Monday, November 4th, 2013

I see that I got things a little out of order here. Does it matter? I think not.


After leaving Meg’s place, I decided to go up into the mountains of Abruzzo. There is a major national park there, the Gran Sasso. Very dramatic mountains, somewhat reminiscent of the rockies. I thought that it would be interesting to stop at a small town just short of L’Aguila (the capital of Abruzzo) named Assergi. It was indeed a tiny little town. There was a little road there that seemed to ascend into the town so I took it. It quickly began to narrow and I thought, uh oh, I don’t like the looks of this. A little further on I came to a wall! Oops!! Fortunately there was a entry into the two, just large enough to get the nose of the car into it. So with a bunch of to and froing I was able to turn around and descend the street. Whew. The whole time, as I silently cursed (well, not always silently) I was afraid that some other idiot like me would take the same road. Anyway, I parked the car and made a little passeggiata (stroll) through the town. This was about the smallest yet and I saw several buildings that were supported by wood beams. After seeing the second or third one I realized that they must have been damaged by an earthquake. There was no place to eat so I continued on to L’Aguila.

I parked the car just outside of the centro storico of L’Aguila and walked in. What a shock. Almost every building in sight had been badly damaged in an earthquake that occurred in 2009. In addition to the profound property damage 297 people died in the quake. There were workmen everywhere working to fix things but it is clearly going to take years of effort to get things back into shape. I stopped at a bar and talked to the barrista. He said, as I presumed, that the economy crumbled along with the buildings in the quake and only in the last few months when they started all of the repairs things were starting to improve because of all of the guys working on the buildings. Part of the problem is that almost all of the stores in the center, which is typically the prime shopping area, were forced to move out of the center which obviously exacerbated the problem. It was sad to see and I wish them good fortune in their future.

Despite all of the damage, the barrista directed me to a nearby restaurant where I ate well. I met the chef who had traveled a lot in the American west; California, Oregon, Washington State and even Alaska. He showed me some photos of his travels and as always it’s pleasant to have a conversation in Italian.

2 Responses to “L’Aguila”

  1. Brian Says:

    Thanks for posting about L’Aquila and giving us an update on the rebuilding process. With all the other natural disasters in other parts of the world, I hope L’Aquila isn’t forgotten. My ancestors came from there and I hope to be able to see it someday.

  2. Joe Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Brian. I hope that you do see it someday when it is all repaired.


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