Doubts and hopes from the yellow zone. Italy restarts but only halfway

Turin, the restaurateur

“Without the outdoor area they forbid me to work but I have expenses like everyone else”

TORINO – «No, I don’t have an outdoor area and I can’t do it. In front of the ristorante I have the bus terminus, customers would breathe the exhaust gases ». Umberto Chiodi Latini is the owner of Vintage 1997, a historic Turin restaurant that has been a Michelin star for twenty years. The place, frequented by managers and professionals, is in a square in the historic center, “yes, I could put a few tables in the gardens opposite, but to reach them you have to cross a busy street and the waiters would risk their lives every day”.
So before June it won’t open. “I do not contest the government’s decision – he says – He has entrusted himself to a group of experts and I presume that they do their job with some knowledge. But it’s sad that they don’t let us open, I frankly don’t know if I can make it to the end of May. In one year I will have worked three months and the drop in turnover is enormous. The takeaway was a hot panic ”.
«A closed restaurant – he adds – costs the same as an open one, but without income. And I kept all 8 employees. What I don’t understand then is why a few months ago they imposed on us a series of rules to allow us to reopen indoors: reduce the number of seats, keep a distance of one meter between the tables and so on. We have adapted, we have also spent to get up to standard. How come those rules no longer apply? And then the situation differs from region to region: to say, the climate of Turin in May is not that of Sicily ».

Milan, the bartender

“This is not a win. To really leave you need events and tourists “

“This reopening is certainly not a victory.” Michele Berteramo is the owner of the cocktail bar and Movida restaurant in via Ascanio Sforza, on the Naviglio Pavese. He should be among those who rejoice because his restaurant has tables outside: “Of course, it’s a good thing and we will begin to reopen for lunch: but everything will really start again only with the return of tourists and discos.”
Closed for five months, except for the two-week yellow zone in February (“we had a bad experience with the takeaway”), his cocktail bar will focus on lunches to start over. “Unlike the other reopenings, at least we have a week to be able to organize ourselves – he explains -. I have always been against plexiglass, but now I will have to look for a system to screen the tables: so even if there will be no distance, there will be the barrier. I want to do something nice though ».
The Navigli, due to their conformation, seem destined to always create gatherings. “We can only advise people to be careful and keep their distance, respecting the rules. But we are not policemen, if we have to check outside, then it’s over even before starting ».
Yesterday he posted a post on the social networks of his restaurant, announcing the reopening shortly: «I don’t know if it’s just to encourage me, but I have received many positive responses. We hope well”.

Bologna, the cinema manager

“Happy to open theaters even with just one film. The curfew hurts us “

Collective is the auspicious title chosen by the cinema Jolly, 362 seats in the center of Bologna, to return to the theater. Alexander Nanau’s work on investigative journalism, which the day before was played for two Oscars, for best film and best documentary, will be on the poster together with “Nuevo orden”, Silver Lion in Venice, by Mexican Michel Franco. And it does not matter if it is films available in streaming, what matters is to find the big screen. “We applaud the reopening – he explains Andrea Romeo, at the helm of three cinemas under the Two Towers and patron of the I Wonder Pictures distribution – albeit with only one room and with films already in streaming. We count on the many happy to return to the cinema. We hope other titles will be released shortly and we need to clarify the question of the curfew at 10 pm which undermines the show at 8.30 pm, the most requested ».
In the uncertainty, there are many exhibitors who will not reopen in Bologna waiting for the autumn or for films capable of attracting the general public. The other big unknown is the fear that the virus still has, especially in the public over the years, the most numerous. «For this reason – the operator clarifies – we have decided to apply even more severe restrictions than those established by the government. We will allow entry to a maximum of one hundred people per show, therefore one place out of four, naturally with a mask. And to be honest, if there were 100 spectators in the early evening, we would celebrate ».

Florence, the manager

“The fashion fair is back but if it goes well we will do a third of the old numbers”

“We are proud to be the first show to reopen in presence, the vanguard of trade fairs that move 50% of Italian exports,” he says. Raphael Napoleon, managing director of Pitti Immagine. Appointment in early July in Florence. “Pitti Uomo should have been held on 15, 16 and 17 June – on Monday we talk with Milan and Paris to reschedule the calendar of men’s fashion events and avoid overlapping with London and New York as well”. Time is running out. «Seventy working days are not many – admits the CEO of Pitti – but this does not scare us. Our engine never stopped. Pitti connect started digitally on 12 January with Brunello Cucinelli, continued with Herno and Laminar, Kiton and Lardini. In total, Pitti connect attracted over 15,000 unique visitors and had 1.6 million page views with an average stay of over 4 minutes per page in the six months from January 15th to April 5th. The digital event is confirmed for June 15th. As for the face-to-face one, since Monday we are working on commercial and relationship dynamics. I am optimistic, even if we cannot aspire to the same numbers as the last event in the presence of January 2020: then 1,200 brands present and over 30,000 visitors. Getting a third of those numbers would be a great result. Now it will be important that the vaccination plan accelerates. But the decision to start again is a great sign of trust that until now was left to individuals and which is now transformed into a collective project ».

Naples, the manager of the gym

“Football yes, gym no, after months of hiatus more doubts than certainties”

The need to restart but also the doubts about the rules and times. There are many perplexities that haunt Giuseppe Marmo, founder of Kodokan, a real institution for sports dedicated to children in the center of Naples, in Piazza Carlo III. Three thousand square meters and eleven sports disciplines: “We have transformed the caves of the Albergo dei Poveri – says Marmo, a past high-level judoka – in the most beautiful gyms in Italy. We had about 1000 children, of which only 650 paid, the others have always carried out free activities ». Probably the Kodokan will not start again with gymnastics, but with football (“We also have a field”) but there are still no certainties: “We are in contact with the Scholas Occurrentes Foundation to organize a tournament dedicated to children who live in difficult conditions . It is a beautiful project that we would like to carry out. We will evaluate tomorrow whether to proceed or not. In any case, it would represent a good sign ».
The future remains cloudy for the resumption of other activities: «I have several doubts. Our history has always favored aggregation and the possibility of being together. Imagine an artistic gymnastics course with 6 girls, instead of 20. The meaning is completely distorted ». A definitive decision has not yet been taken: “The boys need to go back to sports, but we want to be sure we open and offer a safe path”.

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