Italy discovered its first COVID-19 infections a year ago. The outbreak led to the first nationwide lockdown outside of China and claimed more than 105,000 lives across the country. Life slowly tries to return to normal, but the country is still in the Red Zone after a year. With the magazine Der Spiegel we took a trip to the north of the country, which a year ago was the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic. With the testimonies of the protagonists of those terrible days, some gaps in the management of the pandemic emerged, thanks to this report the European Parliament has opened an investigation. A demanding job and I personally thank all the staff of CAPTA collective for their support, the journalist Alessandro Puglia and the editorial staff of Der Spiegel for the work done. For me, it is a privilege to have been part of this team.