The latest news on Lombardy and coronavirus? A whole region in quarantine. No going out unless for emergencies. No school, gym, work. A general shutdown. About one fifth of the Italian population is grounded. A severe blow to the financial heart (Milano). An isolated part of Italy under the international spotlights. And they do not like it. The ‘victim-role’ does not go down well on them.
North and South
Lombardy is a region in Italy. The capital, Milano, has always had national ambitions. But Rome will be Rome. Milano and Lombardy stand for the North, for wealth, industriousness and order. An example for the rest of Italy. The South instead often sees or depicts Lombardy as a scarecrow. A model of degradation, where family and identity no longer exist.
There is a geographical distance between North and South. Hence the culinary differences. A not so flattering nickname for Northerners is ‘polentoni‘, the polenta-eaters. Based on corn meal, polenta often substitutes pasta. Which is a more Southern ‘thing’. The North has butter, the South has oil. Being land-locked, fish does not make part of the original diet in Lombardy. Although much of the best Italian fish ends up in the North.
Sympathy for Lombardy
A group of tourists from Bergamo stranded in Palermo. One of the participants tested positive to the covid-19 virus and was hospitalised. The remaining group lodges in the Mercure Hotel in Palermo. In isolation.
Prezzemolo & Vitale, an upmarket food chain and the Cusumano winery created Pale/rgamo (Palermo Bergamo). They supplied the ‘locked up’ travel group with food. What food? A typical dish from Bergamo, casonsei.
Italy in quarantine
And the rest of Italy? No football matches, no school, no concerts. Night life and restaurants groan under the reduced number of clients. Far from normality. In the first wave of panic, people stored food. No problem there. The quantity of fake-news overtook the real news. In Palermo, on Friday rumours spread on the water being infected. Before the news was debunked, stores sold out all bottled water.