My wife and I are considering a visit to L'aquila in March 2015. What can we expect in the town reconstruction and tourist facilities?
Since the earthquake back in April 2009, we have visited L'Aquila as often as we could. It's only 35 minutes from us, so is quite easy to get there, but until last year, every visit was heart wrenching, as the place was deathly silent. It was only last July that the reconstruction started in earnest, after years of inertia. Within the past month, we have been to L'Aquila 4 times and whilst not a great incentive for tourists, the centro storico is one big construction site. A huge amount of work is now taking place, which is fantastic news for the city, but many places in the centre are "red zoned" but in saying that there are many other streets open including the main piazza and lots of churches. The place is slowly coming back to life, but most inhabitants are still living elsewhere, but it will be many years (some say 10) before it is returned to its' former glory. By next spring work will have progressed further, but still be prepared to see a level of devastation that is hard to imagine, particularly after 6 years.
In saying that, please don't let this news put you off visiting. There are still many wonderful places to see and visit, Basilica di Santa Maria di Collemaggio, 99 Fountains, the Spanish Castle are to name but a few. Restaurants are re-opening and new bars are popping up here and there, so visitors are really needed to keep the heart of this city beating. By next spring I'm sure there will be even more.
L'Aquila is set in one of the most stunning areas of Italy and the more people that go there will play a small part in its' re-generation.
I hope this is of assistance and if you would like any more information, please feel free to post again.
It is about a year ago we visited. The mixture of buildings packed on scaffolding and buildings already restored make an interesting mix and are a testament to the will of the people. The wider area is wonderful. Landscape, mountains and the smaller towns around
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