A long standing prediction that Rome will be hit by a massive earthquake on May 11 is causing concern in the Eternal City.
The work of the late seismologist Raffaele Bendandi is the subject of much blogging and social networking.
Rome residents are taking it seriously with some planning to leave the city or take a day off work to stay with their families.
Others are sceptical:
“It is virtually impossible to predict an earthquake like this, I just don’t believe it but then, who knows,” said one, while another rejoiced:
“In Rome we have the Pope, wherever the Pope is nothing will happen”
National broadcaster RAI has run programmes aimed at calming the growing sense of unease.
Alessandro Amato is a seismologist charged with reassuring the population:
“Some kind of planetary re-alignment would not imply a greater risk of earthquake.This date of May 11 is just another in a long line of predicted disasters.”
The 2009 earthquake in L’Aquila, which left more that 300 people dead, is still fresh in people’s minds.
At the time controversy surrounded scientist Giampaolo Giuliani who tried to warn authorities that a earthquake was imminent.