New earthquake in Italy. But the country and its beauty will rise again
31 Oct

New earthquake in Italy. But the country and its beauty will rise again

Another violent earthquake has shaken the beautiful area of Central Italy. During the past weekend, the country was shattered – both in its territory and its heart – by what is believed to be the most powerful quake in the last 36 years. Sadly, the event flattened a world-famous 600-year old basilica in Norcia.

Although terrified, Italians are combative and ready not to give up their beloved home, which is possibly one of the most fascinating areas in whole Italy. As far as people are concerned, the situation is positive and there have been no victims, and yet many historical buildings are currently in a critical state. The strength and beauty of Italy – its majestic ancient villages, architecture, buildings – is also its weakness during times of trouble like these.

The most violent quake struck on 7:40 AM near that jewel that is the small mountain town of Norcia (traditionally known as Nursia in English), in the province of Perugia, Umbria. Norcia, located in a wide plain abutting the Monti Sibillini, a subrange of the Apennines, was hit by a shock so violent to be felt in the capital Rome and even in Venice, 200 miles away.

In Norcia, the majestic and worldwide appreciated 14th-century Basilica of Saint Benedict was the most important architectural casualty. During the centuries, it had survived many earthquakes – but sadly not this one. The frescoed basilica, which is the spiritual, historic and tourist heart of Norcia, was built over the site of the home where the founder of the Benedictine order and his sister St. Scolastica were born in 480.

For Norcia’s deputy mayor, Pierluigi Altavilla, “It was like a bomb went off”.

The citizens of Norcia, although obviously scared, are showing a tremendous strength, as shown in this nun’s words: "We don't want to leave, we want to stay and help others with our prayers, even if it means staying in a tent."

The magnitude of the quake, whose epicenter was located at a very shallow depth of 1 km, six kilometers north of Norcia, was 6.6. Sadly, it also caused the complete collapse of what had remained of the town of Amatrice, which had been damaged but left standing by the August quake.

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi comments: “We are going through a really tough period. We must not allow the profound pain, fatigue and stress that we have now to turn into resignation."

We will rebuild everything, the houses, the churches and the businesses,” Renzi told reporters. “Everything that needs to be done to rebuild these areas will be done.”

Italy and its beauty are one of the most precious treasure of humanity. That is why everyone will do their best to rebuild what has been shattered, repair what has been broken, heal what has been wounded.

Good luck Italy.