Welcome to Italy, and Welcome to Abruzzo
Many of the guests who will be coming to Italy during this year of the Italian G8 duty Presidency are already familiar with the country and its landscapes, its artistic heritage and the wide variety of cultures, dialects and aspects of the various Italian regions. Many of them are admirers of the goods produced by Italian creativity in sectors ranging from fashion to design and from machinery to traditional agricultural produce and leading-edge technologies. Connoisseurs of italian wine and cuisine, with their extraordinary variety of flavours and aromas, are also legion worldwide.
For several reasons, however, Italy is also a country that faces a large number of hazards due to the forces of nature and the way the land has been managed.
Around 40% of its population lives in highly seismic areas, and Abruzzo, the region that is to host the Summit, was struck by a violent earthquake in April. The quake left 300 dead and razed a considerable portion of the architectural heritage of L’Aquila and the surrounding province to the ground.
The Italian G8 Presidency decided to move the Summit venue from its original site in Sardinia to L'Aquila, both as a sign of sympathy and support for the people of Abruzzo and to draw the world’s attention, at this time of hardship, to an Italian region with a wealth of history, culture and natural beauty.