Ciao Friends, Family and Loyal Readers: And yes, you must be very loyal as it has been quite some time since our last post. We are enjoying our summer, mostly in the Berkshires, and hope everyone else is enjoying their’s as well.
A lot has happened since our re-entry and we will share some of the more important events, especially as they relate to our beloved adopted City of Bologna. Earlier this summer, the Emiglia-Romagna region suffered two serious earthquakes and a continuing series of aftershocks. These quakes were centered just outside of Bologna, but affected a substantial area of the region. We were back in the States by this time, but quickly received emails and calls from friends, uncertain of our return, concerned about our safety. We in turn, were very worried about our Bolognese friends and reached out to them immediately. The good news is that no-one we know was hurt, but friends did have some damage and trauma to homes, psyches and landmarks. In Bologna itself, both the cathedral of San Domenico (from our Easter post) and San Petronio (our Palm Sunday and Piazza Maggiore posts) suffered damage.
Perhaps affected most significantly was the home and town, San Giacomo delle Segnate, of our good friends Monica and Daniela and their family (see a delightful country weekend-part two post). Monica and her son, Romeo were already headed to Italy when the quakes first struck and decided to continue on. The family home, Daniela’s place of work in Modena, and the sweet church in San Giacomo delle Segnate were all damaged, with the church tower collapsing. The latter was hit during WWII and restored, so hopefully that will happen again. The family spent time at the beaches in Rimini and then in tents in the backyard at home for the balance of the summer. Pictures of Giacomo’s birthday party are bittersweet with the children clearly enjoying water balloons and dunking for apples (remember these simple childhood pleasures?), but with the bedroom/tents in the background. The aftershocks are ongoing with continuing fear on everyone’s part, especially the children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected.
On a more positive note, partially because of all this news from the region, we realized just how connected we felt to the City and our friends there, and are planning a visit to Bologna as an add-on to a long-planned trip to France in the early Fall. “Our” apartment, la Nostra Casa, is not available this Fall, so we have rented an apartment on Via Fondazza, just across the street from where Giorgio Morandi lived and worked for a substantial part of his life (see Morandi immersion post). We both hope that some of his creative energy infiltrates these two finance and accounting professionals! We were also asked by the University of Bologna to teach a seminar in the Spring of 2013, and while that has not been finalized by either us or the University, it does seem likely(we guest-lectured there last Spring). And our friend Hope, from Cono’s Italian class, is about to move with her husband for their 2 year stay in Florence. So we are happy to report, earthquakes and all, that our connections with Bologna continue. Happy Summer to All!