The city of Padua, one of the largest metropolitan areas in northern Italy, was destined to become the center of the outbreak. Nearly four months after the country's first death, the disease is not defeated, but here, in Padua, there is a noticeable slowdown. One of the largest in Italy, the hospital in Padua employs 7,276. Only 18 were ever infected.
Touring the Padua hospital offers a glimpse at how proactive planning (the hospital bought several million test kits in February when the virus broke outside of China) and strict lockdown measures have led to supreme dominance over the disease and stifling it. The hospital sits at the heart of the city, something of a common area and lifeline to the college, of which its part, and the city.
But beyond Padua, the lessons learned across greater Italy can help countries struggling to restart their economies after crippling lockdowns and tens of thousands of deaths.