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Sto Distante installation
Photograph: Francesco Noferini

This Italian piazza has installed a very pretty social-distancing grid

A lattice-like artwork in a Tuscan square aims to help locals keep two metres apart

Huw Oliver

As towns and cities come out of lockdown the world over, cooped-up citizens are emerging from their houses and reclaiming public spaces with a sense of wide-eyed wonder. Yet if this rediscovered freedom is to last, we still need to keep our distance from others – and one Italian town has come up with an ingenious way to help.

With Tuscans still required to stay 1.8 metres apart in public spaces, the cobbles of Piazza Giotto in the town of Vicchio near Florence, have been overlaid with a lattice-like artwork of white squares reminding them just what that distance actually looks like. The temporary installation, which design practice Caret Studio have called ‘StoDistante’ (‘I’m keeping my distance’), aims to help people navigate the town’s central square safely until the regional authorities lift social-distancing measures.

Already kids have started using the grid as a socially-distant playground, while elderly locals have stopped to converse from one white square to another. The designers say that as rules on public gatherings are relaxed over the coming weeks, the town plans to use StoDistante to help maintain distancing at outdoor religious services and even open-air film screenings. Once the 1.8-metre guidance is finally eased, the paint will be removed.

Fortunately, as public health installations go, it’s pretty photogenic. We really wouldn’t mind if this sort of artwork cropped up in a square near us.

StoDistante installationPhotograph: Francesco Noferini

StoDistante installationPhotograph: Francesco Noferini

StoDistante installationPhotograph: Francesco Noferini

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