We came back from our holidays feeling happy about the good performance of tourism this summer, only to be plunged into dismay by the news of the earthquake that hit Central Italy.
It is cruel to witness the tragedy experienced by the people, as the media present its stark images again and again, without adding anything to reality, as in a show to attract audience.
The donation collection is continuing, and we hope the funds will be utilised for their intended purpose. We read that funds that had been earmarked for work to secure the premises of institutional buildings have been diverted to other projects: how can the people responsible for this justify such a behaviour to their conscience (even though they will probably manage to find a justification for the court of justice)?
The area of the earthquake is representative of the better Italy (in a Country that has changed and is sometimes hard to recognise in its developments), which lives a simple life, in traditionally peaceful environments, in villages that are the carriers of history and traditions.
We often speak about the recovery and revival of tourism in smaller centres, and the earthquake has hit exactly an area that is capable of attracting great interest. Todi, for example, is where an important Relais et Chateaux operates, and Amatrice itself is a destination of culinary tourism.
I am looking at the photos of Hotel Roma in Amatrice: in its front sign, almost like in a movie, there are few letters left: TEL then RO and next a slanted M. The hotel dates back to 1897, and now it collapsed completely, burying the thirty guests who were sleeping there. In the Internet you still find the hotel's website, with a photo of its beautiful green metal marquise, and the promises of a pleasant stay; so many promises for the guests and the hotel owner, who is now certainly going through hours of anguish.
The funerals under the rain once again brought the sombre thought of how many the victims have been, and, sadly, there is nothing we can do, except for sharing, as humans, the pain of the survivors.
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