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AFTERMATH: A woman and child sit on a bench in the centre of Amatrice, Italy, in the wake of last Wednesday’s earthquake.  (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

AFTERMATH: A woman and child sit on a bench in the centre of Amatrice, Italy, in the wake of last Wednesday’s earthquake. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

AFTERMATH: A woman and child sit on a bench in the centre of Amatrice, Italy, in the wake of last Wednesday’s earthquake. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

It's Tuesday evening in Rieti and locals and regular visitors stop in the bars for a sparkling aperitivo. In the hilltown piazze, their children make friends with the Pomeranians, Bichon Frizes and spaniels who've escaped, with their owners, from Rome in August.

Amatrice is in festa. And so are these families. The light is changing, the nights are cool, the conkers are about to split their spiky reptile-green pods, there's a hint of orange in the leaves of the tigli. Which means one thing: school.


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