Jarno Trulli made an emotional visit to the Abruzzo region on Italy this week as part of his efforts to help those affected by last month's devastating earthquake.

As a native of the Abruzzo region, having been born and raised in Pescara, the Toyota F1 driver is currently raising money for the victims through his Abruzzo nel Cuore appeal, which has received widespread support from the Formula One community.

Trulli paid a personal visit to Abruzzo on Wednesday, first visiting the small village of Onna, which lost 39 of its 250 inhabitants when the 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck on 6 April.

After meeting survivors who are now camping in tents alongside the ruins of their homes, the Italian veteran he moved on to the city of L'Aquila, which once boasted 99 churches and has a special significance in Roman Catholic history. Visiting a tented camp for 270 people - including 70 children - made homeless by the disaster, Trulli spent time handing out F1 souvenirs, signing autographs and posing for photographs.

"I was shocked to see the devastation firsthand," he admitted, "So many buildings have been destroyed and the effect on the people's lives is really terrible. I am doing my best to help in any way I can, and everyone in F1 has been very supportive. Hopefully, we can raise a lot of money to help with reconstruction so the people of Abruzzo can return to a normal situation soon. They are in our hearts."

The Abruzzo nel Cuore appeal has already raised more than EUR23,000, while several items of F1 memorabilia have been donated by fellow drivers for auction to raise further funds. Anyone wishing to contribute to the Abruzzo nel Cuore can do so via http://www.abruzzonelcuore.org.