Home Covid-19 The bar in Rome for those who are fed up with talking...

The bar in Rome for those who are fed up with talking about the coronavirus

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“It is forbidden to speak of the coronavirus,” warns a sign in the Feeling bar in Rome, which shows its owner, Cristina Mattioli (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)

The message is clear and can be seen on the counter on a poster: “It is forbidden to talk about the coronavirus.” In a small bar and cafeteria in Rome, the owner decided to offer “serenity” your clients by preventing them from tackling that omnipresent and distressing topic.

“We have been talking about the same for months, so we have chosen to calm the atmosphere and face the situation with a smile and a bit of serenity and lightness”, explained Cristina Mattioli, manager of Feeling, who devised the initiative.

Italy, the first European country to be hit by the coronavirus, has registered more than 1.3 million infected since the beginning of the pandemic in March and almost 48,000 deaths.

“Receiving with a smile and lightness seemed like a good idea to face this situation,” says Cristina, a 35-year-old dynamic and sporty woman.

“But we do not deny the current situation, we are not deniers, it is simply a way of finding a bit of serenity ”, emphasizes.

"We do not deny the current situation, we are not deniers, it is simply a way to find a bit of serenity"says its owner.
“We do not deny the current situation, we are not deniers, it is simply a way to find a bit of serenity,” says its owner.

To help her clients, Cristina installed another poster with suggestions: “Ideas for conversation topics: news, famous people lives, history, general knowledge.”

Bruna Piazza, a regular customer of the bar where lottery tickets are also sold, is delighted with the initiative: “We are tired of talking about the covid, wherever we go, we only talk about it”she laments as she puts her wallet in her purse.

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“I want to talk about everything but that, I prefer to talk about the weather, celebrities …”explains the 58-year-old woman, readjusting her mask.

Cristina, who works among the few tables installed both indoors and outdoors, confirms that “her customers have reacted positively” to the ban.

“At first they laughed. ‘We like it, at least we forget a bit about the situation we are experiencing’, they often say ”, the owner says with satisfaction.

“Solve the problem, don’t talk about it”

In the cafeteria area, which must close at 6 p.m. by order of the government as a measure to curb contagion, Maurizio Ciocari, 63, a female hairdresser, applauds Cristina’s idea while tasting cakes and sandwiches.

“It is a wise initiative, even indispensable”, he assures.

“We must stop talking about the problem, we must solve it,” recommends the hairdresser, with glasses and long hair, among workers affected by the pandemic due to the reduction in the number of clients.

“When it’s too much, it’s too much,” he says, proposing a series of talking points.

“Here we talk about everything, I love music, I am a rock lover”, he assures applying the suggestion.

“Many customers have found this initiative nice and fun, I thought it was smart,” says Maurizio, who also admires the “serene atmosphere” that reigns in his favorite bar, with its purple walls and hanging wooden tea boxes on the wall.

What if a customer accidentally mentions the prohibited topic?

Cristina opted for a soft method: “There are no sanctions, but I remind clients that we cannot talk about it here, or make predictions about whether we are going to be confined or not, for example”, Explain.

News, life of famous people, history, general knowledge, are some of the topics that Cristina suggests for the conversation
News, life of famous people, history, general knowledge, are some of the topics that Cristina suggests for the conversation

“At first I had to call some to order. Some make it (avoid the topic), others can be seen to be fighting to comply with the rule ”, he acknowledges with a smile.

Moved by curiosity, some customers have come in for coffee and at the end “they congratulate us on our initiative”, says Cristina, who has inspired other colleagues: “The owner of a cafeteria in Trentino [noreste] He also exhibits the same posters, but he called me to ask for permission, ”he proudly confesses.

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