Two years. 730 days. Life interrupted and in suspense. I wondered if progress has been made and my search was less than encouraging. The once-aristocratic centro storico is still closed off, a dark and silent ghost town with spectrals of past splendor amid the still-present debris and rubble. Only a handful of businesses have reopened.
The residents are scattered. According to the Struttura per la Gestione dell'Emergenza, 38,000 people were displaced from their homes. Some still live in the temporary structures known as MAPS, which aren't much more than a glorified Tuff-Shed. Others are in the quickly-constructed pre-fab apartments - both are far from the city core. More than a thousand are still in hotels along the Abruzzo coast. 250 people are "living" in the barracks of the Guardia di Finanza. More than 15,000 people have left the the area; they've given up and gone off to rebuild a life elsewhere, far from home.
It's sad; the soul and identity of the city is still in rubble, two years later. Apathy and lack of funds and commitment have stalled the reconstruction efforts while the Aquilani continue to cry out, "Rebuild our city!" I hope their voices will be heard.
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Il Centro newspaper site features a two-year then and now photo stream of L'Aquila as it was just after the quake, a year ago, and today.
Read last year's tribute and accompanying links, A Day of Remembrance.