Italy 22 September: Rieti - Amatrice

From

We started our day at a beautiful little monastery just outside Rieti which is run by some very kind monks. They impressed us with their extraordinary calm and serene appearance.

This monastery happened to be the place where Saint Francis of Assisi visited and stayed and where he made the rules that were later observed by the monks from his order.

This tiny cave was the place where brother Leone used to live.

Monks during their morning prayer.

One of the monks kindly told us the story behind Saint Francis´s eye operation and his prayer that made him endure the enormous pain that went along with it.

We are very grateful to spend a night in this wonderful place.

Back to worldlier things: what´s up for breakfast?

Next we run to the centre of Rieti.

Which happens to be not only the centre of the city...

...but also the geographical centre of Italy. Cool!

The team and the local school kids try to focus on our own centre - the heart.

The kids made these beautiful peace-doves to greet us!

Fabrizio is a wonderful priest who has offered his kind service to the Peace Run in previous years. He is a pillar of the community in both Rieti, Amatrice and the region.

Peace-doves landed all around Italy.

Devashishu got two birds as a present.

Vaibhava´s little drone caused a lot of excitement... and some nice pictures:)

THE Peacerunner!

Bhoiravi with new friends.

Italy from above.

Final group shot.

We have to to move on.

Narrow roads - good food - that´s Italy!

Darina´s new bird.

To run or not to run? - no question for us!

...especially not in this beautiful countryside.

Heading towards Amatrice - the city which suffered heavily from the earthquake one year ago.

Selfie-time.

Dima knows the way. Or does he?

Vaibhava doing his new "Peace-Torch-On-The-Tree-That-Grows-On-A-Pole-asana"

More of this amazing landscape.

Sveta flying the highway.

The good thing about renting a car in Italy is that it always tells you when it is time for your next cappucino:)

When we approached the city we saw many houses destroyed by the earthquake.

Road to Amatrice is closed for public.

Seeing all these broken or cracked buildings makes you realize how fragile everything man-made actually is.

It took only four minutes to destroy most of the city.

No selfies here please - respect the feelings of the people!

There is still a lot of clearing up and rebuilding to be done!

We met the mayor of Amatrice.

Group shot at the monument dedicated to the victims of the earthquake.

Caritas workers holding the torch.

300 people lost their lives in the earthquake. There is not a single person in the town who didn't lose a near or dear one.

Beautiful scenery.

Meeting the citizens of Amatrice.

There are many provisorial containers in Amatrice because so many buildings were destroyed by the earthquake.

On the left is the elected youth mayor.

Welcome Peace Run!

No matter what happens - life goes on...

Some senior citizens were happy to receive us and hear about the run.

Making a wish for peace.

Buying Peace Run Essentials: toilet paper, lighters, nutella. (You can see the team very happy behind)

Never give up Amatrice!

Since we had time left locals suggested a trip to a beautiful lake nearby.

...and it was worth the drive!

Peace Run Rule #2: Never trust the navigation!

We made it though...

Run and fun.

Behind the scenes:)

We just had great time together!

The sun is setting and the dinner is still missing. Something has to be done!

"Bhoiravi, fire!"

It´s hard work, but luckily we always have a fire with us.

Great fun, tough game, big emotions!

This (excellent) risotto was the first part of our actual dinner. What a day!!!