Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cinque Terre Update: Rebuilding Monterosso and Vernazza


The Floods Of October 25th.

The Cinque Terre, one of Italy’s popular tourist destinations, suffered extensive damage when an unusually severe rainstorm brought flash flooding and landslides to the region on October 25th, 2011. The freak storm hit the towns of Monterosso and Vernazza especially hard, all but decimating the villages with rocks, mud and debris up to 12 feet deep. Four people drowned during the storm, which was a tragic, but thankfully small number considering the extent of the damage. The loss of life could have been a lot worse.

We’ve been following the reconstruction of Monterosso and Vernazza with crossed fingers and lots of prayers, and the good news is that they’ve made incredible progress in a very short period of time!

Our hearts go out the residents of the Cinque Terre. They suffered a terrible loss, but they are a very resiliant people, and they’ve showed remarkable determination to rebuild their villages by the opening of tourist season this spring.

What You Need To Know

If you made plans to visit Cinque Terre, then by all means, keep those plans! The small villages in the Cinque Terre rely on tourists for their livelihood, and they can’t afford to take a season off. They’re doing everything they can to rebuild their homes, clear the hiking trails and uncork the wine bottles for your visit in 2012.

If you’re on the fence about a trip to Cinque Terre then please consider this; the rolling hills and the Mediterranean Sea are just as beautiful as they’ve always been. Sure, the trails got a little muddy last fall, (okay, REALLY muddy), but it’s nothing that a little Italian sunshine and a tall glass of sciacchetra won’t fix. Furthermore, the locals will be overjoyed to see you. They’ll welcome you with open arms, and you’ll feel like a rock star.

What’s Open

Some of our preferred hiking trails are still closed. However, there is a rumor that many of the trails will be open by the time our guests arrive in May. There is still a lot of time, but we have back up plans in place in case the trails are still closed. We have a series of loop hikes and a high level trail that we can use in a pinch.

The following websites offer regular updates on the Cinque Terre recovery effort. They also have lists of the establishments that are open and the ones that are not.

Rebuild Monterosso
This site is great for trail updates. It also includes a list of the open commercial establishments in Monterosso.

Save Vernazza
This site has an excellent list of the open commercial establishments in and around Vernazza.

There’s been some talk about contributing money to the relief effort. You can certainly do that, and we’ll point you in the right direction if you’re interested. Seriously though, traveling to Italy’s Cinque Terre is the best way that you can help the relief effort. Take a hiking tour in the Cinque Terrre. Have a great time, and let the locals show you how proud they are of their home.

-Buon viaggio



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