Italy’s South Tyrol invokes autonomy to pry open lockdown

BOLZANO, Italy (AP) — Words of resistance written in fire burned on a mountainside in Italy’s South Tyrol province this month. The flaming letters spelled out ‘’Away from Rome’’ and ‘’Freedom’’ in German. In decades past, these were rallying cries of movements demanding independence for the region’s German-speaking majority.. Now, they oppose the Italian government’s lockdown orders to slow the coronavirus. Facing economic pressure, South Tyrol’s governor defied Rome this week by allowing restaurants, hair salons, tattoo parlors and museums to reopen well ahead of the national government’s timetable. The leader of a cultural association that aims to preserve Tyrolean customs and which sees Rome as a foreign power took credit for igniting the flames as a ’’peaceful message.″