One of the more dramatic events of 2015 was the discovery of a rather large (?) bomb in Rovereto. Though we knew nothing of its existence until a week out from bomb disposal day, when we discovered that half of Rovereto was to be evacuated and all north and south transport links shut down. That is more drama than usual.
The bomb, the giant thing in the photo, was found buried in the grounds of the old tobacco manufacturer. It was dropped by the Americans during the Second World War and had been sitting quiet ever since. War, what is it good for exactly?
Initially, there was no bomb information anywhere. As I said, we didn’t even know of its existence. I should also mention here that we tend to not follow local news aside from what pops up from the papers on my Facebook news feed. But, eventually, signs started going up around the city. And it made front page local news, as did the arrests of suspected terrorists in Alto Adige. Things are usually a lot quieter around here. As a comparison, last week’s headline was about a supermarket’s opening hours, so this was kind of a big deal.
Bomb day turned out to be the same day that mum and I were flying to London (this was back in November), with our planned train right in the middle of it. We were (wrongly) skeptical about Italian planning and worried that the trains they had said would be running earlier in the morning would actually be running, so we got an early ride down to Verona with friends instead. We had expected to see a lot of traffic on the road but at 7 in the morning it was pretty deserted. I think the queues came later.
We made our flight with hours to spare, though it turned out we needn’t have worried. Everything seemed to move so smoothly. Matt was stuck at home, although our flat was just outside the evacuation zones, and the road blocked off to stop cars moving into the closed area, there was nowhere for him to go. All the pre-bomb trains ran when they said they would, the bomb was deactivated and moved, and the roads reopened after barely an hour.
The photo at the top of this post is from ladige.it. There is also video of the bomb exploding in this article and other photos from the evacuation day.
Another bomb related event came at the end of January. Matt, working late one night, was hustled out of his office by Carabinieri who were clearing the building because of a suspected bomb in a bag outside a cafe. Matt burst through the front door completely out of breath and clutching the few possessions he was able to grab – he had been told he had to leave right then, and the street outside was already cleared of pedestrians and traffic.
The bomb scare turned out to be just that, a scare. The overnight bag was water blasted and found empty. Photos and step by step updates (Italian) here.