‘My street came alive’: Rome sings anthem from balconies during lockdown

People in Rome congregated on their balconies to sing the Italian national anthem during the coronavirus pandemic.

In the three weeks since the country identified its first virus cluster, Italy has passed 17,000 confirmed cases, with more than 1,200 deaths, and the government has ordered an unprecedented lockdown, ordering businesses to close and restricting movement.

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Italians sing from balconies during lockdown
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Italians sing from balconies during lockdown
People in Italy singing in their flats. (@yemi_adeyeye)
Opera singer Laura Baldassari leans out of her window to sing during a flash mob launched throughout Italy to bring people together and try to cope with the emergency of coronavirus, in Milan, Italy, Friday, March 13, 2020. Italians have been experiencing yet further virus-containment restrictions after Premier Giuseppe Conte ordered restaurants, cafes and retail shops closed after imposing a nationwide lockdown on personal movement. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
People applauds next to an Italian flag as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
Opera singer Laura Baldassari leans out of her window to sing during a flash mob launched throughout Italy to bring people together and try to cope with the emergency of coronavirus, in Milan, Italy, Friday, March 13, 2020. Italians have been experiencing yet further virus-containment restrictions after Premier Giuseppe Conte ordered restaurants, cafes and retail shops closed after imposing a nationwide lockdown on personal movement. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italians doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 14, 2020, in Rome, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italians doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 14, 2020, in Rome, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
Opera singer Laura Baldassari leans out of her window to sing during a flash mob launched throughout Italy to bring people together and try to cope with the emergency of coronavirus, in Milan, Italy, Friday, March 13, 2020. Italians have been experiencing yet further virus-containment restrictions after Premier Giuseppe Conte ordered restaurants, cafes and retail shops closed after imposing a nationwide lockdown on personal movement. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A girl sings from the window during the flash mob, March 13, 2020. Some people have organized a flash mob asking to stand on the balcony and sing or play something, to make people feel united in the quarantine. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A girl sings from the window during the flash mob, March 13, 2020. Some people have organized a flash mob asking to stand on the balcony and sing or play something, to make people feel united in the quarantine. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A woman clap her hands as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
An italian Carabinieri car checks the traffic of the street around ancient Colosseum, in central Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A man wearing a protective mask walks in Valencia on March 14, 2020 as Spain confirmed more than 1,500 new cases of coronavirus between Friday and Saturday raising its total to 5,753 cases, the second-highest number in Europe after Italy. - The country is expected to declare a state of alert to try to mobilise resources to combat the virus, which has so far killed 136 people in Spain. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP) (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)
OLBIA, ITALY - MARCH 14: A man waits seated wearing the protective mask at the port of Olbia on March 14, 2020 in Olbia, Italy. (Photo by Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images)
OLBIA, ITALY - MARCH 14: A doctor measures the body temperature to a volunteer at the Port of Olbia on March 14, 2020 in Olbia, Italy. (Photo by Emanuele Perrone/Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands next to a banner reading "hashtag #andratuttobene" (#everythingsgonnabeallright) as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A man waves from his balcony as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
People applauds next to an Italian flag as part of a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
A man waves next to a sign reading "Noi ce la faremo" (we're gonna make it), during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
ROMA, ITALY - 2020/03/14: Empty street of Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome after the Italian Government Law Decree of 11 March 2020 which establishes the closure of shops and the prohibition of people leaving the house except for work or mandatory reasons, due to the epidemic of the Covid-19. (Photo by Matteo Nardone/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A person waves and claps her hands next to a peace flag reading "hastag #andratuttobene" (#everythingsgonnabeallright), during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A person waves and claps her hands, during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome, on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - People wave and clap their hands during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands, during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
A person wave and clap her hands, during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
People wave and clap their hands, during a flash mob "Un applauso per l'Italia" (An applause for Italy) at the Garbatella district in Rome on March 14, 2020, during the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus. - Italy reacts with the solidarity of flash mobs circulating on social media to make people "gather" on balconies at certain hours, to play music or to get a round of applause. (Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP) (Photo by ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP via Getty Images)
Banner hung on the balconies in the city with the words 'will be all right' following the spread of the Coronavirus in Lanciano, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Federica Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Banner hung on the balconies in the city with the words 'will be all right' following the spread of the Coronavirus in Lanciano, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Federica Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Banner hung on the balconies in the city with the words 'will be all right' following the spread of the Coronavirus in Lanciano, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Federica Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Banner hung on the balconies in the city with the words 'will be all right' following the spread of the Coronavirus in Lanciano, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Federica Roselli/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: A woman applauds from a window during a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: People applaud from windows and balconies during a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: A woman applauds from a balcony during a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: A man and a woman applaud from a balcony during a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: A man sets Italian flags on a balcony minutes before a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY, MARCH 14: A woman applauds from a window during a flash mob called through social media and messaging platforms, aimed to thank physicians, nurses, health workers and volunteers engaged in the fight against coronavirus, in Rome, Italy, on March 14, 2020. (Photo by Riccardo De Luca/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: A woman smiles and gestures above poster that says "Everything will be fine" during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: A girl blows bubbles while standing above poster that says "Everything will be fine" during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italian doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italian doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: A lone figure walks past the area near the church of the Gran Madre di Torino area during the lockdown to halt the spread of the coronovirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: A lone figure walks past the area near the church of the Gran Madre di Torino area during the lockdown to halt the spread of the coronovirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MARCH 14: A view of the Turin skyline with the background the Mole Antonelliana during the lockdown to halt the spread of the coronovirus on March 14, 2020 in Turin, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italians doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 14, 2020, in Rome, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 14: People applaud Italians doctors during a flash mob to raise morale as the lockdown continues due to the coronavirus outbreak on March 14, 2020, in Rome, Italy. The Italian Government has taken the unprecedented measure of a nationwide lockdown by closing all businesses except essential services such as, pharmacies, grocery stores, hardware stores and tobacconists and banks, in an effort to fight the world's second-most deadly coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak outside of China. The movements in and out are allowed only for work and health reasons proven by a medical certificate. The number of confirmed cases of the Coronavirus COVID-19 disease in Italy has jumped up to at least 14955 while the death toll has surpassed 1266. (Photo by Antonio Masiello/Getty Images)
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But residents showed solidarity by singing and playing music from their homes to one another, as well as belting out the national anthem.

"I received a circulating message, forwarded to me by a friend... which is basically encouraging Italians to participate in a kind of flash mob on Friday 13 at 6pm," said Rome resident Yemi Adeyeye.

"My street came alive at that time. It was a euphoric moment," the 32-year-old told the PA news agency.

The idea reportedly started on social media, with musicians around the country proposing to sing the national anthem on Friday evening.

For Mehmet, 26, living in the capital, the experience was an emotional one.

"It was super emotional for me," he said. "Because now I live alone in Rome and that's not easy when you're under quarantine."

Mehmet said other songs will be sung each day, and others agreed that the outpouring of music was important in showing unity.

Jessica Phelan, 34, from St Albans, has lived in Rome for two and a half years, and witnessed her neighbours singing.

"It was very friendly – people were waving, saying ciao, calling out 'a domani' (see you tomorrow) afterwards," she said.

"I think it shows that people will continue to seek community, even if they can't socialise – it's a way to say we're all in it together."

Videos on social media also showed communities across the country playing music for one another on instruments as the country remained on lockdown.

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