A Painful End -June 2009-

At any hour of the day and at any day of the week Poggioreale presents itself as a “not-inhabited” place. Forty years ago the Belice Valley was hit by an earthquake of magnitude comparable to that recently struck L’Aquila and the surrounding areas. Many municipalities were affected, among them the famous Poggioreale. The town suffered heavy damages, which is why have been decided to build further downstream, giving rise to what today is called “The New Town”. On the one hand there is the old Poggioreale, still standing after an earthquake and 41 years of neglect; many houses and roofs collapsed, but the fact that the bell tower of the cathedral is still standing today suggests that perhaps a return to the ancient city was more than possible. On the other hand, there is a new Poggioreale, which ended after 14 years of living in the barracks, bad designed and worse built, oversized beyond any reasonable limit. It is a place where the squares (as great as bad) are empty, as well as the roads and most of the houses. Sports facilities, the squares and arcades system and the theater ended in 1991 but they have never been used. Poggioreale is a Twin City: the greater is dying under the constant wear and tear of time and the indifference of the government, the smaller was born in a coma and is continuously subjected to aggressive treatment.