January hasn’t exactly been an easy month, here in Italy.
Well, this can be said for the rest of the world too. We are not going through easy times, but we have to be strong. January in Italy meant quite a few disasters and lots of sadness too. But there are some positive things as well, so let me tell you everything about it.
The month began with some fun times, actually. The south of Italy, namely Apulia, Basilicata, Calabria and part of Sicily, has experienced a massive snowfall – something which they are not exactly used too, down there. Snow has hit even the beach in some areas and this provided social media with lots of amazing photos.
Speaking of social media, some people had lots of fun organizing the “Olimpiadi Invernali di Toritto“. Toritto is a small town in the province of Bari, Apulia, whose name is quite similar to Torino, where the Winter Olympics took place in 2006. So they paraphrased the name, opened a Facebook page and started sharing videos of common people competing on the snow in Apulia. It was really fun!
Alberobello, Apulia covered in snow (photo Michele Piscitelli on La Repubblica)
Sadly, the snow didn’t mean fun things only. Another massive snowfall hit the center of Italy around mid-January and caused a lot of problems to the people living in the countryside in Umbria, Marche, and Lazio, especially in the areas which had already been affected by the earthquake back in August and October.
Some areas got up to three meters of snow and have been isolated for days. Moreover, due to some damage to the power line, hundreds of people have been without electricity and heating for days, even a week in some cases. To make things worse, three earthquakes shook the area in the space of an hour on January 18th, further isolating towns and villages and making people feel hopeless.
Amatrice under the snow (photo Meteoweb.eu)
The worst thing happened this month was the avalanche at the Hotel Rigopiano. Hotel Rigopiano was a luxury hotel and spa on the Gran Sasso mountain. There were 40 people there, stuck by a massive snowfall which made it impossible to leave the place. While they were waiting for snowplows, a massive avalanche – probably caused by the earthquake which had taken place the night before – hit the Hotel and completely destroyed it.
Due to the position of the hotel and the incredible amount of snow which had been fallen and was still falling, the rescue was incredibly difficult. The only way to get to the hotel was by ski and the first rescuers arrived at the place hours after the disaster happened. After days of non-stop work, 11 people were saved – some of them after spending more than a day under snow and rubble – while 29 were found dead.
This story has really struck all of us Italians and people followed the news constantly to see what was happening and if people were being saved. Just to make things worse and even more incredible, a few days later, some of the rescuers who worked at the hotel were killed in a helicopter crash, after saving a skier. It seems that destiny was really against the people of those areas those days.
A kid being rescued by the firemen
But let’s stop being sad, it’s definitely time for something lighter. Let’s talk about music, shall we? In a few posts ago, I told you about the release of the new single by Tiziano Ferro. This month, he came out with another incredible song, one of the best songs he has ever written and published. It’s a duet with Carmen Consoli, a very famous Italian singer who has an amazing voice, and the two of them singing together are pure beauty. Judge for yourself.
Another very popular singer came out with a new song, in the month of January. It’s Ligabue and its new song is called “E’ venerdì, non mi rompete i coglioni“, which in Italian means something like “It’s Friday, don’t bother me” but in a more vulgar way. It’s probably the first time he uses such a language in a song title and I find it quite strange. But cool, in a way, since he’s not a young guy anymore. What do you think, do you like the song?
And now it’s your turn, what has happened in your world lately? Let me know!
If you are interested in learning more about Italian culture and lifestyle, I’d suggest you jump on my digital Vespa and join Be Italian For A Month, your 30-day virtual journey to Italy.
You will also learn some Italian words, you’ll receive some typical Italian recipes – ready to be cooked and enjoyed, you’ll get to tour around Italy, and learn about Italian traditions, proverbs, stereotypes, you name it. Plus, some cute surprises along the way!