Today we are off to Roma after one last week in Ascoli Piceno surrounded by familiar streets, faces and historic piazze. It was bittersweet spending this time to say farewell to so many friends.
L’Aquila is not very far away and everyone had a story of their experience with the morning of the earthquake last month. We heard about locals who spent a few nights camping in the local soccer stadium and cemetery parking lots for fear of falling buildings. Several buildings are closed pending inspections by the proper authorities to verify their safety, though there are no obvious signs of damage from street level.
We also noticed that in just a few months several shops have closed in the centro storico. Since we visited in March with my sister we have counted as many as ten stores that have closed and the general attitude is that the economy will not improve until at least 2010.
We have so many fond memories of this charming city and her warm people and we have assured everyone that we do plan to return.