Florence-based photographer Claudia Gori takes us on a visual tour of Italy in lockdown.
As COVID-19 cases rose in early 2020, Italy was the first country outside of China where the full implications of the virus became painfully clear. Initially, just a few municipalities shut down; then, entire provinces. By March 9, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte declared a national shutdown, and the whole country entered a dormant state in an attempt to protect its people.
Major cities, usually just beginning to surge with visitors for the tourist season, suddenly became devoid of guests and locals alike—and while quarantined Italians kept spirits high from their balconies through music, wine, and film, the world below them rang with a quiet that few will ever forget.
Here, photographer Claudia Gori takes us to the then-silent streets of Florence, capturing the city as it stood still and reflecting on what it means to create art in tumultuous times.
"During lockdown, I felt centered but vulnerable. I was reacting strongly to every little thing happening around me." (Rari Nantes Florentia, Arno River.)
"I thought a lot about what I should do: If I should go out to take pictures or if it would be better to take a pause from work." (Roster Tepidarium.)
"Finally, I decided to work on my archive; I felt more keen to investigate the pictures I’d already shot than go out to find new stories." (Jewelry shop on Ponte Vecchio.)