If you’ve followed the story of watery mayhem and destruction in Liguria and Tuscany, you may have come away with a mental map showing a large section of Italy chunking off from the mainland and crashing unceremoniously into the sea, never to be fawned over by a tourist or travel writer again.
It’s time to put all this in perspective. I feel a need to do this because I was with friends from Oakland on a Greek ferry when the 1989 earthquake struck the Bay Area. We could see pictures of the destruction on the TV in the bar. Every 15 minutes the crowd fell into silence as the television replayed scene after devastating scene. Cripes, Frisco was no more!
Of course, this was not the case. Not even close. By the time we came home, you could not tell there had been an earthquake at all, unless you happened to be at the dinner table with folks who just had to fill you in on the details. In the end, you have to admit: humans are quite resourceful when it comes to repairing things, expecially beautiful things.
It’s the same with northern Italy. Sure, there’s been destruction. But it’s not like either region has been wiped off the map. And flooding here is a frequent occurrence, as David Downie points out in Devistating, Lethal Floods in the Cinque Terre”.
The Lunigiana was hard hit by the massive rainstorm. Aulla is still closed to outsiders, the whole of its downtown area a mass of mud and messed-up cars. But Mike Mazzaschi of A Path to Lunch fame tells a story of the rest of the Lunigiana:
We walked all around Pontremoli, but could find no damage! Despite those incredible pictures, the building along the rivers were fine, no evidence of flooding, no one cleaning up. We drove by one bridge which was closed – down the valley at the edge of town, but all the walking bridges around town were fine.
Of course, there are allso sad stories about the folks who’ve come to help as well. Friend Paula Loi reports from her home in Sardinia:
Sandro Usai from Arbus (Sardinia), passed away while helping as a volunteer. A big wave took him away! His body was finally found today after searching for him for days! how sad!
Yes, folks from far and wide have come to help. Ciao Lunigiana reports that “refugees from Lampedusa helping with the cleanup in Lunigiana.”
What’s to come? More work. More rain. Again from Ciao Lunigiana: “Forecasts are still for heavy rain arriving on Friday through to 10 November, although not as heavy as the rain expected in Liguria and Piemonte. Piemonte is expected to receive 50% of its annual rainfall in this period.”
Bad weather and good deeds continue in Liguria and Tuscany— è sempre cosi.