Last Sunday was a quintessential autumn day: turning leaves, the occasional red vine and fast-paced clouds releasing rainfall or revealing sunshine. I was in Poggibonsi, halfway between Florence and Siena, for a tennis tournament as the news broke about the tighter measures being brought in by the Italian government to combat Covid-19. Eateries closing at 6pm; the shuttering of theatres and cinemas; no more gym or pool time; increased distance learning and home working; strong recommendations not to travel or socialize, even in our own four walls: the mood was grim and the debate was heated. Packing my racket back in my bag, I decided to drive by piazzale Michelangelo because, as a non-Florence resident, who knows when I might see it again. Ambling around the viale, the entire valley was pure gold, the Duomo dazzling in all its glory. Beauty is an antidote, it’s the one certainty we have in these uncertain times.