Italy: gyms reopen as lockdown eases | AFP

In Rome’s historic Trastevere district, members of a CrossFit gym return after almost two months away. A week after Italy allowed bars and restaurants to restart, fitness centres are also opening their doors again, albeit requiring a reservation. A massive 18 million people attend around 8,000 gyms in Italy, according to the Istat statistics institute. Only two regions have delayed the reopening, Lombardy (north) on 31 May and Basilicata (south) on 3 June.

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AP Top Stories May 19 P

Here’s the latest for Tuesday, May 19th: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin defends White House reopening efforts; China criticizes Trump’s W.H.O threat; Vice President Mike Pence previews return to space; Rome reopens some museums.

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Rome’s Galleria Borghese museum reopens | AFP

The Galleria Borghese museum in Rome, famed for its Bernini statues, reopens after more than two months of lockdown. It’s the first museum in Rome to reopen as Italy gradually reopens public spaces under strict health guidelines as the country slowly eases confinement measures. IMAGES

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Rome bars and restaurants gradually reopen | AFP

Masked waiters in Rome’s Via Borgo Pio stand outside their respective establishments eager to fill their terraces with customers. Romans however do not seem to be in a hurry to return to socialising as usual as the end of the lockdown accelerates with the resumption of masses and the timid reopening of shops, cafés and terraces. IMAGES

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Christian masses resume in Rome | AFP

Churches reopen in Rome as images from inside Santa Maria in Transpontina’s church near the Vatican show worshippers returning to pray. IMAGES

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What’s the buzz? Happy locked-down Roman bees to tell all | AFP

While most Romans found Italy’s coronavirus quarantine a real buzz-kill, the city’s bees had a field day. Even as Rome endured a recently ended two-month lockdown, some lucky bees residing in hives atop the headquarters of Italy’s forestry unit of carabinieri were thriving.

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What’s the buzz? Happy locked-down Roman bees to tell all | AFP

While most Romans found Italy’s coronavirus quarantine a real buzz-kill, the city’s bees had a field day. Even as Rome endured a recently ended two-month lockdown, some lucky bees residing in hives atop the headquarters of Italy’s forestry unit of carabinieri were thriving.

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‘Like the first time’: Italian surfers return to the waves after lockdown eased | AFP

Italian surfers return to the waves in Ladispoli, in the Rome region, where professional and amateur surfers are enjoying getting back to their sport after the world’s longest nationwide lockdown restricted outdoor exercise. “The fact of being able to immerse yourself and be in the waves felt like I was doing it for the first time,” local surfer Piero Capannini says.

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Italy kitesurfers fly again as lockdown loosens | AFP

For these Italian kitesurfers, the taste of freedom on the waves is even sweeter as they take to seas for the first time after two months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some local authorities have yet to lift all confinement measures, in Ladispoli, some 40 kilometres from Rome, the beach has reopened, much to the joy of the kiters.

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Rome restaurants open offering take-away as city enters ‘Phase Two’ | AFP

Rome restaurants are open for business as the country enters ‘Phase Two’ of its virus confinement measures, with establishments offering take-away options only. IMAGES

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Rome’s cafes, restaurants reopen for takeaways

Italy has begun easing key restrictions after a two-month coronavirus shutdown. 4.4 million Italians are able to return to work and some limits on movement have been removed in the first European country to impose a lockdown during the pandemic. (May 4)

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Romans cheer from their windows ahead of partial lockdown easing | AFP

Residents in Rome clap ahead of a partial easing of strict coronavirus measures on Monday after a two-month shutdown. The easing will see Italians be able to visit parks and their nearby relatives for the first time in nine weeks.

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Romans fly flags and sing ‘Bella Ciao’ from windows to mark Liberation Day | AFP

Residents of a building in Rome wave Italian flags and sing along to ‘Bella Ciao’ to celebrate Liberation Day. The national Italian holiday commemorate the end of Nazi occupation during World War II and the victory of the Resistance in Italy. IMAGES

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Coronavirus: in Rome, ‘Manu’ the nurse fights for her patients everyday | AFP

“Manu” the nurse fights day to day to save lives in the COVID Intensive Care Unit of Dr. Marco Carosella in Rome. The situation is “stable”, comments the relieved Dr. Carosella at the end of his service at the San Filippo Neri Hospital. For the first time in Italy, the number of patients is falling.

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Escapist romantic comedy ‘Love Wedding Repeat’ hitting Netflix

Filming in Rome plus funny script: Sam Claflin, Olivia Munn talk making “Love Wedding Repeat.” (April 17)

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Coronavirus: In Rome, bookshops remain closed but books can still come to you | AFP

Italy’s bookshops are allowed to reopen from today, as the government slowly eases the coronavirus lockdown, but many remain wary. Despite the decision by the central government, officials in hard-hit northern regions including Lombardy and Piedmont have refused to resume business. In Rome, where the bookshops are still ordered to remain closed, owners are trying to keep their businesses afloat by offering home deliveries.

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As Romans are confined, birds are thriving in Italy’s capital | AFP

The coronavirus has emptied the streets and parks of Rome, leaving space for birds to thrive. An ornithologist takes AFP on a visit to the Villa Borghese, in the heart of the Italian capital.

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Coronavirus: Italy’s COVID-19 doctors, nurses receive psychological help to cope with strain | AFP

A hospital in Rome is offering relaxation sessions and a chance to offload through “emotional defusing” for its doctors and nurses working on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. As well as dealing with patients in intensive care, some staff have chosen to live apart from their families to minimise the risk of them infecting loved ones. Tor Vergata Hospital is hoping to alleviate the psychological toll all this can take with special support.

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Nurses and doctors gear up for intensive care unit at Rome COVID-19 Hospital | AFP

At the COVID-19 Hospital Policlinico di Tor Vergata in Rome, nurses and doctors are at war against the novel coronavirus, gearing up before entering the intensive care unit.

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Coronavirus: Rome empty, nearly one month after start of lockdown | AFP

The streets of Rome are empty of people, nearly one month after the beginning of a total lockdown put in place in Italy to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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Coronavirus: Piazza di Spagna in Rome almost deserted as death toll surpasses 10,000 | AFP

Images from a deserted Piazza di Spagna as Italy’s death toll tops 10,000 despite a 16-day lockdown. Its toll from the past three days alone reached 2,520 — higher than the total number of deaths in the United States and France. Italy now looks certain to extend its economically debilitating — and emotionally stressful — ban on public gatherings and business closures past the April 3 deadline. IMAGES

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