An Amatrician Dinner at Bagni di Lucca Villa

Last night’s dinner to raise funds for the victims of the earthquake that has hit four regions of Italy and, particularly, the areas of Amatrice and Accumuli was an unqualified success. The whole of Bagni di Lucca Villa’s high street was pedestrianised and long tables placed along it. The attendance was superb and participation was most convivial.

Bagni di Lucca has sometimes been accused of lacking solidarity but I was completely convinced that if (God forbid) any such terrible natural disaster to our area should happen then that natural Italian community spirit will be here to help and support all those affected.

The big meal (at just 15 euros) included, of course, the dish that has made Amatrice world-face – spaghetti alla Amatriciana.

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Let us hope that in the not too distant future Amatrice will be known primarily again for its great food rather than for the terrible disaster which has devastated it.

Incidentally, do follow Val di Serchio resident and friend Richard Burnett’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/richard.burnett.1042 to see what conditions are like on the ground at Amatrice. Richard is doing a great job volunteering to use his telecommunication skills to restore essential internet, cell-phone and satellite links.

The message of our evening, which also include a raffle and night-spot, was, “we are all behind you people of Amatrice and the surrounding area in your heroic struggle and patient resilience in finding a way forwards with a strong hope that one day you’ll be able to return to as normal a life as possible in your beautiful area. We, people of Bagni di Lucca, will give all we can, knowing that we too live in an earthquake area.”

Incidentally, ‘our’ earthquake, with epicentre at Villa Collemandina, in 1920 hit with a magnitude of 6.4 and left 300 dead. Frighteningly, coincidentally it hit with the same magnitude as that of the central Italian one and with nearly same number of deaths (around 300).

For Mediavalle and Garfagnana are united with Amatrice and Accumuli, not just by solidarity but by the fact that both areas are connected by the same system of tectonic plates that formed (and continue to form) the Apennines. If our social ties have been strengthened by the wonderful evening last night then let us hope that we can both work together to learn more about the amazingly beautiful but so awesomely unpredictable  parts of the world we live in. Let us constantly remind ourselves that we are but children of nature and not its masters and that we must obey its rules and heed its advice.

Here are some pictures taken towards the end of the event. I’m sure there will be plenty more appearing on our Bagni di Lucca facebook pages. It was an unforgettable evening of enjoyment, friendship and solidarity where every part of our small community joined in – Italy truly at its best. Over 400 diners were present and the contributions amounted to well above Euros 5,000. Every little bit helps, as they say.

PS Vito, our Deputy mayor and family doctor, is a great reader-aloud. He’s now got an edition of ‘Pinocchio’ in English and Italian and that evening read to us the chapter which describes Pinocchio’s encounter with the three doctors. (It’s chapter 16 and it’s one of the most hilarous bits of writing I know).

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19 thoughts on “An Amatrician Dinner at Bagni di Lucca Villa

  1. It was a wonderful event, a lot of thought and planning must have gone into it, how they served 420 people with hot pasta was amazing.

  2. Let us hope that the dream of rebuild of these towns will come true as indeed it has for Friuli Venezia Giulia after the dreadful destruction of the earthquake of 1976 it is a remarkable achievement it did take about 10 years. Today naturally there more sophisticated means to build safer homes schools hospitals hotels bars churches and whatever else needs to be rebuilt. Many Italians have lost their lives homes animals livelihood, tourism agriculture but they are still determined to remain in their beloved area and surroundings albeit in temporary wooden bungalows for a warmer safer winter comfort. There is still a sense of community here that does not want to be dispersed into other areas and soon the schools will reopen and hopefully reinforce this sense of belonging. Promises have been made to help these noble hard working people which must be seen to be honoured and maintained as quickly as possible even the Archbishop of the area has reinforced their wish by encouraging the people of these towns to hang onto their faith and belief in the rebuild a Phoenix arising out of the ashes. On a happier note it has been reported the other day that a child’s miniature pet rabbit has resurfaced so to speak after a week to the delight of many children. Even an older lonely lady has been reunited with her beloved Siamese cat. Other farm animals are now all safe in new stalls and their milk will soon freely flow as they too were affected by the most frightening series of events. The sheeps cheese “pecorino” is also back in production in fact it was never interrupted but now needs placing as the roads are non passable this cheese is the secret and vital special ingredient for the spaghetti alla Amatriciana and I look forward to eating the genuine dish as does the rest of the world in the rebuilt Amatriciana Town.

    • So glad to know there are so many positive notes. If you visit Gemona in Friuli you wouldn’t know the cathedral has been rebuilt from scratch using the same stones as the original,

  3. Irpinia is yet another example of proper seismic rebuild and has survived well. I saw the Gemona Cathedral raised to the ground and then all the original stones laid out in the field nearby and stone by stone was rebuilt with such love, we should go and visit these places and realise that the seemingly impossible is indeed very possible. It seems though that see chalets will not be available until after the winter well they should source them from Norway they come in packs and we built one in a weekend that was our challenge so it is possible to house these people warmly safely this Autumn!

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