My heart goes out to the victims of Monday morning’s earthquake — all the folks who have lost loved ones and their homes in Abruzzo. According to reports published this morning, more than 150 persons have lost their lives, more than 1,500 have been injured, and more than 17,000 are now homeless.
Today, I’m in Trento, in the far north of Italy, and I was in Verona, asleep, when the earthquake hit at about 3:30 in the morning on Monday, with a magnitude of 6.2 on the Richter Scale (you couldn’t feel it where I was). These are the towns and villages that have been affected: L’Aquila, Santo Stefano di Sessanio, Castelvecchio Calvisio, San Pio, Villa Sant’Angelo, Fossa, Ocre, San Demetrio ne Vestini, and villages in Altopiano delle Rocche.
Evidently, there were smaller tremors the night before, at around 10 p.m., near Florence and Forlì.
Abruzzo is a place of immense natural beauty and it produces fantastic wines. On Sunday afternoon, at the fair in Verona, I tasted with Abruzzo producers Daniela and Sofia Pepe and their father Emidio (of the Emidio Pepe winery) and Stefano Illuminati of the Illuminati family and eponymous winery.
In 1994, I was a graduate student at U.C.L.A. and I lived in West Hollywood on Larabee St. when a big earthquake hit at around 4:30 in the morning. I have never been so scared in my life.
Thank you to everyone who wrote, texted, and posted on my Facebook asking if I was OK. I am.
My heart goes out to all the folks who are suffering.