In the early hours of 24 August 2016, I was woken from a deep sleep in my house in Capena by an insistent shaking of the bed. Later, it turned out that half my Italian neighbours (better versed in earthquake lore) had gone outdoors. I just turned over and went back to sleep. Next morning, I woke to the tragic news of the earthquake in Amatrice. We had felt it even though the epicentre was 100 km away.