Music, poetry and paintings, Italians and Chinese inspire each other amid traumatic pandemic

By Shan Jie
While Italy is at its darkest moment in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, many warm-hearted stories often occur, cheering up people here who have been singing on balconies and painting rainbows to look for hope.
Elisa Lanari cried when she read an email sent to her workplace, the Ancona-based accordion manufacturer Scandalli on Tuesday.
It was sent from Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei Province, which was severely hit by the COVID-19. In the email, Bob Liu, a college student at Wuhan, told his story about how a vintage Scandalli accordion has accompanied him during the past weeks of the city’s lockdown.
Liu played the accordion almost every day during self-isolation. He said that Italy’s outbreak worries him a lot, so he wrote to share his experience in preventing the virus.
Lanari, who is now also working from home, was touched by the greeting. “Music never stops!” she wrote in her email replying to Liu.
Recently, the Sant’orsola Hospital of Bologna in northern Italy received a special donation from children in the city’s Chinese community.
56 children from Chinese families gave away some of their lucky money received from parents or grandparents during the Chinese New Year. The Chinese community gathered 21,731 Euros in two days and donated it to the hospital, a volunteer who was in charge of the donation, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Hu Guohua, a Chinese child living in Bologna, shows her artwork. Photo: Courtesy of Chinese youth volunteers in Bologna
Moreover, the children created 84 pieces of art, showing rainbows and encouraging words.
The paintings will be hung in the hospital to comfort patients, the Global Times learned.
While experiencing the nightmare of the outbreak, many Italians have sought to comfort and encourage each other on the Internet. Many people have been using the hashtag #Andratuttobene, which in English means “Everything will be alright” to show their hope for life.
Artist Alessandro Visintainer composed a mini song “Andrà tutto bene” to inspire people during the pandemic.
“The Antoniano Institute of Bologna wants to make all the children of Italy sing a message of hope. I went to the piano and managed to write ‘Andrà tutto bene,'” Visintainer told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The song was soon widely spread on the internet, hundreds of children and choirs across Italy, even some from China, uploaded videos of them singing it.
“I am very happy because through a simple song all people can spread the message of solidarity,” Visintainer said, “And we are very happy that the Chinese community is very close to us in this dark moment.”
In the Facebook group “We applaud for Italy” that has gathered almost 700,000 users, people are posting stories and memes about the pandemic to cheer each other up. The administrator quoted a poem of Friedrich Nietzsche by saying that, “He who has a reason to live can bear almost anything.”
By Wednesday afternoon local time, Italy had confirmed 74,386 cases of the COVID-19 with a death toll of 7,503.

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