This isn’t the kind of article a Rome-based tour company would ususally publish. But these aren’t exactly usual times!
The world is looking on at our newfound way of life in Italy. And rather than keep publishing content about our beautiful (though temporarily empty) city, we think the best thing we can do for you is share some of our tried and trusted advice.
Social distancing in the form of staying at home might seem daunting at first. But two weeks in we’re coping just fine. Here are some tips we wish we had been following from the beginning, to help you adjust to life at home.
Start some projects and set yourself some goals
At first, the idea of being housebound can sound a little scary. But to see it that way is to see the glass half empty. Remember all those times when you wished you could find an extra hour in the day to indulge your hobbies? Well, now that time has come.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been immersing ourselves in a range of activities – from personal development to pure indulgence. Some of us have been sharpening up our language skills (the free apps Memrise and Duolingo are perfect for this, and will have you ordering your meals in Italian when you next come to visit!).
Others have been writing and recording music, getting through our list of books, learning to dance (seriously, YouTube is a goldmine for this!), and catching up on our Netflix backlog.
Mood of the day: JUST DANCE!?#iorestoacasa#yomequedoencasa pic.twitter.com/yCYrbS9u1d
— Tiziano Ferro (@TizianoFerro) March 19, 2020
Getting involved in an online book club is a great way to stay disciplined and motivated in your reading and will introduce you to a whole community of stimulating people from all over the world!
Those of you with little ones can look into educational games for kids while as you get ready for your next trip to Rome, you can kindle their interest with these best kids books about ancient Rome.
Invest in some decent exercise equipment
How relevant this is will depend on where you live. Out in the coutryside this won’t seem so important, but in a built up city like Rome, we’re being responsible and exercising at home.
This isn’t at all bad.
Many of us are booking up an hour an evening with live-streamed fitness classes, yoga or pilates! The best part about it? You get to choose your own playlist!
On my tennis club’s WhatsApp group, people have even been posting videos of using rooftops and courtyards as practice walls (though we’d suggest you run this past your neighbors first!).
Shop smart, but shop considerately
Our supermarkets here in Rome are still fully-stocked, and with so extra time on our hands we can plan our meals well. Batch cooking is the way to go, with homemade ragù and pasta sauces a simple and delicious staple. Cook enough for a few meals, and freeze whatever’s left over. By rotating what you eat, you’ll keep it varied and exciting!
You’ll soon see your freezer as an integral family member. Feed it well and your family will thank you for it!
This is also the ideal opportunity to get creative in the kitchen! We at Walks Inside Rome have been experimenting with some of our own recipes, like sumptuous homemade gelato and spinach and ricotta ravioli!
Share our article and message us on FB and we’ll send you over our recipes!
Make sure your technology is up to speed
As social distancing means you’ll be doing all of your socialising online, now now is the time to make sure your phone, tablet and computer are running smoothly.
Keep an eye out for any battery problems, cracked screens, connectivity problems or other hardware issues.
Here in Italy, you can still order whatever you need online. But repair shops have been closed for several days. So unless you feel comfortable repairing electronics yourself, you might want to run a quick check. Unless you don’t mind rediscovering old classics like this guy below!
Friday night under national lockdown means rediscovering forgotten things… like my 25 yr old #SuperNintendo console. #iostoacasa #Italianonsiferma pic.twitter.com/VkCeEBlMtl
— Moreno Di Marco (@m_dimarco) March 13, 2020
Limit your social media use
Following the news from Italy has felt at times like watching Titanic – playing across several screens, at different times, and in two languages. We humans are not programmed for following global events so constantly and closely, and doing so can leave you feeling helpless.
That’s why once you’re home we think it’s important to limit social media for the purely social aspect.
Having said this, there is a lot of comfort to be found in social media too. Never has the Italians’ innate creativity been more on show than when they’re confined to the house.
Over the last few days, we’ve seen a flourishing of housebound creativity. Highlights include:
DJ Decks on the kitchen hob
This guy…this guy has just made my week. #iostoacasa #nailingit #thatsmileatthendthough #QuarantineLife pic.twitter.com/GQIg6VXnh6
— Sarah Yeomans (@archeogirl1) March 18, 2020
When your triathlon is cancelled, you’re in quarantine lockdown, but you’re still in it to win it.#iostoacasa #quarantinelife #forzaitalia?? #goldmedalist #winningatlife pic.twitter.com/9T9dj1sGse
— Sarah Yeomans (@archeogirl1) March 18, 2020
And the popular classic: Pac-Man
??? Quarantine day 6 ?? #pacman #bored #killingtime https://t.co/XiJg7ZPLZD
— Debb Brindley??#ilovelucifer (@debbbrindley) March 16, 2020
Some final thoughts
Watching on from our Italy, one common theme to emerge is that there’s more that unites than divides us.
The same memes that have been circulating in Italy are now doing the round back home. I’m now seeing the same calls for cooperation and support for our frontline staff being echoed in my native language.
The near future is going to be difficult, and when we see each other in a few months, things will be different. But when we come out the other end, we’ll all be united in having gone through it together.
Ciao for now; ci vediamo a presto!
Alexander Meddings – Content Manager