody who works in the hospital.  We can’t forget about the sacrifices they’re making during this whole situation.”

She lives in Montalcino which is best known as the home of Brunello red wines.

She says no one in her community has tested positive for COVID-19, but it is a popular area for tourists from all over the world.

“We’re isolated, a little village on the top of a hill and you have to go out of your way to come here, but people do come here.  Just a short time ago, there was Benvenuto Brunello, it’s an event that takes place over four days.  On the last day, they had people signing declaration forms saying, ‘I am clear of the disease.'”

Annicchiarico moved to Tuscany in September of 2002.

She tells NEWS 1130 kissing and hugging is a standard way for her to greet neighbours, so it’s been difficult adjusting to this new and awkward “normal.”

“We’re quite warm people and you either hug, kiss them on both sides of the cheek and close talk!  When the restrictions first came out and you go to hug someone and you just can’t and we just stop in mid-air and, like, ‘Oh, I have to be a metre away from you’ and so, take a step back.”