At least 73 people and counting have been killed, and hundreds more are missing or injured following a devastating 6.2-scale earthquake that struck central Italy early Wednesday morning.Particularly hard hit was the small town of Amatrice, which was reduced to rubble.
Though fairly remote, Amatrice occupied an important place in Italian culinary culture: Sugo, or salsa, all'amatriciana, is an iconic Italian pasta sauce made with bacon-like pieces of pork jowl (guanciale), olive oil, white wine, chiles, and pecorino. The pasta sauce is so popular that Italy even released a postage stamp in honor of the dish in 2008. Amatrice was also home to the Festival of the Spaghetti all'Amatriciana, which would have taken place this coming weekend but will likely be postponed.
"The town isn't here anymore," said Amatrice Mayor Sergio Pirozzi, according to the Associated Press.
Other small, remote towns like Amatrice are still awaiting aid as first-responders try to dig out people who are trapped beneath the rubble. The damage in Montepulciano, a hill town in Siena, was particularly devastating, according to the Associated Press. Montepulciano is known for producing the wine known as vino nobile di Montepulciano, a red based on the sangiovese grape, known for its bright acidity. The epicenter of the earthquake was about six miles from Norcia, a town in Umbria, where thankfully, there were no casualties. Norcia is famous for its abundant truffles and salumeria. The town is so well-known for its cured pork products, that the term norcineria is often used to mean "butcher shop" in Umbria and Tuscany.