When the Italian government announced draconian lockdown measures last week, it only allowed shops selling essential items to remain open. These commercial activities included supermarkets, pharmacies, and newsagents.
Many Italians were sceptical about the vital importance of newsagents, joking about the necessity of buying cigarettes during a coronavirus crisis. But with Italy home to one of the oldest populations in Europe, newsagents hold a fundamental role in society.
A large proportion of older generation Italians are having to keep up to date with the latest restrictions and developments of the coronavirus via printed newspapers. While the government streams live press conferences over Facebook and tweets about lockdown rules, it still relies on written printed press reports to reach some citizens.
Italians are particularly fond of stopping by the edicola, which is a newspaper stand or kiosk. They are ubiquitous in Italy, peppering the streets and squares of all Italian towns.