They had been messaging each other until the early hours until they were able to meet each other, which finally happened on May 4.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on May 12, 2020. It has since been updated.
Most of us have heard the tragic Shakespearean love story of Romeo and Juliet. The ill-fated lovers die a horrible death in Verona, Italy but centuries after the bard wrote the play, a real-life Romeo-and-Juliet from Verona, Italy has warmed people's hearts. Their story ended in love rather than horrifying death.
Despite the difficult times in Italy due to the lockdown and thousands of deaths, people in Verona have been leaning on each other (metaphorically, of course) to get past this. People organized community concerts from their personal homes and balconies to entertain their neighborhoods. It was during one such community concerts, that Michele D’Alpaos, 38, an IT expert, and Paola Agnelli, 39, a lawyer, fell in love at first sight, as per The Times UK.
Paola was helping her sister, violinist, Lisa Agnelli, with the audio that fateful day. Lisa was performing a rendition of Queen's We Are The Champions, which caught Michele's attention, who lived across the street. He glanced upon Paola and was lost in her beauty, according to Daily Mail. She too saw him and her first thought was, "What a handsome man."
Lisa told BBC Radio Four, "Every day I play the violin on the balcony and on that day, March 17, my sister was helping me with the audio. Michele saw my sister and fell in love while I was playing We Are The Champions."
Paolo said, "I went out onto the balcony to see Lisa playing her violin and I saw Michele standing on the opposite balcony, I realized he was my friend Sylvia's brother." She described how the music was like an "arrow fired by Eros" when she saw her Romeo from her apartment, where she lives with her mother and sister. For Michele, "love was born" when he found out who Paola was from his sister Sylvia, who knows her from the gym.
He sent her a message on Instagram and they started messaging each other until the wee hours of the night. The first time he messaged her, they spoke "until the early hours." Many people are skeptics of love at first sight but they would find relief in the fact that this couple in their late 30s spent a lot of time talking about what's important to them. "We realized we shared the same values and that those would be a solid base for a relationship - we are both determined people but also kind and sensitive," said Paola.
He described their love story and what happened between them as "teenagers in love." He is so madly in love that he wanted to do something special for her. Unable to get a hold of a lot of resources, he used his bedsheet to proclaim his love for her publicly. He erected a huge banner on the top floor of his building with "Paola" written on it. Their neighbors have been trying to catch a sight of his proclamation.
"I was very moved by it. Michele knows how to caress my soul with his sweet words," the lawyer said.
It is incredible how destiny worked out for them since the couple has lived across each other for most of their lives but never met each other properly except for a chance meeting in 2019. The responsible couple had also vowed not to meet each other since they were maintaining the rules of social distancing. Michele works in a bank and interacts with many people, so he wanted to protect his Juliet.
He described his relationship as "magic" to BBC Radio 4 and revealed that he wanted to kiss her for an hour. The couple finally met on May 4 when the lockdown restrictions were eased. They met at a local park, where they spent time together. They removed their masks to finally be able to hug and kiss each other after longing for weeks.
"We were both nervous but it went really well — he was just like I imagined he would," she told The Times UK. They plan to move in together soon.