Earthquake, avalanche and cold in central Italy

2016 - spring skiing in Abruzzo

2016 – spring skiing in Abruzzo

The news drifts through, fearful and frozen, from isolated villages in the mountains of Italy.  I sit and watch on a device I can fit in the palm of my warm hand, in front of a fire in a well-lit room … at least there are no reports of casualties.

That was last night.  Today is the news that a hotel in Abruzzo has been hit by an avalanche – 30 feared dead.  A chill creeps down my spine … I read reports of the first, frantic, unheeded efforts to raise the alarm.

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Montelparo, Le Marche, Italy: a stay, a festa and a drive

Festa preparations block the main entrance to Montelparo, Le Marche

Festa preparations on the main route into Montelparo, Le Marche

A carpet of hilltop towns, patterned with crops and fields of faded sunflowers unrolled around every corner.  Up and up the old car climbed, the oil hot and the passengers restless – we were nearly there.

This was Le Marche, all of it a discovery for us as we searched for the village of Montelparo and its new Hotel Leone.

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