Without Tourism, Life in a Tuscan Village Slides Back in Time

The sharp drop in visitors since the start of the pandemic pressed this small community in the hills of Chianti to cling to the essentials: the pharmacy, the food store and agriculture. CASTELLINA IN CHIANTI, Italy — For decades, the rolling hills of Chianti in Tuscany have been a holiday destination for tourists from all…

Tourism Life a Tuscan Village Slides
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For me, this is home.

I remember strolling through the streets as a young girl in the summers, surrounded by northern European visitors. My first job was at a local tourism office, where I helped travelers with their assorted accents look for paper maps of the area. Hotels filled up quickly in those days.

More than 114,000 tourists passed through my village in 2019, and the number was even higher in previous years.

But the pandemic which has unsettled the globe and taken more than 75,000 lives in Italy alone has brought tourism to a halt across the country and in my village, Castellina in Chianti, a hamlet of 2,800. This year, foreigners, who usually would be sipping espressos on the local bar's terrace or grocery shopping at the farmers' market, are nowhere to be seen. And without them, the town seems to have slid back in time.

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Read original at The New York Times | World

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