Basilica Norcia

California is no stranger to earthquakes, but we are hardly the only place in the world to feel their effects. Italy has been hit particularly hard throughout history, most recently in August 2016 when an earthquake registering 6.2 on the Richter scale rocked Amatrice. The Italian earthquake institute (INGV) reported 60 aftershocks in the four hours following the initial quake, the strongest aftershock measured 5.5.

In this month’s episode Sage & Savant travel back to Naples in 1456 when a catastrophic earthquake shook Naples and much of southern Italy. We researched articles to try and accurately portray the effects in the region. A number of churches were recorded destroyed and rebuilt and this becomes part of our characters explore in this episode.

Italy is also very religious, and God’s wrath and favor have often been ascribed to the causes for earthquakes. This continues to be the case today. Here is an interesting article on both seen after the 2016 earthquake. Mother DeRosa captures some of this sentiment in our episode.

(This aerial view shows the damage in the town of Amatrice, central Italy. Picture: Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco. Source: AP)
(This aerial view shows the damage in the town of Amatrice, central Italy. Picture: Italian Firefighters Vigili del Fuoco. Source: AP)

One of the effects of earthquakes in the migration of survivors. Entire villages were destroyed in 1456, killing over 40,000 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Here is an interesting article on a variety of different earthquakes in the Molise region and the resulting emigration. Sage and Savant become some of the survivors who help rebuild Naples, but a number of those who emigrated moved to northern Italy. Alfonso I, King of Naples, brought with him a number of Flemish paintings. These were studied by painters in Naples until the 1456 earthquake, when many of these artists relocated to work at the Florentine School. The Flemish style influenced painters like daVinci, Raphael, Botticelli and Titan.

The Italy Earthquake Relief Fund still needs donations. Global Giving is a vetted organization where your money will do the most good.