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Earthquake in Italy 08/26/2016

The 6.2 earthquake in Italy feels very personal to me. The epicenter was Norcia, and that is a charming small village that I visited in the past and fell in love with

I want to share my memories with you so you, too, can feel close to the tiny hilltop villages that were devastated.

Norcia is a tiny village 70k west of Spoleto tucked into a wide plane that is surrounded by mountains. It's a beautiful setting. My family visited Norcia the summer we attended the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. We took a day trip west because Norcia is famous for its cured meats. Located in the mountains there has been lots of hunting there and thus, the emphasis on cured meats as a local product. In fact, Norceria, in Italy is a story selling cured meats! So with such a meaning to its name, you can imagine that I never forgot this village.

The day we went, it was hot and we entered the village walking through the Roman gate and looked for a place to have lunch. There were tables and benches set up in gardens and we joined the many young Italian campers for a delicious local al fresco lunch. Then we headed to the stores and bought some of the local produce.

We even drove further west and further up to Castelluccio, a very tiny village at the end of the lovely Piano Grande, a big open high altitude meadow which was filled with wildflowers. I remember seeing only one man in the meadow, bending over, looking for mushrooms. The village was so very remote and isolated that there were myths about mystical events there in winter.

Amatrice, one of the hilltop villages which was devastated is just 20 minutes south of Norcia and I can imagine how beautiful it must have been. My heart goes out to its inhabitants and I am filled with sorrow.


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