Love in the time of coronavirus took on a Shakespearean twist in Italy when a couple who fell in love across balconies during lockdown kissed for the first time this week.
Michele D’Alpaos, 38, and Paola Agnelli, 39, met close up for the first time as the country started to relax its lockdown on Monday.
The couple’s love had drawn widespread comparisons with Romeo and Juliet as they fell for each other as people congregated on balconies in Verona — the city where the passionate tale is based.
As they came down from their respective homes, they were able to look closer into each other’s eyes.
“We were both nervous but it went really well — he was just like I imagined he would be,” Agnelli told U.K. paper The Times Tuesday.
“It was wonderful to finally meet her, she is more beautiful than I thought,” added Mr. D’Alpaos, an IT expert.
Although he lives at home with his parents, he had already bought an apartment and the couple is planning to move in together soon, The Times reported.
They first noticed each other when Agnelli’s sister Lisa entertained people with her violin playing.
“As I was listening to her, I turned around and saw this really handsome man on the opposite balcony and I thought, ‘He’s cute,’” she told the BBC last month.
D’Alpaos told the broadcaster, “I first noticed the violinist and then I saw this beautiful woman standing next to her. It was love at first sight. So I looked her up on social media and sent her a message. I could write a book, Love in the Time of Coronavirus.”
The authorities in Italy had said that people who had a close “stable bond” could meet up once the restrictions were partially lifted.
“We discussed it because we didn’t want to end up being punished, rather like Shakespeare’s characters,” Agnelli said. “But we decided we fit the bill, and got closer than a meter at our meeting.”
Gradually, Lisa played tunes for them both, and as they got to know each other, they talked about meeting up in the local park, or sitting on a bench and simply talking. This week, they got their wish.
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