Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 12, 2020

Lock down in Italy

We have just had our second day of lock down in Italy. We are asked to stay a home and leave only for essential things like buying food and necessities.

We also have to carry a form with our details and why we are away from our houses. I didn’t have a form, but yesterday I wanted to go down to our apartment in Bagni di Lucca. I bought the flowers for the bridge on Monday before lock down and could not plant them because it was raining.

I fully expected to be stopped by police before I got to Bagni di Lucca, but there was no roadblock so I went to the apartment, gathered a few extra things and planted the pansies on the bridge.

I had a quick coffee at the empty Bar Italia. Annalisa had done a great job to make sure people didn’t have to be close to each other. All the tables were pushed back from the bar and many had been removed to give plenty of space. That was the last day it was allowed to open. All bars and restaurants are now closed.

I bought some supplies from the great little fruit and vegetable shop next door where only one person at a time was allowed in.

Then I headed to the nursery on the way back to Vergemoli. Just before the turnoff to the nursery I came to a road block and was stopped by police. I was asked for the form which I didn’t have and explained that I don’t have a printer at home and did not know where to get one.

I gave him my identification and he asked me why I was away from home.  I said I had been shopping and had bought petrol. He let me off with a warning and told me to find a form.

After a bit of asking around I found a couple of forms in the village, so I am all set if I have to venture down the mountain again for supplies.

Casa Debbio is a 10 minute walk outside Vergemoli so it is easy to keep apart from people. Filippo comes up most days to help in the garden but we stay a fair distance from each other.

It is really no trial at all to be isolated at Casa Debbio. The garden is a delight and is changing every day.

There are daffodils everywhere.

Violets are popping up.

We have 4 weeping cherries. The first one was planted about 6 years ago and is about to look gorgeous.

One of the new ones already has blossoms.

Wild daisies are coming up all over the paths. They are tiny and I want them to spread everywhere.

The magnolia stellata has flowers.

I don’t remember the name of this bush, but it is covered in tiny white flowers.

Some peonies have buds. The tree peonies are the first to get flowers and the others are just poking their pink heads out of the ground. I actually have some tiny plants that seem to have grown from seed…amazing!

The rosemary is covered in flowers.

The holly has bright yellow flowers.

I hope the wisteria will soon start to bloom and cover the pergola.

The roses have buds.

One of my camellias has avoided being eaten by wild goats.

Hellebores are thriving under the cherry tree.

Acanthus is zooming along. This year for the first time plants are popping up all over the garden. Seeds must have been spread about. Tiny plants are growing where they are not wanted so I have been digging them up and putting them where I want them.

There have been some pretty sunrises.

We were very excited to spot the first bee 🐝 in the garden today…life goes on regardless of this horrible virus.

Stay healthy everyone.


  1. Well done Deb. The planting of the pansies on the bridge will brighten the village when they soon start flowering. Adore your flowers at Casa Debbio especially your magnolia and cherry blossoms.
    At least you have plenty to do at the house in the mountains and a beautiful view from every window.

    • I felt a bit like a criminal standing on the bridge planting flowers, but I didn’t want them to die inside the apartment and I think the village needs cheering up now.

  2. Good on you Debra! I thought you had finished doing the flowers on the bridge, but good news you haven’t! Will be a welcome sight for all. How weird are things at present, let’s hope soon for better news. Your house in the mountains looks like a wonderful place to be in “ lock down” best wishes

    • I have been putting the flowers on the bridge for 10 years. I like them there and nobody else seems to be interested.

  3. I love your sense of adventure and ability to talk yourself out of sticky situations!!!
    Well done Deb!! Glad you now have the correct document for the next escape.
    The garden is looking great and will be a great source of comfort during your lock in. Spring in the northern hemisphere is always spectacular … my favourite time.
    Stay well dear friend….xx

    • Spring here is just wonderful! Being confined to Casa Debbio is not bad at all.

  4. Keep sending these very interesting day by day occurrences of what it’s like over there in Bella Italia!

    • There may not be much to report from the mountain.

  5. Love you’re blog
    Thank you

    • Thank you for reading!

  6. Oh, rats! I should so much have liked to be in the garden at Vergemolli. You do seem to be in an idyllic spot in which to sit it out – do you have any vegetables you can pick at the moment? Safe sojourn.

    • I have only some garlic I planted in autumn. It is too early to plant tomatoes just yet and the wild goats, deer and porcupines mean there isn’t much point planting many other things.

  7. Living my dream.. do you just pinch yourself looking out over that view? Just beautiful..

    • I certainly don’t get tired of looking at the view. I feel very lucky.

  8. Wish you and everyone in your beautiful town well! Thank you for brightening my day with your lovely pictures.

    • Let’s hope this awful situation gets better soon.

  9. It is so lovely to see Casa Debbio coming into bloom. Hope the lock down has significant benefits and that Italy will be buzzing with tourists again soon. It must be very hard for small bars and restaurants like Bar Italia. Stay safe.

    • I feel for everyone who has a business here. I hope things will improve soon and they can reopen. I will have to get 2 coffees and 2 sfoglie every day for a while to catch up.

      • Two of each will not be too much of a inconvenience. If it helps you can imagine one of them is for me!

  10. You and Filippo do a amazing job.. Gorgeous flowers what a way to enjoy lockdown ..
    Stay safe ❤️

    • Thank you! I could not manage without Filippo.

  11. Good to hear from you Debra and know that life continues in your beautiful part of Italy. Stay safe, and best of luck with the lock down. Your garden is just beautiful 💕

    • Life goes on and I hope it gets better for everyone soon.

  12. I can’t think of a better place to spend a quarantine and you will enjoy working in the garden. Let’s hope that the virus will decide to leave soon…..

    • It is the right place to be. I feel for everyone whose lives are badly affected.

  13. Stay well in your wonderful surroundings!

    • Thank you! You too. This is going to be everywhere.

      • Well, quite.. Thankyou

  14. Debra, I am still following your blog and love your photos. I think you are in a good place for a lock down. My husband and I were going on a river cruise from Paris to Normandy later in April, but got word yesterday, that they cancelled it. We will reschedule. Besides spring, when is the best time to visit that area?

    • September is a lovely time to travel. The heat of summer is over and the crowds may be slightly less. I hope it works out for you.

  15. Be well and safe. Thank you for sharing the beginning of Spring!

    • Thank you for commenting. Spring is a lovely time.

  16. Thank you for describing what life is like in Italy at the moment. I think that may be the way we are headed although the govt here has shown poor leadership and direction so some of us are self isolating because we think that will help contain the virus.

    • Isolation is probably the best thing we can do to help.

  17. These posts have been really joyful, uplifting and a source of hope. We here in Toronto, are now facing many closures, disruptions and ‘new’ normals. It is school March break and after that there will be an additional 2 weeks closure. A weird time of ‘Sotto Sopra’,,,however I wanted you to know that your experiences, beautiful photos and police stops have proved to be so informative, narrowed the miles between us and provided a warm salve for us all…PLEASE continue to post, no matter if it’s your plate of pasta e faggioli, you capture a bee photo; anything ….it’s encouraging and VERY much appreciated. You’re Blessed…and, in turn, you bless us too, Thank you, with much gratitude!

    • Thank you for your comments. This is a difficult time for so many people who live here. The few people I have contact with are remaining positive and making the best of the situation. I hope the lock down doesn’t last too long.

  18. Nice one wish you and every one in your beautiful town well

    • People are resilient. At least it is spring is coming…something to look forward to.

  19. it was lovely to see such beautiful sites in Italy and I will consider coming to Italy for the summer .i hope life there is bearable in Italy .You are doing great keep it up . YAY.

    • I am lucky to be in a great position. I hope this passes quickly for people are badly affected.

  20. Convid19 will surely pass the earth is stronger than it

    • Yes, it will pass, leaving a big mess behind it.

  21. Wow, nice sunrise. That would be quite an experience, to enjoy a coffee, and watch the sunrise in Italy.

    • It is lovely, but I do feel for people badly affected by this crisis.

  22. My city just went on lock down, my school is closed and I have no job for the foreseeable future. this is a disaster.

    • This is a horrible situation! It is going to cause enormous problems for millions of people. I hope you come out OK at the other end.

  23. […] On March 12th I reported on our second day of lockdown. We were not allowed to leave home except to by food and necessities. I chose to stay at Casa Debbio instead of our apartment because at least I would be able to be outside in the garden as we have no houses near us. I left the house about once a week to go to the supermarket and that was it. Lock down in Italy […]

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: