Central, and now southern, Italy is still besieged by cruel winter weather which, especially after the three major earthquakes, is hampering rescue services. Italian TV isn’t so much bothering with trumpians and brexians as with focusing on any possible lives still entrapped in the Rigopiano Hotel which was smothered by an avalanche.
Although the emphasis is on getting people out there are already accusations and prosecutions in the air. Why weren’t holiday-makers told about the avalanche risks of staying at the hotel? Why was the hotel built at the entrance of a huge gully going up the steep slopes of Italy’s highest Apennine peak, the Gran Sasso? Why weren’t the local emergency services fully prepared? This seems to be the general rule in Italy – disaster management where all the praise goes to the hero volunteers who are actually doing something about saving lives and condemnation of the bureaucratic apparatus which is hampering progress in this country.
Meanwhile, at Longoio and the Val di Lima there is still no sign of snow, indeed of rain. We are experiencing a winter drought and I am having to water some plants on our house terraces! It’s the same drought that has caused the forest fires around the Genoa region which closed down a major artery last week and involved the evacuation of hundreds. How strange! On the one side of the peninsula people are saying they haven’t experienced such bad weather in living memory. On the other side people are suffering tinder-dry forests.
It’s therefore reassuring to cast one’s mind back to what the situation was like at our house during our second winter here ten years ago. On this day then it was actually snowing as these photographs demonstrate:
I wonder if Napoleon (cat) remembers his first taste of snow?