Nearly a decade on from 2009's devastating 6.3-magnitude earthquake that killed 309 people and rendered 65,000 homeless, L'Aquila's skyline is still dotted with cranes and scaffolding. The city's precious centro storico remains a building site, with cordoned-off streets and impassable ‘red zones’, though a sprinkling of new bars and restaurants has breathed new life into some areas. Not surprisingly, L'Aquila's historic buildings have taken second place to rehousing its residents.
Putting a time frame on the rest of L’Aquila’s revival is difficult. An estimated 485 historical buildings were damaged in the quake and forecasters are suggesting that a minimum of €600 million will be required to restore them to their former glory. The notoriously sluggish revival has been dogged by squabbling and scandal; given the financial deadlock to date, it’s unlikely the city will return to anything like business as usual before 2021.