Italian upholstery shop turned into masks workshop

A small family-run upholstery shop in the Tuscan city of Grosseto would usually spend its days fixing broken armchairs or transforming materials for sofas, but the coronavirus outbreak that has changed the lives of Italians across the country has also changed this shop's purpose.

Instead of household furniture, owner Adolfo Lettieri, his son Simone, and an army of volunteers, spend their days creating homemade protective face masks from materials they would usually use for upholstering in their workshop. They make around 1,500 each day, and hand them out to a long queue of Italians, who wait patiently - one meter apart - outside the shop.

Costs of hygiene products have risen steeply in Italy since the crisis first came to light on February 20, with pharmacies and stores rapidly selling out of masks and gels.

Lettieri tried to buy a mask but was told it cost 15 euro. This angered him, so he decided to create his own and make the struggle to find masks easier for residents in his community.