Navigation Menu
CHRISTMAS 2016

CHRISTMAS 2016

By on Dec 23, 2016 in Blog | 8 comments

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BEST WISHES FOR THE COMING YEAR   Tomorrow is Christmas Eve and Ascoli Piceno is alive with anticipation.  In Italy, family, food and dear friends are what make the holiday so special.   Our wonderful Italian friends have invited us to a series of festive meals with them. We start with a noontime gathering tomorrow and then a traditional Christmas Eve dinner at the home of another friend. On Christmas Day we join our friend Serafino and his extended family for a Christmas Day feast which will go on for hours. The day after Christmas, Saint Stefano’s Day, we have been invited to the home of our delightful upstairs neighbors for an extended midday meal with their family.   There is a Christmas Market in one of the main piazzas complete with lighted tree, above, and an ice skating rink.  On New Year’s Eve we will host our now traditional party in our home.   This is a season to take the time to reflect on what is most important in life. And that’s why we wanted to say how much we appreciate each of you.   With our warmest best wishes,   Larry and Arlene Ascoli Piceno,...

Read More
EARTHQUAKE SWARM

EARTHQUAKE SWARM

By on Dec 15, 2016 in Blog | 6 comments

EARTHQUAKE SWARM As many of you are aware, Central Italy has been experiencing a series of earthquakes which began in late August this year. Clusters of earthquake tremors are not uncommon worldwide and are referred to as ‘swarms.’On 24 August, a very serious level 6.2 earthquake occurred in the Sibillini Mountain range of the Italian Apennines. Close to 300-people lost their lives and over 25,000 people either lost their homes or were required to evacuate. Countless businesses were destroyed and lives disrupted in the mountain villages. A contributing factor to the high initial loss of life was the late August period is traditionally vacation time in much of Europe.  During this period, it is common for Italians to escape the heat of late summer in the cities to vacation in mountain villages. It is also common to have visitors from outside of Italy come into Italy’s mountains for their vacations. As a result, many small towns and villages were filled to capacity with visitors on 24 August. Regrettably, many of these smaller settlements contained structures built in less prosperous times by people who worked the land and were not constructed in accordance with later, updated building codes more sensitive to seismic issues. After a somewhat moderate quieting down, the so-called earthquake swarm re-intensified adding to the property loss. In late October, more intense earthquake activity was felt in a concentrated area in the Sibillini Mountains.  On 24 October, a level 5.5 earthquake occurred followed on 30 October by a 6.6 level event. These tremors intensified property damage in structures already weakened in the previous series of tremors. Fortunately, the Civil Protection authorities had taken prompt and effective action in the aftermath of the initial 24 August seismic shock and had facilitated evacuations in earthquake prone areas where building structural integrity was felt to be compromised. The increase in late October serious seismic activity intensified the evacuation effort and broadened its scope. The evacuees were moved into temporary housing where many still remain. That prompt response has ensured the post-August re-intensification of the earthquake activity has not resulted in the additional loss of life. The issue of how or even whether to rebuild has yet to be addressed. It is...

Read More
LOGISTICS REVISITED

LOGISTICS REVISITED

By on Dec 7, 2016 in Blog | 6 comments

LOGISTICS REVISITED Consistency is supposed to be a virtue, except when it no longer is. We are now well into the fourth year of our Expatriate adventure in the Central Italian, provincial capital of Ascoli Piceno. What has remained consistent is our enjoyment of this place, its people and the quality of life we are experiencing. Some decisions make a lot of sense at a given point in time. One of our early decisions was to do without owning a car. We did, on occasion, rent a car or a van but that was largely for IKEA runs or visitor tours. But like the song says, times they are a changing – yes, we just bought a car. A 2005 Fiat Panda diesel powered vehicle is now part of the family. Arlene has decided to name the Panda “The Boss,” derived, or so I understand, from the Fiat Marketing Department’s name for the color in which the car is painted – ‘Bossa Nova Blue.’ I also understand there is no allusion to Bruce Springsteen implied. This change in our life has come on gradually. Our initial concentration had been on becoming more comfortable being part of the life around our home in the historic center of Ascoli Piceno. A factor in choosing this place was because of the many options it presents within easy walking distance of our apartment. The terrain is generally flat and the visuals in this distinctly historic and architecturally stimulating setting still excite us. Other than some excursions into the countryside with friends plus trips by air or rail to more  distant places, we had not  wandered very far out of central Ascoli in the process of daily life. It seems as time has gone on, our circle of Italian friends has widened with the result that not all of them live within central Ascoli. Many of our friends with cars have been more than generous in transporting us to social events outside of Ascoli. But after a while, imposing on friendship not only gets awkward, our self imposed limit in taking advantage of spontaneous possibilities has run it’s natural course. Reinforcing that aspect, over time, we have been exposed to small, picturesque villages and...

Read More