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Coronavirus: Euronews journalist on his first day of freedom after Italy's lockdown is lifted

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Coronavirus: Euronews journalist on his first day of freedom after Italy's lockdown is lifted
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Italians are reacquainting themselves with basic freedoms they have been denied for nearly two months amid the country's COVID-19 lockdown.

Euronews journalist Alessio Dell'anna — based in Lombardy, one of the worst-hit regions — took a camera out with him as confinement measures were eased on Monday.

"There was only one thing I had in mind: run," said Alessio.

"I’d only had walks since confinement started – a way to keep my legs active and my mind sane – but that obviously wasn’t the same.

"I put my shoes on and rushed outside, immediately eyeing areas previously out of reach.

"While dashing through the park, I thought of how strange it was to see Milan so crowded, after witnessing it turn into a ghost-town just weeks before.

"At the same time, I wondered how easily we might plunge into full lockdown again if social-distancing measures were not to be respected. No wonder Italy’s government, like others in Europe, has been calling on people to behave responsibly to avoid that.

"However, end of lockdown phase one also meant we were finally able to visit our congiunti; an Italian word which I suspect has no equivalent in English, meaning anyone you relate to as a family member, relative, in-law or partner.

"It's rather obscure legal interpretation sparked days of furious debate and comical explanations – so much so, that the government had to step in and issue a "note" to clarify:

"Congiunti are spouses, partners living together, civil union partners, people in a stable relationship, relatives (up to the sixth degree) and in-laws (up to the fourth degree)."

"Anyway, I couldn’t think of any other congiunto to see on my first day of “freedom” than my dad.

"He’d been home alone since confinement began – on March 8 – though luckily has been able to keep working throughout the lockdown.

"On my way to see him, I stopped to buy a pizza. No chance to have it in the pizzeria though, as gatherings remain banned.

"As I hopped on the metro, I remembered to wear my gloves and face mask, now compulsory on Milan’s public transport.

"A few stops, then a tram and I was there.

"As my father opened the door, I was expecting to find a man upset by weeks of loneliness and boredom.

"Instead, he greeted me with his fist raised in the air, shouting: "We made it!".

"We had a beer and caught up like old friends who hadn’t seen each other for ages.

"May this good mood last. We will all need it for sure."