“Wood is burning again in Naples”
The city’s pizza ovens are up and hot, giving a savory boost to Neapolitans after 2 months of lockdown meant a temporary end to their iconic favorite food.
Pizzerias reopened Monday night in the birthplace of pizza but for home delivery only.
Whereas pizzerias in Rome and elsewhere were allowed to operate for take-out and delivery service, they were banned in Naples out of fears that such a congested, high-density city could fast become a new hot spot for COVID-19 infections.
Campania’s governor, Vincenzo De Luca, enforced strict lockdown measures, knowing that the region’s hospitals could not handle a major influx of sick.
In the end, Campania had a manageable outbreak of about 4,300 people infected, 50% who did not need hospitalization.
With Italy gradually reopening, Mr. De Luca lifted bans on pizza deliveries as well as home deliveries from bars, pastry shops and ice-cream parlors and restaurants.
“Surely this is a little restart for the entrepreneurs, important for us and for our region, our city and our nation,” said an owner of a Neapolitan pizzeria. “This is a symbol of hope for the little firm that slowly can restart.”
Clienti can only place orders by phone, and all business must close at 10:00p. The pizzerias have to be cleaned regularly and workers must wear gloves and masks.
The partial reopening will help Campania’s economy because all his ingredients are sourced locally.
“To make pizza I have to buy the local flour from Naples, San Marzano tomatoes, I have to buy the potatoes, the onions,” he said.
Without this support to the local economy, “after the health crisis we could have a much worse economic crisis.”
Italy was the 1st country in the West to be hammered by the outbreak, and its death toll is the highest in Europe and 2nd only to the US, which has more than 5X the population.
Italy’s epicenter was based in the North and officials say the South was largely spared because the government locked down the whole country in time, and few Chinese own businesses or travel there.
Nationwide, bars and restaurants are expected to be allowed to reopen in June for in-house service, but only with strict social-distancing and sanitation measures in place.
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