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Old 05-04-2020, 09:04 AM   #1

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Default Italian Mountain Retreat Banks On Summer Recovery


A bitter/sweet story of a mountain resort range in northern Italy.
Not all that far from where I stay although never visited myself ( so far )

Italian Mountain Retreat Banks On Summer Recovery

"CASTIONE DELLA PRESOLANA, Italy (AP) — As Italy gradually emerges from its two-month coronavirus lockdown, tourism operators in the hard-hit Val Seriana valley look ahead with trepidation at an uncertain summer season that could make or break them.

An Associated Press photographer ventured into towns in Italy's hard-hit Bergamo province along the Orobie mountain range to capture residents' hopes — and doubts — as they await the return of summer visitors.

“It is a powerful tragedy that has touched chords that not even during the war had been touched,” says Claudio Trentani, a 57-year-old hut manager........

He runs the Baita Cassinelli, an Italian Alpine Club mountain hut at the base of the 2,521-meter (8,271-foot) Mount Presolana, a 30-minute drive from the city of Bergamo. Trentani sees no good way to manage social distancing in his 60-square-meter hut where he serves food and drink. The place was packed with hikers before the government coronavirus lockdown emptied it for months.

Lorenzo Pasinetti, 53, runs a bigger chalet on adjacent Mount Pora, an 1,880-meter (6,168-foot) mountain that is a popular skiing destination. It houses a restaurant, a pizzeria, cafe and an outdoor barbeque, serving 2,000 people a day in the winter and 300 in the summer. He calculates winter losses of about 60% due to the lockdown that started March 8. He has remained open to provide groceries to 10 families living on the mountain.

In Rovetta, where the Serie A Atalanta soccer team trains every summer, Mayor Mauro Marinoni said there are 15 official COVID-19 deaths but he suspects the true toll is higher. He says 30 people died this March compared to only four the year before................"

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