For many years, travelers to Norcia could look forward to visiting a well preserved Umbrian walled city with much history, perhaps most notably being the home of twin-sibling Saints Benedict and Scholastica, born in the year 480. However, in the summer and autumn of 2016, Norcia was struck by devastating earthquakes, resulting in extensive damage to the town. One need not even pass through one of Norcia's gates to begin to witness the impact of the quakes.
Having reached a dead end, I started back up to the second gate, only to have the lady with whom I had spoken pull up in a car. After a moment's discussion she indicated that I should hop in and she would take me to where I could reach the main square.
We rode further around the perimeter road, past more scenes of loss, and finally came to a guarded but open gate and a main road leading directly to the main square. I thanked my guide for her help and kindness, got out and started along the street, one of the few places in town that seemed recovered enough for normal activity.
On the higher end of town, reconstruction and preservation efforts were underway on the Church of Saint Anthony. Heavy beams were being lifted into place.
As Benedict's legendary status seems to overshadow his sister's holy life, I was pleased to notice the name of the small square where I waited to start my return trip home.