Very saddened to hear news of the earthquake which hit central Italy around 3:30 am this morning, August 24, leaving the small town of Amatrice, about 100 miles northeast of Rome, devastated.
“The town is no more,” said Mayor Sergio Pirozzi.
At the time of this writing, at least 73 people are dead and dozens more are missing. Along with Amatrice, the town of Accumoli — both in Lazio — are the hardest hit.
Although small, with a population of less than 3,000 people, artifacts show that Amatrice has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and remnants of ancient Roman buildings and tombs have also been discovered.
You may recognize the town name hidden within one of Rome’s more notable regional dishes — pasta all’amatriciana — and in fact, popular belief is that many Popes across the centuries had cooks who hailed from Amatrice.
Amatrice has had quite a history, being a part of the Kingdom of Naples in the 1200s, and later being held by both the Orsini and Medici families. In 1639, the town was devastated by an earthquake. After the unification of Italy in the late 1800s, Amatrice became part of Abruzzo until finally being annexed to Lazio in 1927.
Prayers to all affected by this destruction.
If you’re in Italy and need help, you can contact Civil Protection at 800 840 840 or the Operative point for the Lazio Civil Protection at 803 555. Thank you Discover Tuscany for posting this information on your Facebook page.
To donate to the Italian Red Cross, click here.
AP Images Blog: Aerial Photos Show Town in Italy Reduced to Rubble
New York Times: Italian Towns Before and After the Earthquake