I had the opportunity, for a series of reasons, to cross Florence in the morning and evening in the past days.
I expected silence and in fact I listened to it. This silence is not that of the out of town. In the mountains it does not exist because the air plays and the same in the countryside because there is always a rustle or the sound of a plant. Even in the city of these days, in fact, silence does not exist: you can hear. You hear people talking, not like it’s customary one over each other without understanding, you can hear every single word. You can hear notes: someone was playing the flute, I could hear it while I was under the loggia of Brunelleschi. You can hear your steps, the rusty fenders on your bicycle vibrating.

The missing protagonists of the spaces of movement are the traffic lights. They are no longer useful. They remember us that time passes anyway, but they no longer regulate it. Cyclists look at them distractedly; with carelessness. We never loved them, now we have lost the respect that was imposed on us by risk and fear.

The masters are the cyclists, not the few who moves for sport, but those like me who need to move and, much more than me, the delivery men with their coloured cubes on their backs and the few cents, or fraction of a cent, per pedaling. Space belongs to them with the explicit rule of the straight line, the shortest way, without prohibitions, one-way streets, traffic lights or other.

They are indispensable in days when everyone is at home and can stay there because they continue to pedal for fractions of a cent for every turn of the pedal crank. Maybe they will get a tip. Maybe someone will notice that almost no one of them is a “real Italian”, but everyone plays their part and if they were closed behind a wall we will be less comfortable at home.

Furthermore, there are the animals. On dogs has already been made irony. But those who behave differently are the pigeons. In the tourist squares, the pigeon points at you when you stop, it perceives you as an opportunity for food: it gets closer; then its instinct tells it that you are a potential danger: it moves away, little. Start a ballet with avances and strategic retreat in quick succession that ends when you leave, send them away or throw a piece of the sandwich that they will anyway not let you bite in peace. Today they were looking at me, remaining warily, but motionless. I stopped: no movement. I moved again, nothing. I passed by, just a rotation of the head. Pigeons know well where the danger is and when not to waste energy.

Among the saddest are the urban furnishings. The benches no longer support anyone’s ass, the waste bins are empty, what they will do in the center of Florence where it was necessary to empty them 5 times a day to digest the undifferentiated waste of 15 million tourists a year. The few remaining fountains, because those are for the homeless, so better to take them off, they’re finally for the homeless. I think the police have other things to do than defend the decorum and moreover the city is incredibly clean. The cleaning service remains, but who the hell dirty without the 15 million and with the few homeless who now have all the space at their disposal at night and even during the day, so they are low density for loggia, lawn, fountain.

I wonder where all the annoying, marginals, beggars are. Difficult times for all, also for them because the virus mainly affects white good citizens, it makes no distinction between rich and poor, indeed perhaps prefers the rich who have (they had until 15 days ago) more social life; but in return, if normal people escape, the abnormals, which we consider, let’s tell the truth, a little parasitic, where they settle? They are like the virus, without host organisms can not survive, but if the virus, the real one, affects with high percentages us normal, it is reflected on them with the percentage of 100%.

Today no one stopped me, asked for money, attempted to sell handkerchiefs, lighters, or “fuori binario”. No one bothered me today, and that actually bothered me a lot.

17 e 23 marzo 2020