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Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

Springdale, Arkansas
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Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

My daughter and I will be visiting Italy in September, 2012 and we will have a full day in the Abruzzo area. I'd like to stop through L'Aquila but have not heard any recent reports about if it is safe or even advisable to travel there.

The last report I saw was from 2010 which said people were still homeless and the town was still devastated, and that policemen were turning away visitors. Does anyone know the current status of L'Aquila?

UK
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1. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

Bumping this up, in the hope that someone in the area will see and reply

Padua, Italy
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2. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

A friend of mine has family there and he pays them a visit every two or three months. Access to part of the inner city is still restricted, but the unstable buildings have been secured and the rubble on the streets has been removed, so there is no danger.

Termoli, Italy
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3. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

i frequently go to L'Aquila, and I have been living there for a long time, so I know it well. I can say that viisiting the city is absolutley safe. Most of touristic attraction as 99 channel Fountain, Collemaggio Church, S. Bernardino Church are open and perfectly safe. Of course the signs of earthquake are perfectly visible but all debris have been removed and all the buildings have been put in safety condition. The inner part of city castle is closed because of major damages, but is still possible to have a walk around and it is really amazing. City center is secluded in small areas where buildings have not yet been put under safety condition, but it expected to complete the work soon.

Most of the restaurant and shops have been moved from city center to outskirt but they are fully functional at the moment. Evening life is still in city center, with pubs and cafe open till late, though it is surrounded by an empty city because all of the people who lived in city center has been forced to move afer the quake. After all L'Aquila is still worth a visit! Please be welcome

Teramo
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for Abruzzo
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4. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

Thank you Doduva for posting such a positive reply about L'Aquila. We often have many people asking about visiting L'Aquila during their stay in this area and we always encourage them to go and spend some money there to help the place recover. Much more needs to be done and it needs to happen a lot faster, but foreign visitors spending really helps the local economy and this great city will rise again!

London, United...
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5. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

For what it's worth, today ,my partner and I have just returned (to London) from L'Aquila, where we spent 2 nights at the Hotel San Michele, near the city centre. We were passing through the region and thought it would be interesting to see the capital of Abruzzo (we have never been to this region before), and how the city had been re-constructed, three and a half years or so after this terrible earthquake.

The hotel was fine and the staff there were extremely helpful and welcoming.

The city is in a wonderful setting with mountains close by, and it has many ancient monuments. Having said this, I now realise that we came totally , unprepared for the extent of the damage, and found a visit to the city a very sobering experience. So many buildings are covered in scaffolding, and many streets are dark at night as buildings are empty and no one lives there any more (hopefully they will again, when all the re-construction works are completed - but clearly it will be many years before this is all done). . Admittedly in August there is the additional factor of people being away on holiday but the city had quite a ghost town' feel in many areas of the centre, away from the main piazza and Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

We actually had difficulty finding anywhere open where we could eat a full meal (though there were plenty of bars and places to buy snacks or delicious ice creams) but a restaurant called La Grotta di Aligio near our hotel, was open (closed Mondays) and was very good and good value.

So I would say -do go, but just be prepared to see a lot of the town centre still covered in scaffoldin (a few side streets cordoned off still), which has a somewhat depressing feel after a while. It seemed perfectly safe and I felt conscious of the dreadful trauma this city has gone through recently - most of us read or hear about earthquakes but this visit brought home to me the utter devastation and the very long-term effects on a city which a major earthquake has.

Everyone we met and spoke to in L'Aquila was charming and I think an increase in tourism there can only help get this city back on its feet. Hope you enjoy your visit.

Teramo
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for Abruzzo
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6. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

Your post is worth a huge amount Jerome and thank you for writing about your experience of visiting L'Aquila recently.

You are so right in that this place still has a huge amount to offer tourists and it is those tourists who will help breath life back into this once great city.

Grazie mille.

Oxford, UK
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7. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

Apart from L'Aquila itself, I'd recommend hiring a car and going to the small villages in the area. We have just spent 8 wonderful days in a very small village (Carapelle Calvisio) about 30-40 mins drive from L'Aquila. The people - many of whom have lost family, friends or their homes - are hospitable, generous and friendly. The mountains are spectacular with plenty of good walking in the four national parks. The beautiful mediaeval villages hit by the quake in the province of L'Aquila are slowly being restored and you can visit all of them safely, except the worst damaged areas which are sometimes closed off. We went to Castelvecchio Calvisio, Calascio, Rocca Calascio, Castel del Monte, Santo Stefano, Capestrano, Sulmona, Pacentro and the high plateau of Campo Imperatore. We ate in some really good restaurants serving delicious regional dishes of huge proportions, all using local ingredients such as pecorino cheese, saffron, lentils and sausage. The prices are low and the area quite undiscovered compared to regions such as Tuscany and the mountain roads are good. We loved it and will certainly go back as soon as we can!

8. Re: Is L'Aquila safe to visit after the 2009 earthquake?

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