Rome Travel Guide

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Earthquake and L'Aquila

Heartbreaking what happened in L'Aquila this morning... it's a wonderful medieval city, capital of one of Italy's most interesting and untouched provinces, the Abruzzo, and a great city in itself, a classic old market city. We stayed there a couple years ago the night before we climbed Corno Grande in the Gran Sasso - the 10,000' mountain that's Italy's highest outside the Alps. L'Aquila is virtually at the base of the Gran Sasso. And last year we hiked on the other side of the Gran Sasso from L'Aquila (Monti della Laga) - L'Aquila is the heart of this grand, wild region.

Earthquakes are Italy's most prevalent natural disaster. They have leveled cities and towns on the peninsula and its islands for centuries. A show at the Vittoriano in Rome last year demonstrated just how prevalent and devastating they have been here. It wasn't until the 1908 one that Italy came to grips with not having a government social service network that could deal with disasters. See which has some interesting stats on Italian earthquakes, but the links don't work. If anyone has better links, please comment.

We'd love to drive to L'Aquila instantly to help out but are sure the city is coping with more people without shelter than it can handle. Let's hope the relief efforts are efficient and significant. L'Aquila deserves it.

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