Michele D’Alpaos and Paola Agnelli have lived across from each other for most of their lives, but it wasn’t until after the novel coronavirus pandemic began that they finally met.
Ironically, Italy’s lockdown ended up connecting the two! And their love story blossomed so perfectly it was as if Shakespeare wrote it himself.
Michele first noticed Paola back in March when their neighbors in Verona put on daily musical performances to spread cheer during quarantine. The latter stood near as her sister, Lisa, played “We Are The Champions” on her violin. Their balcony is directly across from Michele’s apartment building, making Paola hard to miss.
“I was immediately struck by the beauty of this girl, by her smile,” Michele told The Washington Post. “I had to know her.”
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When Paola spotted him watching, she “immediately thought, ‘What a beautiful boy.'”
As it turns out, Michele’s sister already knew Paola, as they’d previously worked out at the same gym! After learning her name, Michele created an Instagram account to follow her. They clicked right away, sometimes chatting until 3 a.m.! And before they knew it, they were in love.
While the pair couldn’t meet in person yet, they spent the next 10 weeks getting to know each other — and expressing their love from afar. Michele sent flowers, then hung a bedsheet with Paola’s name from his building…
…and Paola returned the gesture with her own sweet banner. Even with COVID-19 keeping them apart, their feeling grew stronger each day.
Finally, in May, the “Romeo and Juliet of lockdown” met face-to-face in a local park and sealed this new beginning with a kiss. It didn’t take long after that for them to realize they were meant to be. Now they’re engaged and hoping to exchange vows in the same spot they met — Michele’s balcony!
Being stuck inside for months was no picnic, but neither of the two can deny it’s what helped them find each other.
“Such a thing has never happened to either of us. The sensations we are experiencing in this period is something we never felt before,” Michele said. “We are more in love than ever.”
What a beautiful — and unlikely — romance! It just goes to show that even in a middle of a pandemic, love brings people together.
Share this story as a reminder that love always finds a way.
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