"Why didn't we get out?" Kate Langbroek admits she wishes she left Italy before lockdown.

Kate Langbroek has been in lockdown in Italy for more than six weeks now.

Holed up in her home in Bologna with husband Pete Lewis and four kids since March 9, the Australian radio host has been closely watching how her home country has been flattening the curve of COVID-19.

And she wishes she was here.

Kate Langbroek on The Project. Post continues below video.

Video via Channel 10

Speaking on The Project on Thursday night, Langbroek scoffed when asked if she regretted her decision to remain in Italy throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said Australia was doing “really well” compared to Italy, which has recorded more than 25,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

“Obviously you are following Australia and how we’re doing, we’re kind of smashing it to be honest,” The Project co-host Peter Helliar said. “Are you looking at us going, ‘Maybe we should have returned earlier… Why didn’t we get out?’,” he asked.

“What do you think, Helliar?” Langbroek quickly responded.

“You are one of the people on the lifeboat on the Titanic yelling out at the band as the boat goes down, ‘Do you wish you were in here, mate?’,” she joked.

“Thanks for the comfort.”


Langbroek joked that in her 48 days of lockdown, she has developed a fear of going outside.

She also said she’d stopped learning Italian as she felt “frozen in this weirdly interior world” where she spoke predominately English, to her family and to her friends in Australia.

“When I venture outside I realise I’m in a very strange land. And it’s a very, very strange land.”

“People use this opportunity to improve themselves, like you have just shown people being creative and people singing songs with their kids and TikTok-ing and la-la. I’m not one of those people,” she said.

“You get to know yourself under these circumstances, and my God, I’m an ordinary person. I’m just churning out meals, trying to keep the spirits up, but I’m not learning Italian.”

Last week Langbroek tolf FOX FM about her family’s run ins with Italian law enforcement.

Langbroek said a simple outing ended to buy Easter eggs on Good Friday ended up with an “aggressive” run in with Italian police, who said she and husband Peter Lewis were not allowed to be outside together.

“Italians have that knack. They can look at us and know we are not Italian,” she explained to radio hosts Dave Hughes and Ed Kavalee.

“I was so annoyed. I hate the one-size-fits-all rule. I said, ‘I’ve got four children at home, that’s a lot of food, that’s a lot of carrying on my own’. They were a bit surprised by how aggressive I was.

“They respect that attitude because it’s the attitude of an Italian woman. They’re quite forthright.

“That’s my new strategy. I’m going to be aggressive.”


Langbroek said earlier this month her husband had been given a notice by officials while outside riding his bicycle.

“They held him up for 40 minutes, they basically interrogated him, and gave him a piece of paper, which he signed, even though it was in Italian, and he couldn’t understand it, which said he’s being sued by the police,” Langbroek said.

“I laughed and said, ‘Good, I hope they deport us. It’s the only way we can get out of here’.

“We’re not in isolation like you guys are in isolation. We’re not allowed to exercise in pairs, we’re not allowed to go outside. We are in solitary confinement, basically, except with six of us.

“The only reason you’re allowed to go out is to get groceries.”

Langbroek and Lewis relocated their family from Melbourne to Italy in early 2019 for what was meant to be a ‘family gap year’, but late last year decided to extend their stay for another 12 months.

Italy has been one of the nations hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.

In February, 11 municipalities in northern Italy, identified as the locations of Italy’s main ‘clusters’, were placed under quarantine.

On March 8, the quarantine was expanded to all of Lombardy – where Milan is located – and 14 other northern provinces, and a day later, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the entire country would be locked down, placing more than 60 million people in quarantine.

Earlier in April, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the full lockdown will last until at least May 3.

As of April 24, local time (Friday morning AEST), Italy has had 189,973 cases and 25,549 deaths.

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Feature image: Channel 10.