“Dolce” Italy


We’re in the middle of a long weekend here in Rome, with a lot of people away on a short holiday. Today was supposed to be a laid-back long Sunday morning, thanks to the extra hour going off daylight-saving-time, but it didn’t work out that way. Most of us were literally shaken out of bed by the latest strong earthquake near Norcia – some 110 kilometers as the crow flies north of Rome. Shortly after, it looked like all the people in the district had scrambled out of their pyjamas and were milling around in the street or noisily crammed into the two local coffee shops, having breakfast with cornetti and watching the latest live news on the overhead TVs.

Typical antipasti

Typical antipasti

There had actually been a suspicious amount of official news in the last few weeks about most of Italy being a highly seismic area, which seems to have kept people sufficiently on their toes that they rushed out into the streets in the stricken areas as soon as this second series of quakes started a couple of days ago.


As a result, there have been no new casualties so far. So that’s something to be glad about, though thousands of people are now displaced and are being housed in hostels, hospitals and hotels along the Adriatic coast. Dozens of old villages in the Appenines have disintegrated into heaps of stones, and some mid-sized historical towns have many buildings and churches in a state of near-collapse.

And what about the future?

Californians know all about living on and near a Fault, but from what I know, there they build under basic disaster-prevention rules that tend to be enforced. Or not? On the contrary, the building and development laws here in Italy are a jungle of inadequate measures, and most of the ancient and historical buildings have rarely been reinforced. New buildings rarely conform to all safety regulations, because of corruption, cost-cutting, ignorance or a mix of all three.

Religious procession

Religious procession

In optimistic think-mode, I’d say this could be a wake-up call leading to a seachange in the culture of chaos, and hopefully get communities working together. Do away with the age-old distrust between neighbouring towns and villages that has always handicapped the nation.  In realistic think-mode, I’m not going to hold my breath.

But I’m staying optimistic anyway with these photos of Italy, because life in this country could be so  “dolce“, were it not for the quirks of nature and of humans.

.... sorbetto di limone?

…. sorbetto di limone?


All photos ©14thcountry.com



This entry was posted in Blogging, Cultural, Environment, Italy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to “Dolce” Italy

  1. Dee-vita says:

    So unfortunate what happened in Italy. I’ve been to Italy many times and can’t imagine the distress this has caused the wonderful people of Italy, and the destruction of many beautiful buildings.
    Stay safe and thanks for sharing this post.

  2. Joel F says:

    Hope everything turns out well in your country. Stay safe. Have a great weekend.

  3. Wow stay safe. Great post thanks for sharing and we are glad you checked in.

  4. roninjax says:

    I’m sure thankful you are doing well. Sorry about not getting to the read until late but I hope things are returning to some sort of normalcy, if there is such a thing. I too wonder about the historic structures; although they don’t compare to human life – safety and welfare of the people. Hopefully, these faults don’t become an ongoing problem. Take care.

  5. dunelight says:

    As a lover of water I think of the earth beneath my feet as solid. I’ve been through a few very, very small quakes. I did not like the low frequency noise, I did not like the movement. I cannot imagine the lasting horror of the earth casting down ancient buildings around me. Stay safe and God bless Italy!

  6. andysmerdon says:

    We don’t usually get earthquakes here in Australia, however when my wife and I were holidaying in New Zealand we experienced a light earth tremor, that was enough to freak me out. Stay safe.

    • Bea dM says:

      Thank you so far so good at least here in Rome. Actually they’ve been going on non-stop since in Central Italy. We feel them but just a bit here too…

  7. We visited Rome in May this year. Wonderful city! The earthquakes are scary. We visit Italy once a year and of course it could happen any time. I feel sorry for those who have been victims and their families.

  8. Nice, tight essay–comme d’habitude–with great connecting points. Seamless. Thanks!

  9. herschelian says:

    These earthquakes have been hitting the spine of Italy. It is so easy for us all to forget how vulnerable we are to the forces of nature and our planet. I was in a very small earthquake once and it scared the living daylights out of me – the idea of being in a bigger one is very frightening. I send my wishes for safety to you and yours. And when there is an appeal for the places and people in Italy who have suffered from the seismic activity of the past two months, I will be donating.

    • Bea dM says:

      Thank you, this is so supportive. I’ve been in smaller ones in other countries, and was more interested than scared. Here they’re definitely nasty…

  10. Barb Knowles says:

    When I heard about the earthquake on our news this Monday morning, I immediately thought of you. I’m glad you are okay. I worry about Rome and outlying areas in Italy, as opposed to California, where much of the new construction is built with earthquakes in mind. You have so many buildings a kazillion years older than ours. Do you think that’s true? I’m so glad you’re fine, although it must have been very frightening. And it sounds like your government has to review their policies.

  11. zipfslaw1 says:

    Just stopped by to make sure that you’re OK–I’m glad you are.

  12. nananoyz says:

    We’ve been worried about you all.

  13. Stay safe in those earthquakes. And I hope you’re right about communities learning to work together…but I’m too darn realistic myself.

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