The village of Vertova – with its ancient stone houses northeast of Milan – has 4,600 inhabitants and usually sees around 60 deaths the entire year. But the coronavirus epidemic has claimed the lives of 36 villagers in just 23 days.

“It’s worse than the war,” Gualdi told AFP in one of the village’s empty squares. Four freshly made coffins are bunched together near the entrance of a chapel nearby.
They are waiting to be cremated and then buried in the cemetery in the back.Funerals have been banned for weeks and the ceremony will be a muted affair attended by caretakers wrapped in protective suits and masks.
The cemetery itself remains closed to the villagers because public gathering are banned — so grieving for your loved ones with flowers at their grave is no longer allowed.