While being confined at home amid the coronavirus-led lockdown, Michele D’Alpaos, 38 laid eyes on Paola Agnelli, 40, around mid-March when she walked out of her balcony. Later that night, Agnelli spotted D’Alpaos on his terrace. For both, it was love at first sight.
Six months later, the lovers who live in Verona, Italy, are now engaged to be married. And now they are being called “Romeo and Juliet” of the coronavirus lockdown, based on Shakespeare’s popular play.
“I was immediately struck by the beauty of this girl, by her smile,” D’Alpaos was quoted as saying by The Washington Post.
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Agnelli stood directly across from her current fiance on her sixth-floor balcony while her sister performed a violin rendition of We Are The Champions as part of a nightly 6 pm musical performance, intended to uplift the quarantined neighborhood. A few minutes into the song, Agnelli caught D’Alpaos’ gaze.
“I immediately thought, ‘What a beautiful boy’,” she was quoted as saying. It was found that D’Alpaos’ sister knew Agnelli — the two worked out at the same gym before the lockdown.
D’Alpaos continued, “I started looking on all possible social networks. I saw that she had an Instagram profile, but I didn’t. In five minutes, I created an account.”
D’Alpaos began following her on Instagram. Soon, they started texting each other. And the conversations continued till late night. For 10 weeks, the relationship was confined to telephone calls and daily cross-balcony flirtation.
In an effort to put his love on full display, D’Alpaos hung an old bedsheet with “Paola” emblazoned in big, bold bubble letters from his apartment complex in late March. “It was such a lovely surprise,” said Agnelli, adding that the banner made her even more excited to meet her lover face to face. The couple finally met in early May, at a local park, and removed their masks to kiss.
By July, the couple had met each other’s families. “Such a thing has never happened to either of us. The sensations we are experiencing in this period are something we never felt before. We are more in love than ever,” said D’Alpaos.
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