The outbreak of the Coronavirus in Naples, a metropolitan city in the south of Italy, has had one usual side effect. With the need for social distancing and minimal contact between people, some Neapolitans have revived the tradition of delivery baskets, which are lowered from balconies by those once unwilling to go up and down stairs.
The wooden or plastic basket is tied to a rope and lowered down to those delivering the shopping. The basket contains the money owed, which is taken by the delivery person and replaced with food and the change. The tradition fell out of favour about 20 years ago, partly because money sometimes got stolen out of the lowered baskets and partly because shops stopped delivering.
But it seems many people, particularly the elderly, had hung on to the baskets, stashing them away in cupboards. Now they’re putting them to good use to fight the spread of the virus. Shops have restarted home deliveries and the baskets have been dusted off.