Is Piedmont safe from earthquakes?
The news of the recent earthquakes in central Italy have sent the country into mourning. We have friends in the area of Ascoli, Abruzzo and they said it was more than a little scary.
Earlier in the year we visited the area, including Norcia and we were amazed by its beauty. It’s so sad for the loss of life, homes, belongings and buildings. We really hope Matteo Renzi, Italy’s prime minister, will take it more seriously than Berlusconi did when the earthquakes devastated Aquila. He famously said when visiting these now homeless people living in tents - ‘Well, camping is fun!’
What about here in Piedmont, is there a danger of earthquakes? Well, the short answer is that it’s possible but very unlikely. More or less all of Italy is an earthquake zone but some areas are far more vulnerable. Historically, the areas of Abruzzo, La Marche and Calabria are the danger zones. In the nearly 15 years since we’ve been here we've felt one, and that was in Torino. It didn’t cause any damage. The quakes that do occur in Piedmont are usually under the mountains, in sparsely populated areas. There was a quake right here in the area I live 2,000 years ago but it just brought down some buildings and half of the castle in Monteu Roero. The other half is still standing!
We all know we’re prone to unforeseen occurrences and that’s why we don’t stay home worried that a piano might fall on our heads. Piedmont is as safe as it gets. The area has a very low risk of quakes.