by our correspondent
The race at breakneck speed on the grand staircase is also with us again. “Look, if you sweat the temperature rises and then it doesn’t start,” says the man with the gun, who would then be the thermo scanner, now the only diaphragm that separates travelers from returning to finally normal departures, as was done in the life of before, three months and a few days ago. It is only a moment that prolongs that of access to the track. No more queues, no more checks, self-certifications, questions about any relatives and assorted affections. Wet morning, shutters of the shops inside the Central Station still lowered.
Someone glances at the metal vaults, what a pleasure to meet again, someone else asks questions about the somewhat tortuous path to reach the trains. But within ten minutes, all on board, Frecciarossa 9515 at 7.10. “The one who brought me to meet a customer at 9 in Bologna and another in Florence for half past half,” he says, speaking of him as if he were a new found friend Marco Farina, one hundred percent Milanese, commercial representative, food supplement branch, fitness centers and gyms as customers, knowledge of the sector also certified by the biceps and the Lithuanian complex. “This spring killed me, our business branch is the most penalized along with tourism. Zero turnover, VAT number that cries. Come on, let’s start quickly and now we will get up ».
“It wasn’t life”
Welcome back, traveling Milanese. At the beginning, nobody will tell you, on the contrary, your nomadism will make you weigh, but you have been missing, not only in the GDP. Who knows, maybe these lines are also dictated by sentimentality, by those nights with the sirens of ambulances in the background, by being a veteran, like everyone else. And yet how nice, when the speaker says to be careful, “high-speed trains may be delayed for up to ten minutes following extraordinary maintenance work …” to hear that in the still stationary carriage 5 the collective puff of impatience, those moans, “eh high speed, a c …”, to see those expressions already annoyed, even if the day has not yet begun. “Try to understand,” explains Francesca C., profession manager of telecommunications, heel and black suit worn with joy, “I could no longer work at home in pajamas and elephant-shaped plush slippers”, who has just finished staring an appointment in Rome in Piazza Navona. «I read them, the philosophers who explain how everything will change. And I can also agree. But it’s not a matter of work. If you can’t move, if you can’t leave, then don’t call it life “
«Or all or none»
The train of the free everyone should be told with strong images. But there is nothing exceptional in this return to a normality that will be distilled day by day, today an increase in attendance at the station of twenty percent according to the Railway Police, however no assault, no full house. Not even the checkered seats that limit the capacity, all full with 250 passengers out of 600, muffle the buzz of overlapping voices, the appointment, the supplier that must be paid, the bank that does not grant the credit, a background noise I continue that this time brings joy. Not even the obsessive announcement, in the carriage and on the platform, which invites us to “avoid gatherings”, does not detract from otherwise normal scenes, which today convey a feeling of energy. In the labyrinth of the Bologna station, waiting for the door to open with the tonic Farina, “But what are you taking notes, just write that we wanted to get back on the road”, there is also engineer Franco Serra, manager of a company Brianza that installs electrical systems all over the world. «Last job, Jakarta, at times I risk staying there for the three months of lockdown. Now I’m going to the industrial area of Zola Predosa that we have to close a contract. Do you see that it is impossible to open a little at a time? We are now connected and globalized, or all or none ».
Florence, a hope
The entrance to Florence Santa Maria Novella is a sign of hope, wherever you look at it. The sixteen canopies of the station are crowded, there are people who come and go. And inside the train, there are the complete Champauds, father, mother, two teenage twins, each with a backpack on his shoulder, waiting to go out. They arrived last Friday, with a long train ride starting in their Lyon. “Telework and remote school allow you to be everywhere,” winks Dad Raphael. “Might as well take advantage of it.” Trenitalia keeps repeating that the masks are mandatory throughout the journey and “must also be worn correctly”. But as soon as the controller gets out of the wagon, there are often individual free will exercises.
“I cried for days”
The next stop is Rome, not only for the French family on vacation. The train empties. Above a mask with double fabric obtained from an old Nirvana shirt, Sara Mariani has eyes that seem cheerful and melancholic at the same time. She worked in Milan in a restaurant in the center, which has already told her not to return. He has already canceled the rental of his studio apartment in the Baggio area. He hadn’t seen his parents in four months, and both had fallen ill. “They just had a negative swab. When I learned that they were opening between the regions, I immediately booked the ticket. Too much anguish, too much fear. I cried for whole days. The important thing now is to go back to them. Then, I will look for work, any one. Maybe I’m just going to make masks. I don’t stick my head. We are all on the same boat, do you say so no? ». Not even the time to answer that he starts running towards the exit of via Marsala, where his brother’s car awaits him. Happy, finally.
If the sun comes up
Central Naples and the sun that shines again are a terminus that does not dispense illusions. Deborah and Paolo, husband and wife, owners of a travel agency in Bologna, are visiting the hotels on the Amalfi coast. «We can’t cope. Few reservations, abroad is over, Italy still does not unlock. They must help us, we must help each other ». In the train, abandoned on the seat, dozens of masks and Trenitalia’s anti Coronavirus kits remain, still intact. The last passengers disembark. On the dock there are many kisses and hugs. Fear is gone. All the rest is missing.
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