The house shook at 03:36 this morning, and then again one hour later. Two earthquakes in the south east corner of Umbria rocked the town of Norcia and its surroundings, the tremors felt as far away as Napels in the south and Venice in the north.
It has been a very strange and unusually busy day, I have been overwhelmed by kindness. Emails, texts, whatsapps, facebook messages and telephonecalls from all over the world from past and future guests, friends and acquaintances have been pouring in thick and fast. I have been busy replying to all, but if I you have not yet received my reply, then apologies the quantity of messages are considerable. I feel so very fortunate to be so loved.
We were indeed very lucky, the house at Bellaugello swayed a bit early this morning, the crystal tinkled and pendant lights swayed, some guests even slept through undisturbed. Fortunately for us and my neighbours no damage and today with guests in the sun-drenched pool it truly seemed as if nothing had happened.
It is very different in the south of Umbria around the town of Norcia where there is significant damage and loss of life, there are still people unaccounted for. It is hearbreaking to see the photos and video, towns I must admit to not knowing well but still adoring.
If you have a holiday booked, then do come, we are open as usual as is Umbria. Umbria needs you to be here, not to stay away, life has to go on and your support will be much appreciated. On a humanitarian note the local rugby club in Gubbio are collecting clothing, water, food and blankets to send to the affected area. The rescue services are concentrating on the area around Norcia and although many residents are displaced it looks very unlikely that they will be looking for us to take in people who have lost their homes.