Overall Situation in Italy

Table of Contents



This page contains various plots generated using Org Mode and R: no fancy web services, just plain-old off-line generation. On top of being an interesting exercise on R and literate programming in Emacs, I use this page to get an idea of the evolution of the pandemic in Italy.

This page was created on <2020-03-28 Sat> and regularly updated since then.

R Functions

This section contains the code for plotting data. The function my_plot plots different variables of an input dataframe over time, optionally filtering over region, which is the denomination of an Italian region.

The optional argument max defines the maximum value for the x-axis, while the optional Boolean arguments textlabels and filter control, respectively, whether text labels are printed on graphs and data has to be filtered by Region.

Finally, the optional arguments variables, graphtypes, and colors are vectors, defining, respectively, the variables to plot, the type of plot, and the colors used.

my_plot <- function(region, data, max=-1, textlabels=TRUE, filter=FALSE, 
                    variables  = c("totale_casi", "nuovi_positivi", "totale_positivi", "deceduti", "dimessi_guariti"),
                    graphtypes = c("l", "h", "l", "l", "l"),
                    colors     = c("red", "black", "orange", "slategrey", "forestgreen")) {
  par(cex=1.40, las=2)

  # if asked to filter, filter data according to region
  if (filter) {
    dataframe <- subset(data, denominazione_regione == region)
  else {
    dataframe <- data

  if (max == -1) {

       xlim=c(min(data$data), max(data$data)),
       main = region,

  axis.Date(1, at=dataframe$data, by="days", format="%b %d")

  # do the plots, now
  for (i in 1:length(variables)) {
    lines(x=dataframe$data, y=dataframe[, variables[i]],
    if (textlabels) {
      text(x=dataframe$data, y=dataframe[, variables[i]], 
           label=dataframe[, variables[i]], 

  values = sprintf("(%s)", dataframe[nrow(dataframe), variables])
  legend("topleft", legend=paste(variables, values), col=colors, lty=1, cex=1.6)
  grid(col = "lightgray")

Then we read the data from the CSV files of the Civil Protection repository:

# evolution over time, by Region
data = read.csv(file.path(PATH, "dpc-covid19-ita-regioni.csv"))
data$data <- as.Date(data$data)

# evolution over time at the National level
national = read.csv(file.path(PATH, "dpc-covid19-ita-andamento-nazionale.csv"))
national$data <- as.Date(national$data)

# latest regional data
latest = read.csv(file.path(PATH, "dpc-covid19-ita-regioni-latest.csv"))
latest$data <- as.Date(national$data)

We are now ready to print and plot the data.

This Week in Italy

cols = c(
labels = c(
  "In hospitals with symptoms", 
  "In ICUs",
  "Total hospitalized",
  "Quarantined at home", 
  "Active cases",
  "New cases",
  "Total number of cases"

Today = unlist(national[nrow(national), cols])
Yesterday = unlist(national[nrow(national) - 1, cols])
TwoDaysAgo = unlist(national[nrow(national) - 2, cols])
ThreeDaysAgo = unlist(national[nrow(national) - 3, cols])
FourDaysAgo = unlist(national[nrow(national) - 4, cols])
FiveDaysAgo = unlist(national[nrow(national) - 5, cols])

output_frame <- data.frame(labels, FiveDaysAgo, FourDaysAgo, ThreeDaysAgo, TwoDaysAgo, Yesterday, Today)
colnames(output_frame) <- rev(seq(Sys.Date(), by="-1 day", length.out=7))
colnames(output_frame)[1] <- "Label"
Label 2022-04-07 2022-04-08 2022-04-09 2022-04-10 2022-04-11 2022-04-12
In hospitals with symptoms 10164 10078 10102 10023 10038 10256
In ICUs 466 471 462 462 465 466
Total hospitalized 10630 10549 10564 10485 10503 10722
Quarantined at home 1263227 1242507 1239043 1227380 1236053 1222040
Active cases 1273857 1253056 1249607 1237865 1246556 1232762
New cases 69278 69596 66535 63992 51376 28368
Recovered 13601834 13692608 13763554 13839605 13884744 13927128
Deaths 160252 160402 160546 160658 160748 160863
Total number of cases 15035943 15106066 15173707 15238128 15292048 15320753

Variations with respect to previous day

We now plot the variations in the last week, that is the difference between a day and the previous day. In many cases, the lower the number, the better. In other cases (e.g., Recovered), the higher, the better.

Diff4 = FourDaysAgo - FiveDaysAgo
Diff3 = ThreeDaysAgo - FourDaysAgo
Diff2 = TwoDaysAgo - ThreeDaysAgo 
Diff1 = Yesterday - TwoDaysAgo
Diff0 = Today - Yesterday

diff_frame <- data.frame(labels, Diff4, Diff3, Diff2, Diff1, Diff0)
labels Diff4 Diff3 Diff2 Diff1 Diff0
In hospitals with symptoms -86 24 -79 15 218
In ICUs 5 -9 0 3 1
Total hospitalized -81 15 -79 18 219
Quarantined at home -20720 -3464 -11663 8673 -14013
Active cases -20801 -3449 -11742 8691 -13794
New cases 318 -3061 -2543 -12616 -23008
Recovered 90774 70946 76051 45139 42384
Deaths 150 144 112 90 115
Total number of cases 70123 67641 64421 53920 28705

See also the historical series of new cases in Italy.

Situation in Italy

Overall Situation

Evolution over time.

my_plot("Italia", national, textlabels=FALSE)


Breakdown of Quarantine

It tells where people with COVID-19 are spending their quarantine, that is, a breakdown of the “yellow” line of the previous plot.

The blue line is the number of people hospedalized during the (first) lockdown. Now the capacity of the health system should be higher, but it seems something to look at (although the situation differs from region to region).

          max(national$isolamento_domiciliare), textlabels=FALSE, filter=FALSE, 
          variables=c("ricoverati_con_sintomi", "terapia_intensiva", "totale_ospedalizzati", "isolamento_domiciliare"),  
          graphtypes=c("l", "l", "l", "l", "h"),
          colors=c("#FECEAB", "#EC2049", "#E84A5F", "#A7226E"))
abline(h = national[38,]$totale_ospedalizzati, col="#330000", lwd=2, lty=3)
abline(v = as.Date("2020-10-25"), col="#330000", lwd=2, lty=3)


Focus on Trentino, Liguria, Veneto and Lombardia

Situation in Trentino

my_plot("P.A. Trento", data, filter=TRUE, textlabels=FALSE)


Situation in Liguria

my_plot("Liguria", data, filter=TRUE, textlabels=FALSE)


Situation in Veneto

my_plot("Veneto", data, filter=TRUE, textlabels=FALSE)


Situation in Lombardia

my_plot("Lombardia", data, filter=TRUE, textlabels=FALSE)


Situation by Region

Situation by Region

# how many rows and columns?
par(mfrow=c(11, 2))

max <- max(data$totale_casi)

regions <- c("Valle d'Aosta", "Piemonte", "Liguria", "Lombardia", "Veneto",
             "P.A. Trento", "P.A. Bolzano", "Friuli Venezia Giulia",
             "Emilia-Romagna", "Toscana", "Marche", "Umbria",
             "Lazio", "Abruzzo", "Molise", "Campania",
             "Puglia", "Basilicata", "Calabria", "Sicilia",
for (region in regions) {
    region, data, filter=TRUE, textlabels=FALSE,
          variables=c("totale_casi", "totale_positivi", "deceduti", "dimessi_guariti"),
          max = max,
          graphtypes=c("l", "l", "l", "l"),
          colors=c("red", "orange", "slategrey", "forestgreen"))


The source code available on the COVID-19 pages is distributed under the MIT License; the content is distributed under a Creative Commons - Attribution 4.0.