Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 7, 2015

Update on the tornado

Things have settled down in Bagni Di Lucca and the clean up is well underway. Most of the damage here has been to roofs, with tiles being blown to the ground, leaving gaping holes.

Roof damage

The rest was done by falling trees. A lot of trees fell across roads and in some cases electricity wires. Most villages now have power, but Enel is obviously stretched and some houses are still without electricity.

Fallen trees

Fallen trees

The park in La Villa is fenced off and woodcutters are busily cutting the trees into more manageable pieces for removal.

Fallen trees

One man was killed when a rock, loosened from beside the road, hit his car. His passenger was hurt, but is OK. Another man was hurt when a tree branch fell on the cabin of his truck on the road to Lucca. I have not heard of other injuries.

Florence was damaged, and nearby Pistoia was badly hit. Its many plant nurseries have been damaged right at the beginning of the spring season.

Skiers in the Dolomites had to be rescued when strong winds trapped them in ski lifts.

Forte dei Marmi on the Versilia Coast has been very badly damaged by the fierce winds. Houses and shops have been devastated and hundreds of trees blown down.

Who would believe so much damage could be done by one weather event? Please add anything you know in the comments.


  1. Thank you Deb for the updates – how absolutely horrendous

    • We are lucky there was not more damage. Most of the trees that fell managed to miss houses.

  2. The rescue of the skiers in northern Italy has been on the news here in Aus.

    • It must have been very dramatic.

  3. It’s heartbreaking to see such devastation in a place we love so much. This will no doubt make an already strong community stronger. Thanks for the reports and updates Deb, our thoughts are with you all.

    • The clean up is going well. The park will take a while and the forests will be a mess for a while, but I’m sure when you come all will be well.

  4. I didn’t realize there had been a tornado, Debra, so close to you. Thank you for this report. I am glad you are okay

    • It was right at my door…very scary to watch, but we are fine.

  5. Glad to read you are ok 🙂 What a mess!

    • The mess is very quickly being cleaned up. Things have returned to normal for most people.

  6. Thank you for the update Debra. I hope things improve soon.

    • 2 days on things are already much better. I hope the last houses get their power back soon.

  7. Will try to send my posts when I can. We now have a generator in our village. Good because I can now phone! Will also post pictures of terrible damage done up here especially at San gemignano

    • I am sorry to hear about damage at San Gemignano.

  8. Thanks for the update. Have been keeping you in my thoughts since I read your first post about the tornado. Take care of yourself and I hope everyone gets electricity very soon x

    • Things are steadily improving, thank you for your concern.

      • Glad to hear that. Things will get better. It just takes time but they will. Stay strong and take care x

  9. Take care Deb…. As I write I’m watching RAI TG3 safe and sound here in Melbourne. Incredible scenes indeed.

    • It has been horrifying to watch, but people are tough and will bounce back.

      • The Italians are good at that…. Hope the sun comes out for you all very soon.

  10. It has obviously been terrible, Deb! Thanks for keeping us informed. I can see that the Mayor’s house has not been spared…. I am dreading to go back to Bagni and seeing all the destruction. Fortunately, our place has had no problems. What about Casa Debbio?

    • Casa Debbio is fine. Almost all of the trees that have blown over have been pines. Now I am pleased we cut ours down last year. By the time you come I’m sure Bagni di Lucca will be beautiful again.

  11. How awful for you all, the wind can be so destructive. We have lost trees before in our garden and it is very upsetting. We saw on the news in the U.K. about the poor people trapped in the gondolas, that’s got to be everybody’s worst nightmare!

    • The wind was very selective, some things were destroyed and something right beside it was spared.

  12. Sad … in general, are tornadoes rare there?

    • Very rare…and I hope I never see another.

      • The last big one was in 1669 according to the records

  13. Oh how awful. Here in Colorado we get tornadoes in the spring and early summer, but that surely must be a rare event in Italy. So sorry. I hope it doesn’t happen again.

    • I hope they are extremely rare, I don’t want another.

  14. All of the people affected our in my thoughts and prayers! Hope everyone is doing ok

    • Things are returning to normal, people are strong.

  15. I am sad to hear of the devastation. We are from Washington State and will travel to Italy with three other couples in June. We will be staying for two weeks at Villa Rossa di Campiglia in Bagni di Lucca. It sounds like much of the area we will visit has been impacted. I am so sorry for those who suffered loss as a result of the tornado.

    • I’m sure by the time you get here everything will be fine. Spring will be here soon and there will be regrowth.

  16. Reblogged this on Come Follow Me to Italy and commented:
    Sad news of bad weather around Lucca, Italy. Our friend, Debra, has a home there and has been keeping us updated on her blog. Read more here.

    • Things are getting back to normal. All will be well when you arrive.

  17. What sad photos, Debra. I’m so sorry to read about the injuries and death. I guess life has to go on, and as you say, the people are strong. I’m sure it will take a good while to repair all the damage.

    • Much has been done already. People have been very busy.

  18. We were lucky this time this sounds awful! Glad you are okay.

    • I hope you never get one of these, it was terrifying.

  19. Wow I had no idea that you could have tornadoes in Italy. We have them frequently here in the Midwest and even in Minnesota and damage at times has been unbelievable. Hope all is recovering soon.

    • I didn’t know this could happen here. Apparently there was one documented about 400 years ago. I hope it is at least that long until the next one.

      • That is really fascinating. When I was in Bolivia in the high andes there was a thunder storm and that surprised me to get one at over 16,000 feet. Nature is full of surprises isn’t it?

      • I have not seen anything like this here before, and I don’t want to see it again.

      • I don’t blame you. Are things cleaned up now and repaired? What is the estimated damage?At least no one got hurt, right? That is always my worst fears.

      • People were hurt and there was 1 death, but if it had happened in daylight hours things would have been much worse. People have been working together and things are moving rapidly. Roof repairers and wood cutters are being kept very busy.

  20. I’ve been through a tornado and it was incredibly scary, partly because it came on with no advance warning. It’s amazing how much damage can be done in just a few minutes.

    I’m glad that you’re okay. I read in comments that you mentioned Casa Debbio didn’t sustain damage. I hope others in town are able to repair their damage quickly.

    • Some people have had a lot of expensive roof damage. I hope insurance covers it. We were very lucky.

  21. Mother nature can be so wild sometimes. Glad you are ok Debra. X

    • It was very wild indeed. I didn’t know whether to try to rescue my plants from the bridge or just hope for the best. They managed to survive somehow.

  22. Like Brisbane’s November storm – still counting the cost from 30 minutes of high winds, torrential rain and hail but already past $1 billion.

    • I was there for that storm, it was incredible. Several of our friends had severe damage and are still working through repairs.

  23. It is very fortunate that you make the decision to remove the trees up at Casa Debbio. Was there any damage in the village of Vergemoli?

    • Vergemoli seems to have come through OK. They were without mobile phone coverage for a while, but I didn’t hear of damage.

  24. Glad to hear that you are ok but very sad news about the man killed.

    • If you had seen the force of the wind you would not be surprised to hear someone had been killed.

  25. Hello Debra,
    Your blogs are informative and interesting, whether they are good news or bad news. We are so fortunate to have you.
    Thank you, Marco.

    • Thank you, of course I prefer to share good news.

  26. I remember you had some large old trees removed not long ago. It was good advice. Take care.

    • I was very reluctant at the time to take the trees out, but Filipo was correct. If they had fallen we would have a big mess to fix.

      • I have learned to follow the advice of my Mexican gardener. Glad to see that things are returning to normal.

  27. Wow, I’m glad you’re all ok. I didn’t realise how bad things had been there. Up here in Piemonte it got a bit blustery and that’s about it!

    • The wind cut a winding path through the mountains smashing things wherever it went.

  28. it has been wonderful to have news and your updates. Does anyone know what happened in Granaiola?

    • I think it was mostly OK, but a huge tree came down in power lines half way down the village knocking out the power. Perhaps someone else knows more.

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