In recent months, Italian citizens have alternatively experienced a forced, total or partial, loss of their opportunities to go out and meet their social network or their reduction, according to the restrictions locally needed to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. The effects of these unprecedented circumstances and restrictions on their local community experience are still to be deepened. Consequently, this study investigated young citizens’ experiences of and attitudes towards their local communities of belonging after ten months of alternatively strict and partially eased restrictions. The World Café methodology was used to favor the exchange of ideas and open new viewpoints among participants. What emerged suggests that the communities of belonging may have worked as anchors to which young citizens clung as an attempt not to be overwhelmed by the disorientation brought about by the loss of their daily life (e.g., routines, life places, face-to-face sociability). On the one hand, this suggests that a renewed focus on local communities and a more involved way of living in them may stem from this tough time. On the other hand, these results point out the need for more meaningful and actively engaged people–community relationships as drivers for recovery processes under emergency circumstances.
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