Many of our clients have written asking about one of our favorite Italian towns, Norcia, home to one of our best-selling culinary vacations in Umbria, and about our partners at the beautiful Palazzo Seneca, with whom we have worked closely for many years. Most of you will have heard about the earthquakes that have plagued central Italy this year, starting with the devastating losses in the hilltowns of Amatrice, Accumoli, and Pescara del Tronto, and ending with the most recent quake October 30 in our beloved Norcia.
For those who have written expressing their concern, we have passed your kind words and prayers to our partners. We are happy to report that no one was killed, but the weeks since have shown the damage to the town to be extensive.
We will keep you posted on the process and ways you can help. Norcia is still a red zone, inaccessible to any but emergency personnel. We do not know when this beautiful place will again be able to welcome visitors and friends, we do not know what it will look like when it does.
As the purported birthplace of Saint Benedict (as well as his sister Santa Scholastica), Norcia was home to a famed Benedictine Abbey, which now lies tragically in rubble, only the facade wall still standing. The monks there (many of them American) had been operating a small craft brewery at the monastery, and it seems to have been left surprisingly unharmed. Now the monks are selling their beer—aptly named “Nursia”—to raise funds to rebuild.
There will be many ways to donate to the rebuilding of central Italy in the months and years to come, but if you would like to take this first step by purchasing the monks’ beer, be sure to do as we will and raise a glass to Norcia.
By Peg Kern
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