By now, you must have heard of tragic and devastating news of the earthquake in central Italy that claimed the lives of 292 people in the Amatrice, Accumoli (both in the Lazio region), Pescara del Tronto, and Arquata del Tronto (both in Le Marche region). Last Saturday was the day of national mourning in Italy and scenes were heartbreaking during the state funeral held in Ascoli Piceno for some of the victims in the Le Marche region.
The grief and loss shared by those in these towns, which were flattened by the 6.2 earthquake, has created a heavy and disheartened atmosphere in Italy. We’ve heard stories that have deeply moved us and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected.
As the initial news on the earthquake mentioned central Italy, which covers a vast area, many had asked if we were affected in Rome. We are all safe and though we weren’t in Rome at the time, we heard there were no damages reported in the city.
Areas not affected by the earthquake
However, there were some confusion in the beginning as the region of Umbria was often mentioned, though the only town in that region that had some small damages was Norcia. Having suffered two earthquakes, one in 1979 and then another in 1997, most buildings in Norcia had been rebuilt or reinforced to be earthquake resistant.
While the news is now more accurate in pinpointing the areas affected, unfortunately, we’ve been informed that many travel-related providers in Umbria have received an overwhelming number of cancellations for tours and holidays in Umbria. This has caused a different kind of loss and we’ve been asked to kindly spread the word that the region was little touched by the earthquake. We hope you will also lend a hand in getting the word out that the region is safe for travelers.
Maps of areas affected and in relation to the cities in central Italy.
We can understand the concerns of travelers, and to give you a better understanding of the areas in central Italy that are affected, here are some maps to give you an idea of the location of Amatrice (Lazio), Accumoli (Lazio), Pescara del Tronto (Le Marche) and Arquata del Tronto (Le Marche) in relation to the some of the cities. We hope that this will give you some peace of mind if you are planning a trip to Umbria, Tuscany, and central Italy in general.
Relief efforts are still on going in the all towns affected and tomorrow evening at 6pm (Italian time), there will be another state funeral held in Amatrice for the victims from the town. While it’s heartbreaking to see the devastation, it’s also heartwarming and encouraging to see the outpouring of support from all corners of the world.
My good friend Coral has also written a wonderful post on eating amatriciana for a good cause, with a list of restaurants participating in Florence and the US, and here are other ways you can help out the victims of the earthquake.