Buon giorno Friends,
By now, you have read the headlines and seen pictures of the devastation from the earthquake that hit central Italy on the morning of August 24th. I have spent the better part of the last few days reading both Italian and American news websites to stay up to date on the latest developments, and the news keeps getting more heartbreaking as the death toll continues to rise, pictures and stories of the victims emerge, and aftershocks persist. The mountain towns of Amatrice, Accumoli (both in Lazio), Arquata del Tronto and Pescara del Tronto (both in in Le Marche) were the hardest hit with many homes, businesses, and structures reduced to rubble by the 6.2 magnitude earthquake and its 200+ aftershocks. Devastation of this kind is terrible no matter where on the globe it happens, but it’s emotionally harder when it happens in a country that for me, is home just as much as the United States. I have found myself feeling overwhelmingly helpless these last few days, but thanks to social media, bloggers and journalists are starting to publish posts, tweets, and articles about ways to help the rescue and rebuilding efforts in central Italy. One such way is to participate in this weekend’s upcoming virtual sagra.
This weekend, the town of Amatrice was set to celebrate their 50th annual Festa dell’Amatriciana. Events of this kind in Italy, where an ingredient or specific recipe is celebrated, are called sagre and they are fun ways for communities to come together, enjoy the company of family and friends, listen to live music, and eat fiercely regional food. Since the Festa dell’Amatriciana will not be happening this year, the food community is hosting a virtual sagra to honor the festival. If you are on social media and want to participate, all you have to do is prepare a pot of Amatriciana sauce, snap a photo, and include the hashtag #VirtualSagra in your caption. You could also take it a step further and host your own fundraiser while enjoying this delicious pasta dish with family and friends. This Sunday for dinner, I’ll be making a big batch of Amatriciana sauce, tossing it with the traditional bucatini, and posting a photo with the hashtag to my Instagram profile.
In addition to showing solidarity for Italy on social media, Peter and I will also be making a donation to the rescue and rebuilding efforts. Please consider donating if you feel compelled to do so. My friend and fellow food blogger, Domenica Marchetti has written this post with a comprehensive list of organizations accepting donations. Please visit her blog if you are interested in knowing more about donating. Any amount helps.
Also, if you are so inclined, prayers for central Italy, the first-responders, victims, volunteers, and helpers of all kinds always help.