The slight gap in transmission recently is because on Saturday 25 August 2012 we were hit by a tornado created by Cyclone Beatrice – an elegantly Dantean name for what was quite a devastating night.

A mile-long stretch of the lake including Villa La Scagliola was worst affected, with one person being killed at a campsite at Intra and Villa Taranto losing 250 trees.

Our casualities were less severe, but some of our largest, most beautiful trees twisted up and tossed about like matchsticks, including two cypresses, a gorgeous beech and an enormous camphor.

The tornado tore off a section of roof leaving the beams exposed, and the torrential rain only abated after three hours.

Perhaps the most upsetting damage was to one of the pair of statues of Roman Gladiators which guard the temple of Venus. Thankfully, unlike Humpty Dumpty, he should be put back together again.

Only her divine powers can explain how Venus herself was saved from the two palms which fell on the temple behind her, without crashing on her head!

A big clean-up operation is now underway, aided by the totally stunning weather which arrived last week.

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