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Debbie Sep 29th, 1997 02:50 PM

Help - Need update on Assisi
Does anyone out there have any front line info on the earthquake damage in Assisi and environs? I read in the paper that tourists should stay away. Is this the case? Are there any other towns that are as severly affected? I was planning a day trip from Florence to Assisi in October. What alternatives does anyone recommend - within a two hour train ride of Florence. Thanks

Jim Dykes Oct 1st, 1997 06:25 PM

My wife & I were in Assisi the night and day of the earthquakes. In fact,we were in the Lower Basilica during the second quake. The Lower Basilica was not damaged but the Upper Basilica will be closed for a long time until the extent of the damage has been determined. Our hotel, Subasio, which is next to the Basilica, closed only for a few days and is now open for business. I checked CNN/World's web site and found a wealth of articles on the damage to the Basilica and Assisi. The damage to the area was extensive but from what I have read, open to travelers. Assisi is a " must see " and the people are very friendly and warm. You will be disheartned about the damage but I would still go. E-Mail me if you have any questions.

Debbie Oct 2nd, 1997 06:24 AM

Thanks for the report. Ok it's back on my list. As a Californian who has experienced a few significant temblers I almost envy you the experience of being there - and fortunately you weren't hurt. No doubt you saw a different face of the city in the midst of dealing with a crisis.

Mary Oct 7th, 1997 09:53 AM

Just wanted to offer a different perspective; we also just got back and were advised by the concierge at our hotel not to go to Assissi because of the significant hardship going on there and the lack of services--he said, "you can go, but you'll be in the way"; also I just heard a report on NPR last night that said that thousands of people are homeless in the region and that they have had 1000 aftershocks; the NPR reporter said that most of the shops in Assissi were closed. As an alternative as a day trip from Florence we had a great time exploring Montalcino and Montapuluciano--they are both walled towns with great wine, olive oil and amazing views. We also really enjoyed driving around Chianti. The exchange rate is great--have a good time.

debbie Oct 9th, 1997 05:42 PM

Mary, thanks for the excellent ideas for alternative trips. I do agree that tourists should stay out of the way of people trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Good advise.

GG Oct 15th, 1997 11:11 AM

I returned yesterday after a month's stay in Italy. In the Italian media, there were requests from several Umbrian towns (including Assisi) for people to stay away due to their difficulties in providing food, shelter and services to the nearly 200,000 people made homeless by the quakes. There is still almost daily earthquake activity, and yesterday a tower in Foligno collapsed. You might enjoy visiting Lucca, Volterra (especially the Etruscan Museum), or Siena. Don't know about Volterra, but Lucca and Siena are both easily reached by public transportation. Another possibility would be Orvieto which is easily reached by train and funicular from Florence, although it's a bit farther away. Buon viaggio!

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