The ghost town after the earthquake…

Town disappeared overnight (lives lost and homes destroyed)This is the most recent footage of Fossa since the Abruzzo earthquake of 2009. It is called, Town disappeared overnight by Broken Window Theory and shows the ghost town that Fossa tragically is today. I admit, I did find it hard to watch at times – so many of the places that I’ve walked and lived, and of course written about in both my books. It gave me goosebumps to see and I felt bewildered, sad, captivated and protective all at once. For this is not just a curiosity, it is where people’s lives were lost and for others where life as they knew it ended.

I look at the streets overgrown and neglected and at the same time I see in my mind back when they were well-kept and clean and full of people, cats, dogs, cars and vespas. Incredibly, at 18 minutes into this 20 minute footage, my family’s house with its little balcony fills the screen. It is deceptive because from that side wall the destruction inside the house is concealed. If you have any link to Fossa, I feel I should warn you that this footage may be hard to watch at times, especially as those filming go right into the most intimate parts of homes, which may just happen to be one of yours or someone you know. That said, the young men filming have done so with respect, have only entered houses where the doors were already open and have concealed the name and whereabouts of the village. (Considering my own family’s house is one of those looted since the earthquake, I appreciate this.) By the end, they also appear to be overwhelmed by all they’ve seen.

I have always held hope to return to Fossa and my family’s house, despite all else, even if it is still a ghost town when I next do. However, most of all, I hope to see Fossa again as it was, at its best. Vibrant, full of people, of all ages, cooking aromas, vespas going past, cats asleep in doorways, women shelling peas, tvs blaring, kids playing football in the piazza, birds chirruping among the lanes and the church bell clanging, everything that was beautiful and glorious about Italian village life. xx

To watch footage… click here

2 Comments

Filed under inspiration + history, italy

2 responses to “The ghost town after the earthquake…

  1. Brian

    Thanks for providing this insight Zoe. It raises the heartache of personal and inter-generational memory with the integral and un-avoidable relationship of tangibility in the process. Hauntingly beautiful and soulfully sad at the same time. Brian

    • Hello Brian, yes, I found myself ricocheting through many different emotions while watching this. It is true, one one level it is incredibly sad and yet, on another, so beautiful in a curious way. I found myself thinking I was glad my Nonno wasn’t alive to see what had happened to his beloved Fossa, but then, his causing me to come to love it too elicited in me such similar emotions he may have felt. Zoe x

leave a message...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s