News on Cinque Terre Disaster and Recovery
Were you in Vernazza or Monterosso during the disastrous flooding that took place on October 25th? Are you there now? If you have news to share, please share it here.
Note: Rick Steves' Europe hosts this page, but is not responsible for its content. While many people (some with posts on this page) have set up efforts to collect donations for Cinque Terre relief, Rick Steves recommends "Save Vernazza" — a non-profit organization run by a group of ex-pat American women in Italy. Check their website at www.savevernazza.com to see when and how you can best help.
Traveling to cinque terre Aug 24, 2013
For my 70th birthday I want to spend 3 days walking cinque terre trails and discovering the towns with a dear girlfriend. I am quite active. Are trails open now? Any suggestions where to stay as we will only use trains and buses? We are hoping to spend 10 days exploring after cinque terre and ending up in Tuscany.
Editor's Note: Happy Birthday! We suggest planning your trip with the aid of Rick's guidebook: http://travelstore.ricksteves.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=catalog&parent_id=155. The trails are open and you can find an update on conditions at http://www.ricksteves.com/news/cinque-terre/cinque-terre-disaster.htm. If you need to ask any further questions, visit our Traveler's Helpline forum at http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm.
Santa Barbara, Ca USA 01/07/2013
Stayed 3 days in Manarola 10/22-24. The coast trails were officially "closed" but we heard you could hike from Corniglia to Monterosso on the coast unimpeded. Corniglia to Manarola and Manarola to Riomaggiore were sealed off. We took the upper footpaths, as did many others, from Manarola to Corniglia. They were wonderful. Not true that you need hiking boots or special equipment. We just had day packs and good sneakers, as did others we met. It was delightful. The only grumblings we heard were from tourists who only found out when they got there that the coast trails were closed. Understandable. The coast trails are not very vigorous, so taking the trains and hiking around the towns, as well as the stairs up to Corniglia, were a fine substitute. What a delightful town Manarola is to stay in!
Rockport, MA USA 11/01/2012
DANGER: Roads traveling in cinque terre
Today my girlfriend and I drive from Florence (Firenze) to go see the wonders that Cinque Terre holds. The drive was mostly highway until we pulled off the autostrada in la Spieza... We drove to Riomaggiore the tight windy roads were in great shape and fun to drive despite the heavy rains. The views were fantastic. After riomaggore we drove to Manarola but decided to bipass Manarola and Corniglia for Verazza ... The roads were increasingly bad and very hazardous. Most roads were in some way washed out... We followed our GPS to the parking area for Verazza but once we got there we decided just to head back to Florence. The GPS brought us through some of the scariest roads, barely large enough for a single Fiat Punto... The GPS brought us up through the mountain roads that definitely should have been closed, as we descended the mountain it began to snow... This is a warning for those traveling... The drive is treacherous and not for the faint of heart. I am an experienced driver and have no issues with driving in Italy. The drive in and around Verazza had me on edge. Many of the roads had only a sheet of vinyl mesh construction fencing separating the car and the potential plunge off the side of the mountain. When we go back, we will take the train. I can not stress how bad the roads were.. We saw pavement in areas with nothing under it... Dirt worn away from the floods.. And jersey barriers which looked as if they were going to fall as well. Feel free to email me with any questions. Joshua.email@example.com
Boston, Ma USA 10/28/2012
25 October 2012 in Monterosso
Thursday, October 25th 2012, will be one year from the day that a tragic flood devastated numerous villages in Liguria and Tuscany, including Monterosso.
The events of that day and the weeks and months following it will always remain vividly imprinted upon the hearts of the Monterossini population. The terror of that day will be difficult to forget. Sandro Usai and his selfless courage, which ultimately cost him his life, will remain an inspiration to us all.
The generosity of volunteers from all parts of Italy immediately after the disaster and the outpouring of concern and love from all over the world helped Monterosso understand that it was not alone. To commemorate this day, Monterosso has decided to close its businesses from 11.30 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday so that all of the Monterossini can participate in the events of the day. We invite everyone who holds Monterosso dear to their heart to come and share this special day with us.
The schedule for 25 October 2012 is as follows: 9:15 The Madonna del Soviore will be transported from its shrine in the hills above the village to the chapel on the new side of Monterosso (Santa Maria Nascente in Fegina) 9:45 The Madonna will be carried down the boardwalk to the Old Side of the Village in a procession. 11.00 The Madonna will be brought inside of the parish church of Saint John the Baptist 11:45 There will be an official commemoration in honor of Sandro Usai 12:00 Statue will be unveiled and honorary mentions will be made 12:30 - 14:00 Lunch will be served for everyone present 14:45 A moment of silence will be held 15:30 Small boats from Monterosso and Vernazza will meet half-way between the villages in a symbolic action of the support that they gave each other during the reconstruction after the flood 16:30 Mass in the parish church of Saint John the Baptist Following mass, there will be a religious procession.
The Madonna of the Soviore is a revered icon in all of Liguria, and usually only comes down into Monterosso once every 25 years. This is an extremely special occasion to witness so we encourage everyone who can to come take part in remembering the sacrifices made that day as well as commemorating the efforts and collaboration made to rebuild Monterosso to such beauty in just one year's time.
Monterosso, SP Italy 10/23/2012
Cinque Terra track closures 2012
Don't go to Cinque Terra if you are expecting to walk the tracks. They are all closed and will be for at least one more season. We looked on travel websites etc etc. there was no mention of any tracks closures. They had a slide 2weeks ago and have now decided to clase all paths ntill further notice.
Melbourne, Vic Australia 10/22/2012
Hiking Cinque Terre
I was in Cinque Terre on Oct 19th. We did the hike from Corniglia to Vernazza. The trail was open coming from Corniglia but you could not go in the other direction! Strange but true. We were with a tour group named Walkabout booked thru Viator.
St. Louis, Mo USA 10/22/2012
Visited 18 October 2012
[INVALID] - 18 October 2012. Information/ticket booths have postings and verbalized that ALL sections of the lower #2 blue trail are currently closed. The upper trails may be walked IF you have trekking boots (not tennis shoes). We saw a few 'Trekkers' and they also had their poles and backpacks with them. We visited all five (5) towns via train. A current train schedule may be obtained from one of the Cinque Terre information booths. The ferries were also running. Restaurants and businesses open. Enjoy your trip.
Atlanta, GA USA 10/19/2012
In Liguria region now. All lower hiking trails between CT villages closed. Park officials warning people of dangerous conditions on upper trails because of recent rain and wet weather. Echo other comments about amazing rebuilding efforts in Vernazza. Lack of hiking should not deter anyone -easy to get to with trains and plenty of hiking and climbing in villages. Breathtakingly beautiful region.
Nahant, MA USA 10/17/2012
Cinque Terre - Sept 2012
My husband & I were in Cinque Terre a couple of days ago. I'd like to comment because prior to my trip, I was most interested to find out anything about the area. Travel photos posted prior to the Oct 2011 mudslide showed such charm, but I worried we would get there only to find boarded up shops, etc. To the contrary!! It is just as gorgeous now as I'd imagined. We stayed in Monterosso. The day before we arrived, there was a rock slide accident which injured 4 Australian women, so they closed the Via Dell' Amore trail and others. We were quite disappointed as we planned to walk all the trails if possible. We started up a portion of the trail #2 (red) to see how far we could get, but kept meeting up with people who said they came from Vernazza, and even Corniglia via the trail, so we ended up walking the whole way. It was a stunning panorama of colour.....aquamarine sea, green leaves, cactus, wild flowers, stone steps, gnarly tree root steps, bubbly brooks, farms, vineyards, gardens..... stunning views and quite the physical trek too. We are in our 50's in average or even less than average shape, yet we loved every strenuous step. The view just kept out doing the one before. It took us about 2 hours, and 400 photos later to arrive in beautiful Vernazza. You could tell some buildings had fresh coats of paint, but the shops were lovely, the seafood delicious, and people were friendly. We had no trouble finding a place to have a cold beer. We took the train between all 5 villages, walked the steep steps up to Corniglia, and took a ferry back. We had no trouble finding toilets, but then we stopped often for beer and vino. Fabulous house wine everywhere by the way. We found Riomaggiore busier than the rest, yet stunningly beautiful, especially on the harbour. All 5 villages have buildings that are colourful pinks, greens, yellows, reds. Streets are crooked and narrow, laundry hanging on clotheslines everywhere, residents hanging out their windows, gelato to be had whenever you feel the desire. We booked reservations for the finer restaurants to ensure a good table, but you can usually find a pizzeria or table even without a reservation. Dinner is best between 7 pm and 9 pm. During the mid afternoon, a few shops were closed, but for the most part, everything remained open. The part I hadn't expected was that every town we visited throughout Italy on our travels, including Cinque Terre, there are bell towers chiming out the time....not that you need a watch on vacation anyway, but it is part of the charm. If you have an upcoming vacation to Cinque Terre, I envy you so much. We will definitely plan another trip back, but this time for a little longer. This is a quiet destination. If you're looking for a party, this is not the place to go. There are travellers of every age, but we found many to be in the average age category of 40 to 60 years old. Ciao!
Red Deer, Albert Canada 10/02/2012
Travel by bus into Vernazza
We just finished a terribly disappointing four-day visit to Cinque Terre. We were "stuck" in the Villa Cinque Terre in Fornacchi - it is 5 kms up from both Corniglia and Vernazza! This makes it COMPLETELY isolated from BOTH when you do not have a car. There is NO shuttle (as was wrongly advertised) but there is a fun little town bus (scary ride when it runs)! The bus is scheduled to run about 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m. - if it runs. Unfortunately, the bus was not running because of road construction into Vernazza; it apparently does not run when it rains, nor does it run when the roads are wet, maybe slippery? The woman we paid WAY TOO MUCH to for the accomodation (never met her) could not have cared less that the advertisement for her Villa claimed there was shuttle was NOT true and we were stuck trapped with NO food, there is NO restaurant or any shopping nearby - you need the BUS to get into Vernazza. Thank goodness for the father who transported us from the Corniglia train station, into Vernazza, and finally away from the horribly expensive Villa Cinque Terre back to the Monterossa train station, or else we would never have seen anything in Cinque Terre over the four days there! Do not expect any transportation by bus into Vernazza from Fornacchi - you must have a car to stay there.
Driving in Cinque Terra
Do not drive to Cinque Terra...the roads are all labeled "strada deformata"! The Italian word for destroyed, narrow as a bike path, broken, falling off the mountain, terrifying! A friend and I just did it without checking beforehand and really have to warn everyone that it was beyond frightening and dangerous!
frederick, md USA 09/27/2012
New Disaster: Rockslide on Sept 24, 2012
A new rockslide occurred on Sept 24, 2012 which injured 4 women: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/rockslide-slams-australian-tourists-on-italys-cinque-terre-trail-4-injured-after-rescue/2012/09/24/f8788416-064b-11e2-9eea-333857f6a7bd_story.html
Parkalnd, FL USA 09/26/2012
Il Pirata was open when we were in Vernazza Sep 8-10. With the new laundry next door now, it makes for a great meal while the laundry is getting done. One of the best meals we had in 3 weeks of travel, especially the neapolitan - yummm.
Salt Lake City, UT USA 09/21/2012
A beautiful little town. September, off season, still PACKED insufferably with tourists. I can't imagine how awful it wold be in the summer. Not recommended unless you LOVE great crowds of people, especially noisy aggressive Germans. Worse than Disney, Coney Island, etc etc
Sarasota, FL USA 09/21/2012
Bring toilet paper with you on the hike!
We were in Monterosso from Sept 8-11 and had a wonderful time, L'Antica Terrazza is a great place to stay! Monterosso is up on its feet, it would be difficult to see any of the destruction, Vernazza is still working on the final spit and polish. But everyone is so wonderful and happy to have you around. We did the hike, it was a tough climb from Monterosso to Corniglia but well worth it. Sadly the Corniglia-Manarola bit was still closed, looks like we missed it by a week or so. We had the most amazing gnocci-pesto lunch just off the main square of Corniglia. Go halfway down the stairs towards the public washrooms and its on your left. Stunning views too! Oh, bring toilet paper with you, the public WC's are not often stocked (and you'll be squatting most of the time - just warning!)
Toronto, ON Canada 09/16/2012
Gas in Vernazza
We just left Vernazza and the town does not have gas. We were told by our host that it is scheduled to be ready prior to the winter, likely October. What they have accomplished ther since October is nothing short of miraculous. We spent a delightful three days there and wish it was more.
Charlottesville, VA USA 09/13/2012
For Debbie from Calgary
Debbie, regarding your query for hotel accommodations: we went to Italy in December and had no trouble finding accommodations in the charming walled city of Lucca. We took an easy day trip to the Cinque Terre by way of train. We hiked from Monterosso to Vernazza (spectacular), had lunch and poked around, then took the train to Manarola and Riomaggiore (we skipped Corniglia) before riding back to LaSpezia, then Lucca. It is delightfully do-able, and I did not feel pressed for time at all.
Portland, OR USA 09/01/2012
We are trying to book 2 rooms for October in Vernazza and was told by one owner that the town doesn't have any gas right now. Does anyone know about this problem??
Cedarburg, WI USA 08/31/2012
Cinque Terra in November
Yes, I visited in Nov. 2009 - before the flooding. The people are charming. Weather was a little rainy, but we were not going to miss anything. I was recovering from surgery for cancer. Took it slow and had a great time
Long Beach, CA USA 08/24/2012
For Debbie from Calgary travelling in November
I think many of the hotels are seasonal but you might want to try booking an apartment...they appear to be available year round. Check out this website http://www.cinqueterreitaly.co.uk/home
Sherwood Park, AB Canada 08/09/2012
Cinque Terre in November?
Has anyone been to Cinque Terre in mid November - end of November. We are planning a trip to Italy in November and having trouble finding hotels open in any of the little villages? Any suggestions
Calgary, AB canada 08/05/2012
Talking with our B&B owners in Levanto, they shared how very little attention is being paid to where the disaster started, which was in the mountains behind the Cinque Terre. There are towns and hamlets that were completely destroyed, but because they weren't tourist areas, no mention was given to them.
St.Catharines, ON CAN 08/02/2012
It was with extreme delight that I and my sister got to stay in Monterosso for two days and visit Vernazza for an afternoon (after climbing like a mountain goat along the hiking trail!) It was wonderful and I wish I could do that every day for a month! What an amazingly beautiful area...I felt like I was in a picture postcard the entire time! There were few visible reminders of the mudslides...the people of those towns worked so hard to get things back in working order...hats off to you all! My only regret is that we didn't schedule more time to be in the Cinque Terre! I'm already making plans for my next trip, hopefully in a couple of years.
West Bend, WI USA 07/27/2012
It's all good...
our small group of 13 stayed in Vernazza for 2 nights in late June... It was our second visit to The Cinque Terre, and we thought Vernazza looked quite good... It appeared to us that most restaurants & businesses were up and running... some signs of construction around, but we didn't hear the "noise" that some are commenting on... It seemed to us that they were trying hard to keep any recovery efforts from interfering with the tourism...
The village appeared very clean and it was somewhat obvious that many of the businesses had fresh new interiors & equipment... our rooms at Francamaria were all wonderful, and our dinner at Sandro's was fabulous... the trains, ferries and hiking trails were all open and running as usual... It was all good...
We give Vernazza 5 stars... there's no reason not to stay in this beautiful & charming little village!!!
Pocono Mountains, PA USA 07/20/2012
Vernazza dining after the flood
We are a group of four women who visited the Cinque Terre after hiking in the Dolomites. We stayed in Monterosso but visited Vernazza. I stayed in Vernazza last year and stayed in rooms rented from the the cannoli brothers at Il Pirata. They lost some rooms but their cafe/restaurant is open! We enjoyed our finest meal in the Cinque Terre. They have only been reopened for 7 days. Please visit them and enjoy the best iced capicinno, seafood, pasta and cannoli along with great hospitality!!
anchorage, Ak USA 07/18/2012
Response to 'Local Business' 6/27 post
This is a reponse to Lynn from Edmonton who's looking for a perfumer from Vernazza. I picked up some of their perfume last year in Vernazza and love it. The name is Gocce di Byron and they do have a web site in case you can't get your friend to pick some up for you. Not sure if they will ship to the US, but it's worth a try. http://www.goccedibyron.it/intro.htm
Collegeville, PA USA 07/17/2012
We love Vernazza
I just spent 3 days here, June 28-July 1. We stayed in corniglia but visited all the towns. All the trails are open except from corniglia to manarola, so take the train for that section. Vernazza was in great shape and so beautiful. We swam in the warm waters of the harbor and had a wonderful lunch there as well. Most businesses are up and running and the people are so grateful and welcoming. If you are thinking about going...just GO. It is spectacular!
Chicago, Il USA 07/16/2012
Cinqu Terre June 2012
Spent 3 days in 5 Terre in June 2012. Only two walks open - Riomaggiore - Manarola and Monterosso - Vernazza. Still packed with people! Did fine with those 2 walks, the train, and the boat to Portovenere. Still an amazing trip. All towns have pretty much recovered except that Vernazza still has signs of devastation.
Chicago, IL USA 07/13/2012
Cinque Terre triumphs!
I agree with everyone else about Vernazza and Monterosso's remarkable recoveries! I was there last month and could hardly tell anything had happened. The Cinque Terre prevails and has NOT been ruined by tourism. Our tourist dollars are much needed because some travelers think the area was destroyed, so they don't include it in their itinerary. The hiking trails are all open now, and as long as you get out early in the morning you won't be bothered by crowds. Protect your skin with sunscreen, hat and long-sleeved shirt, and drink plenty of water. The views and the hike are truly extraordinary! Then get a gelato and take the ferry back. It's a fun way to relax and to see the towns from the ocean perspective. I'm glad I stayed in Monterosso because it's the livliest of the towns and very welcoming. I'll be returning as soon as possible!
Idyllwild, CA USA 07/10/2012
I left my heart in Vernazza
I stayed 3 nights in Vernazza, from June 26th thru June 28th, 2012. I am so happy I stayed there! Will be going back in the fall.
Yelm, WA USA 07/10/2012
Cinque Terre flood
I was in Vernazza and Monterosso last week. Mongterosso looked as if nothing had happened except for the stains on the wall of the city's cathedral.
In Vernazza Via Roma was all abuzz with construction work, but there is much to see and do. I particlarly enjoyed meeting Valeria, the owner of the local yarn shop, Sogni di Lana, on Via Roma. It's a small shop, but worth visiting.
FLORENCE, FI Italy 07/06/2012
Was in Vernazza today, July 4 and it looks just great. Lots of restaurants and businesses open. They have done an amazing job.
RockviLle, MD USA 07/04/2012
This is a bit random, but worth a shot. I am trying to locate a business in either Vernazza or Corniglia that sold perfume - there were 5 different ones, each a number with a seal signifying one of the five villages in Cinque Terre. I am looking for an English speaking contact that might be able to put me in touch with the perfumeria owner? I have some friends traveling there in a month and wanted to have them pick me up some more of the #3 perfume. Thanks in advance for your help.
Edmonton, AB Canada 06/27/2012
Cinque Terre Trail #2
From the LaSpiaggia Poggi facebook page:
"Trail number 2 from Vernazza to Corniglia is officially reopened!!! Happy hiking!"
Austin, TX USA 06/22/2012
Vernazza a Long Way to Go
We were in Vernazza just today. Spent two nights on the main road through town. It was very noisy, dusty, the people are hard at work trying to rebuild. The construction noise starts about 8 a.m. Had we known we would have stayed in a different town, perhaps Monterosso. We did hike the trail between Vernazza and Monterosso and it was awesome, then cooled off in the ocean before a wonderful meal. It's amazing to see photos of the mudslide, amazing how quickly the towns are recovering.
Santa Cruz, Ca USA 06/19/2012
We just returned from 5 wk car travel and one of our best days was visiting Monterosso. We took the train from Viareggio. It was warm and inviting. They are open for business so don't hestiate to dine and hike and find a lovely cafe. We did all 3! The whole of Cinque Terre is full of color and awaiting their guests.
David and Susie Miller
Palm Desert, CA USA 06/16/2012
Vernazza recovery benefit
Sons of Orpheus, the male choir of Tucson, Arizona, USA, is giving a concert to benefit Vernazza on 22 June 2012 at the church of Santa Margherita d'Antiochia in Vernazza. All are welcome.
Tucson, AZ USA 06/08/2012
Here right now
Sitting on the deck at Manuel's guesthouse right now. Monterosso is doing great, stores and restaurants are all busy and doing well. We went to Vernazza and still a lot of construction going on, but lots of places to eat and stores are open. Lots of tourists visiting Vernazza as well so good to see. Only trail #2 is open along the water and of course the flat "lovers lane" between Riomaggiore and Manarola. We've been doing some amazing hikes on the upper trails trying to stay away from the gridlock of tourists on the lower ones and have had some amazing hikes. Weather is hot, ocean is beautiful, people are friendly....what more could you ask for for.
Okanagan, Bc Canada 06/07/2012
Cinque Terre Trails
June 2, 2012: Main trail and alternate are closed between Vernazza-Corniglia-Manarola
Tampa, FL USA 06/02/2012
My husband and I stayed in Vernazza in May and it is one big construction site. Construction vehicles/workers/equipment /noise everywhere. Not a lot of businesses/restaurants open yet.
Sugar Land, TX USA 06/02/2012
Traveling cinque terra
My husband and I have just left 2 days staying in Monterosso and we were so glad we did and wished we could have stayed longer. The people in the cinque terra area need the tourists to help them rebuild. We trained to la spezia and walked the tracks which were open ans stopped at every village. The food and local vino was awesome.
Melbourne, Vic Aus 05/30/2012
We just spent two very nice days in Monterosso as part of the April 29th 21 day Best of Europe Tour. We could not have had a better visit or trip for that matter. Strolling the streets and beaches of this little coastal town was so right. Could not have had a better time, oh yeah, and the multiple meals we had at Belvedere's were amazing (superior seafood).
Kim & Tamara Ransom
Altamonte Springs, FL USA 05/26/2012
My husband and I were in Vernazza 2 days ago. We were there 12 years ago and loved it. It appears that only about 25% of the business's have reopened since the flood. But it sill has it's magical feel and things are getting back to order. They need all you travelers now more then ever. We had been traveling in Europe for 3 weeks, and saved all our buying for Vernazza. Bought wonderful things from the shops that are open. The Italians there are lovely and things will very shortly be better then ever there. L
Scottsdale, AZ USA 05/17/2012
Just got back from Cinque Terre. It was great! The towns are beautiful. The only one that still had bad damage that I noticed was Vernazza. The central street is open but under repair. Make sure you check the local train schedules. I used a train schedule from Rick's latest Italy book but there had been some changes which resulted in a 2-hour train station wait.
Gonzales, LA USA 05/11/2012
Up Dates Cinque Terre
There are daily tweets on Cinque terre , there is also an American trek person who keeps people informed on what is going on and up dates the trail conditions. Trekguyd.com is his web site which is full of great information if your going to Cinque Terre.
Pacific Grove, CA USA 05/07/2012
Monterosso seems to be in very good condition as of my visit last week, although there are still some signs of the flood and its aftermath. One of the most enjoyable towns we visited and very, warm, welcoming, and resilient people, in light of what they have been through.
Houston, tx USA 05/05/2012
Sales of my book benefit "Save Vernazza"
In 2008 we visited Cinque Terre, staying in Vernazza and Manarola. Fell in love with the people and the place. I published a little book later, "Write Your Travel Memoirs: 5 steps to transform your travel experiences into compelling essays" which included an example travel memoir written about my experiences in CT. I am sad that recovery is slowed by lack of resources and will do what I can to help. I am donating all sales of my book on Amazon in 2012 to Rick Steves' "Save Vernazza". Go here to view on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/7mo23yv
Sarah E. White
Madison, WI USA 04/23/2012
Visit Cinque Terre
I visited Cinque Terre at the beginning of April. Much has been rebuilt. You can see that Vernazza was hit badly. Here are some photos:
The Hague, NL 04/14/2012
We love Vernazza
I was in Vernazza with my family three days ago, we had a four nights stay at FrancoMaria (beautiful!).. it's fantastic how this town is coming back from the disaster, the streets are full of people, all the shops in Via Roman are working heavily to reopen before the end of April or May. It's quite moving, I guess. I would advice all the Rick Steves readers to visit, eat and sleep in Vernazza not only for helping the locals, but because it is magnificent as ever, just with few shops opened by now and some scratches in the front walls. Visit Vernazza! I did and I felt part of the town and its history, including the tragic one of the 25th October last year.
Myrtle Beach, USA 04/09/2012
Hi to everybody! We would like to inform you that the track from Monterosso to Vernazza is finally open again!!! The track from Levanto to Monterosso and other tracks are always practicable!! ciao Giuditta Hotel Primavera
levanto, italia 04/07/2012
We were in Vernazza March 24 prepared to spend or donate $$$. We could not find an on-site office or location to make donations which I think would be a good idea. Seeing the devastation in photos does not prepare you and I cried when I saw it (I am not a weeper usually). I also worried about the pleas to visit there because it seemed to me that the tourists there (March so not overwhelming) were getting in the way of the workers. I hope that with Rick's visit there will be more specific and updated advice. Monterosso is in much better shape.
Wake Forest, NC USA 04/06/2012
Steve Todd's response
Thank you Steve Todd. Glad you had a good time
Minneapolis, Mn USA 04/05/2012
We just returned from Cinque Terre (March 23-27). Monterossa is doing great with the rebuilding efforts! Many stores and restaurants are either open or very close to opening. Vernazza is another story. It was really hit hard! All the mud is removed, and the process is ongoing. While some things might be open this year, I think it will take another year before Vernazza is 'up and running.'
Colorado Springs, CO USA 04/04/2012
We just returned from Cinque Terre. We stayed in Rio Maggiore from March 23-27. We visited all 5 towns. The hiking trails are all still closed except the path between Manarola and Rio Maggiore. Monterossa is doing good! Many of the shops and cafes are close to opening. (we spoke with some of the owners as they were working to open their shops by April 1 hopefully). Vernazza is still pretty badly hurt! The mud is gone, but it's a LONG way from being back to 'normal.' A couple of locals I spoke with told me, they don't anticipate it being really up and running until 2013.
Colorado Springs, CO USA 04/04/2012
i am a looking for a place to stay in CT. will be taking train back from Riomaggiore. I figured its good to stay there.
Can anyone reco a safe and good place to stay with sea view and near the train station? thanks so much!
Editor's Note: All questions should be posted on the Traveler's Helpline rather than here. Go to http://www.ricksteves.com/graffiti/helpline/index.cfm and post your note.
Blue Sea (@ Chula)
Since you were wondering about the sea conditions - the water is crystal blue and clear like normal, and was actually checked a few weeks ago. The water and marine beds are safe and healthy, and miraculously fine, and the beach is gorgeous as usual in Monterosso. You can check out recent pictures and article links on www.rebuildmonterosso.com
Monterosso al Mare, Italy 03/26/2012
A Way for Cyclists to Help Cinque Terre & Liguria
Just saw this story on cyclingnews.com about an auction of race-worn cycling jerseys that will benefit the Liguria region.
Looks like another way to help out the region, with a bonus for the bicycle racing fans
Stephen J Schilling
Indianapolis, IN USA 03/20/2012
Cinque Terre Paths updates
Hello, thanks to Michael Roberts, Mike, Brian Mellor the for their latest comments that give a precise description of the current situation. In addition, I just want to inform that we'll u p d a t e the situation of the paths of the Cinque Terre on our Blog at the page http://www.cinqueterre.com/blog/cinque_terre_paths.php
Comments on this page are also welcome.
Greetings from Manarola
Manarola, SP USA 03/20/2012
Cinque Terre is open and well.
We visited the Cinque Terre on March 15 and 16 and were enchanted. Each town is easily accessed by train in a single day. Vernazza left a bad taste in our mouth because of the attitude towards tourists. We stopped in Vernazza to have lunch and make a donation. There was only one restaurant open and it was so busy we couldn't get table. We were unable to find a place to make a donation. Along the way, on seperate occassions, Carol and I were breifly seperated and within a half hour, men deliberately bumped her shoulder as they passed by as if to say "Yankee go home". It was no accident as there were no crowds.
Manarola was special and other than a couple of rude Italians in Vernazza, we would encourage anyone contemplating the Cinque Terre to not hesitate.
Vancouver, WA USA 03/17/2012
Cinque Terre...A Must
I've just been to the Cinque Terre 3 days ago. I have not been to Vernazza but been to all the other 4 villages and everything is fine. Definitely worth a visit, the scenery is just beautifull. The walking paths between the villages are still closed apart the one from Riomaggiore to Manarola but travelling by train takes less than 2 to 3 mins between each village and that leaves you ample time to visit the villages themselves and the wonderfull beaches :)
MT Malta 03/15/2012
Vernazza and rest of Cinq
Nobody has mentioned what the sea looks like - if it's blue again and if there's still debris or not. Have rsvns. for fall in Vernazza. Aloha, Chula
Honolulu, Hawaii USA 03/01/2012
Go to Cinque Terre
My wife and I just returned from a five night stay in Riomaggiore (2/13/12-2/17/12). It was wonderful. The only town with major construction work going on in the scenic areas is Vernazza. While the only coastal trail open is between Riomaggiore and Manarola, we hiked up the hills between Manarola and Corniglia and up to the church above Riomaggiore. Both, while strenuous, were amazing. Walking the back streets/allies of all the towns, including Vernazza, was a highlight and unaffected by the floods (it was mainly the main road in Vernazza that was damaged). I would say do not be deterred from going to Cinque Terre because of the floods, it was hardly an issue.
Dorchester, MA USA 02/26/2012
Kevin, I would say to definitely take your trip in March! The weeks my husband & I stayed in the Cinque Terre were some of the best of our lives. This area is not one to be missed, regardless of whatever work still remains with the clean up. And they need the tourism so much right now. Manarola is our favorite of the towns (be sure to visit Zio Bramante's, the best spot for live music in TC) but they are all beautiful and the people are just amazing. Enjoy!
FL USA 02/24/2012
Pray for Vernazza- not ready for tourists by April
Hello I was in Vernazza three days ago. It was very difficult to see this beautiful town devastated with still so much work to be done. The trains are running and there is one bar open, mostly for coffee and a sandwich for the workers. Another restaurant in the marina area is open for lunch only Monday through Friday.
There are large areas of the roads dug up for ongoing work with the water, electric and gas lines. Work trucks and digging vehicles line the streets and side alleys. Tents are set up in the marina area for the workers and they were working hard under rainy and cold conditions while I was there.
Many of the residents of the town have relocated to neighboring 5 Terre towns or living with family. One man I met told me that the government assistance had run out for those waiting for services to be restored to their town. Also more than one person I met in the town told me that without enough money or workers to get the job done, work continues slowly.
On the main street, plywood doors cover the areas at each doorway where the bottom level of buildings had been filled with rock and debris during the floods. Signs and emergency tape warn of electrical issues and other hazards. One heartwarming thing I saw was that, as you walk down the main roads towards the marina, these make-shift playwood doors had been painted beautifully. Artists had left their mark and added words of encouragement to the people of Vernazza to carry on a rebuild their lovely town.
No one I met, in any of the Cinque Terre towns, seemed to think that Vernazza would be offering accomodations to tourists by Easter as they simply havent the utilities to do so. Some restaurants may be open by then but at this time there is still a lot of work to do, especially behind the town and up the hillside, where the majority of debris and water damaged and uprooted everything in its path as it headed towards the center of Vernazza. In case you are planning an April vacation to Cinque Terre, please visit Vernazza for lunch to support their economy but plan to stay elsewhere. Conservative estimates were "by summer, we hope."
Stuttgart, Germany 02/22/2012
Cinque Terre is Open for Business!
While Vernazza is still in recovery mode, the rest of the Cinque Terre is open! Include it in your travel plans! 4 of the 5 main trails are still closed but will reopen by Easter and there are many other fantastic trails in the area. For more information and useful links you can read my post: http://culturalcomments.blogspot.com/2012/02/travelers-cinque-terre-is-open.html
La Spezia, Italy 02/20/2012
Monterosso Accommodation Re-openings
Rebuild Monterosso has posted hotel/accommodation opening dates for Monterosso post-flood, and will have restaurants, bars and such in a few days. The link to the list can be accessed here: http://www.rebuildmonterosso.com/p/visitors-information.html
Monterosso al Mare, Italy 02/19/2012
Italy trip : March 2012
We are planning on visiting Cinque Terre around March 23rd for a couple of days. Anyone have any advice on if it is worth our time or if we should still include this area on our itinerary. Any comments would be appreciated.
Jacksonville, Fl USA 02/18/2012
Cindy - thanks for the update on Agriturismo Buranco. That is great news!
Cotopaxi, CO USA 02/15/2012
Hi there... I read that Vernazza will be ready for the Easter period, most of the businesses will be open that time
@ Kristen, hotels in Monterosso
Kristen, Many hotels, especially in the New Town, were undamaged by the flood, and almost everyone is anticipating being open by Easter. It's best to contact any hotels you have in mind directly to see when they are planning on reopening, but by May you should be totally fine.
Monterosso al Mare, Italy 02/09/2012
Hotels in Monterosso
Does anyone know the current conditions of Monterosso and if hotels are open? I am planning to be in Cinque Terre in late May.
Cleveland, OH USA 02/07/2012
We're Going Back!!
We are completing plans to revisit CT this September-October. Our hearts go out to our amici in the 5 towns. Our plans are to spend an entire month there. We love the area but our favorite town so far is the smaller Manarola, so we're going back there. But we'll be contributing to a resuscitated economy in tutte le Cinque Terre. Corragio amici, and gelato here we come!!
St. Louis, MO USA 02/03/2012
We are booked at Hotel Punta Mesco in early April, any feedback at how Monterosso is looking?
Newcastle, NSW AUSTRALIA 01/30/2012
Want to locate Barbara Pensa of Vernazza
Can anyone tell me if mail delivery has resumed to Vernazza?? Does anyone know how I can reach Barbara Pensa of Vernazza? She rented us a room a few years ago and she was the most wonderful, kind and gracious hostess! I would like to know how I can contact her. With many thanks for your help and prayers for the people of Vernazza!
Brampton, Ont. Canada 01/27/2012
I was in Manarola two days ago, really beautiful stay... Since many people told me that Vernazza is opened to people and the trains are normally running, I decided to take a look... Well, it's incredible how these people are working, only two months ago the town was completely covered by mud and now it's all free. The workings for the sewer and the electricity lines are ongoing, there're actually about one half of the residents living in Vernazza, the other half have to wait for February when the works on the services will be finished... really astonishing to see how this town is rising up from the disaster in a frantic way, to be able to welcome visitors for spring... I had just a quick walk around and I saw the main road all closed for the works but, when I reached the main plaza, I can recognize the beautiful face of this town. Luckily Piaza Marconi was not damaged, and everything seems normal, except from the pile of ground in the little beach. Seriously, this people are really capable to build a new town before the winter ends. I will go back this summer, they really need our help as visitors. Just go there and look how far they went after the disaster. Some people told me that, once the services works are ended, the restaurants and the shops along the main road wll begin to set themselves to open, they think around the end of April. Anyway, two restaurants in the town are already running, I think only for the working crews.
Situation Sunday 22.01.Volunteers and footpaths
Situation on Sunday 22.01 Riomaggiore -Manarola - Corniglia are accesible by train and car. The train station in Vernazza has been open on 16.01.Works on the main street for gas,water,elettricity.Most impotant hopefully the inhabitants will return in Vernazza when the works will be finish. Some privates are working to restore the shops. Monterosso old part is under reconstruction but the situation is much better and people are confident to be ready for the spring. The footpath Via Della'Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola is open. From Manarola to Corniglia follow the route to Volastra (N.6) and then from Volastra N.6d to Corniglia.It has been cleaned by volunteers and is much more beautyfull than the N.2 (Sentiero Azzurro) on the sea,it is also more challenging up to Volastra but from Manarola there is a shuttle bus of the National Park to skip the first part. The Sentiero Azzurro between Manarola/Corniglia/Vernazza/Monterosso is still closed but will be open hopefully for April. The volunteers are going to clean other footpaths above Manarola and between Manarola and Riomaggiore in order to have some unusual an unknown rings as alternative to the damaged footpaths N.2
Manarola, Italy italy 01/23/2012
Vernazza stay in August, or choose a different location?
I will be travelling to Cinque Terre in Mid-July and would like to continue to stay and visit in Vernazza. Does anyone have any opinions on whether we should stay in Vernazza or choose a different Cinque Terre town (We should make reservations soon)? If so, any other town suggestions?
Collegeville, PA USA 01/23/2012
Update of footpaths
Grazie Eugenio for the welcome update. Wonderful news after so much pain and suffering. We look forward to visiting this beautiful area soon. Auguri di cuore.
chicago, IL USA 01/23/2012
Hiking trail and to Steve Todd
To Steven Todd, A report on the area would be great after your travels. Or if you can't wait send a report while you are there. Hard to find info on condition of trail from Riomaggiore to Monterosso Al Mare. Sounds like the trail to Corniliga is ok, just want to know if you can continue to Vernazza and the on to Monterosso.
We are booked in a small apartment in RioMaggoria in the end of March, 2012. Our host assures us that everything is fine up to Corneglia, and that the rest is well on toward recovery. When we return, I will post a report as well.
Colorado Springs, CO USA 01/18/2012
My husband and I stayed at Il Pirata in Vernazza last May after reading the recommendation from Rick Steves. It was the BEST part of our 2-week trip to Italy and Paris. Luca and Massimo the twin brothers/owners were wonderful, funny, accommodating hosts. For those of you who have stayed at one of their rooms or eaten at their restaurant you know how special they are.
I emailed them last night and got this response in return.
this is Noelia (wife of Massimo, one of the twins)... I'm writing to you with bad news; as you can check on the Internet (Vernazza news...) this area and specially Cinque Terre (Vernazza & Monterosso)on October 25th were hit by a terrible weather (storm, floods...) ; all the restaurants, bars, business in general have been totally destroyed, it was impossible to get to Vernazza regularly because the trains lines and roads were completely ruined...
... our rooms are completely devastated and our bar Il Pirata was completely covered by mud and stones that reached the second floor of the building and so impossible to work in... Fortunately all of us are well (we were able to get back home in La Spezia right before the worse arrived in Vernazza).
On October 27th Massimo & Luca got to Vernazza (by the sea with a boat; it was the only possible way to get there) in order to see how our place was and our friends were because it was completely impossible to reach them by phone. And the situation was terrible!! No water, no heaters, no light.... Food arrived by boats...
floods happened on October 25th, and only one month later we were able to get into our restaurant (with a big machine working in it), not possible to do it by hands...But more or less the resume of the devastation is the following though a few things has been done since October, still Vernazza is completely devastated... The habitants of the village weren taken to La Spezia, Levanto and Riomaggiore because there was not potable water (still not in many parts of the town), no sanitary services, just a few trains during the day, no gas (so no heaters) and electricity not the whole day...
In Vernazza, work continues but quite slowly now, because all the "help" from the government (fire workers, and different rescue units) are already gone...
Hopefully we'll be able to rebuild the restaurant by the summer time, but not the rooms (that's for sure!).
We hope to see you very soon again!
all the best,
Massimo, Noelia, Sasha (our 5 year old son), Gianluca & Leyla
Edmonds, WA USA 01/16/2012
Agriturismo Buranco in Monterosso
Janine, I heard from Meri that she and Agriturismo Buranco are fine.
W.S., Fl. USA 01/15/2012
Hiking in Cinque Terre
Where can I find current information on the condition of hiking trails in Cinque Terre? How much of the trail from Monteroso al mare-Vernazza-Conrniglia-Manarola-Riomaggiore is open? Anyone hike the upper trails? would like info on that too. Would like as much current info as possible.
Minneapolis, MN USA 01/12/2012
I'm in CT right now
I'm in Manarola right now, and everything is gorgeous... Really, this low season period allow you to get the best from this town... Also Riomaggiore is quite beautiful.... Few people around, no crowded restaurants, the cleanest sea and the cleanest sky you can imagine... Seriously, don't miss Cinque Terre this year, it seems that also Vernazza will be ok from April... I think people of Vernazza and Monterosso can't wait to see people coming back to visit their towns, and do the things they did before this disaster... I saw Vernazza from the train.. It's amazing the work they did, you can see the main drag free from mud, and all seems quite normal, apart from the few empty cantinas and bars... I suggest you to visit CT this season...
Albany, Usa 01/08/2012
Visted Cinque Terre 1/3
I just returned from Cinque Terre and can give some insight:
Riomaggiore- accessible via trail, train and car. Manarola- accessible via trail, train and car. Corniglia accessible via train and car only. Vernazza- closed to the public, train stops only for approved people and to maintain the schedule. Monterosso- accessible via train, trail from Levanto.
I stayed in Riomaggiore and it was quite and beautiful. A handful of tourests from abroad and Italy too stayed in town. Like Manarola, several restaurants and shops are open during this low-season for them. The trail between the two towns are open and business is as usual for the two southern towns. Corniglia I wasn't able to stop off due to my own time constraints but, I'm going to assume it's the same as the other two towns, only their sections of the trail is closed, both directions. The Vernazza side due to the slides and the Manarola-side due to pre-scheduled maintenance. So, car or, train only for Corniglia. Now the heavy stuff.
Monterrosso, is just about finished digging themselves out. The town experienced culvert and sewer collapses on both main streets of New & Old Town. New town is in better shape and those accommodations along Via Molinelli should be up and running by this spring. All the debris from that section was pushed out to the waterfront parking lot. Everything along the waterfront is fine, no damage. Old Town on the other hand suffered the worst of it. Virtually all shops along the Via Roma are gutted and were buried, the Via Roma as a street barely exists now due to the water damage that has turned the street into a gully, exposed rebar from the torn-up street is everywhere. The electrical, water, sewer and gas trunk lines were torn-out and they need to be replaced before any shops can reopen. Walking thru, the stench of mildew from the shattered concrete and cement was overwhelming as various contractors worked to clean-up store-fronts, replace flooring and windows and reinforce structures. Only a single restaurant was open: l'Osteria. Tourists were there along with the mayor, various town managers and contractors all grabbing a lunch before going back out. The mayor, could barely get two-bites in before getting pulled aside for his direction or, opinion. He seems liked a pretty charismatic guy who has an idea of organization, a TV crew was following him around as he gave an assessment of their progress. The restaurant crew was also working at full-tilt busting their tail to accommodate everyone. Hats off to those two. Monterosso is partially open now, and will be running come Spring-time.
Vernazza, you are not allowed entry. The trail is blocked and everyone is telling anybody, don't even think about it or, try; they've got enough on their plate. From the train you can see, they've got a mountain of dirt/debris to still move out of the main street and square/waterfront before they can asses where the priorities lay. The main street, like Monterossa will need to be rebuilt, and because the buildings are in a narrow ravine, the force of the water with debris is accelerated so, structurally, a bunch of buildings are probably going to have to come down due to their foundations being gutted. Winter rains lays ahead so, reinforcing the surrounding hillsides is an even higher priority than the town itself.
Monterroso needs help and but, they're on the way to recovery; Vernazza is going to need a LOT of help, they're probably at least a year away from allowing tourists thru that section again. This is going to be a long-term recovery for them.
San Francisco, CA USA 01/05/2012
Visiting CT in May 2012 (yes or no)?
We were planning to visit CT (specifically Vernazza) at the end of May, but after just finding out what happened I am not sure what to do. We were planning on spending two nights. 1. Would you still go? 2. If so, where would you stay (town) - recommendations on accommodations? 3. Coming in on train from Florence (suggestions?). 4. Taking traing out to Venice (suggestions\helpful ideas)?
Burlington, VT USA 01/04/2012
Does anyone know the status of Agriturismo Buranco in Monterosso? It is such a beautiful place and I hate to think how the landslides might have effected it. Any information would be appreciated.
Cotopaxi, CO USA 01/01/2012
I am in Riomaggiore right now
The villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, and Corniglia are open. The pedestrian pathway between Manarola and Corniglia is closed as of now. You may need to take the train between these 2 towns. I stay in Riomaggiore. There was a spectacular firework show to celebrate the new year. I enjoyed Cinque Terre very much despite not being able to visit 2 out of the 5. The towns are not very crowded especially after sunset. The "Lover's path" between Riomaggiore and Manarola is particularly fun to walk at night when it is only lit by moon light and stars. You can see the crashing waves and hear the roaring sound from the sea.
Toronto, ON Canada 01/01/2012
Still planning on going in 2012
We are still planning to go to the Cinque Terre in April 2012. I have been in contact with Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso and they are confident things will be much improved by then. Either way, it is my first trip to Italy & I look forward to going to this area more than any other on our trip.
Ironton, Ohio USA 12/29/2011
We are so saddened to see what has happened to the people in Vernazza and Monterossa. We were just there in the summer. All the locals we met have their lives turned upside down now. We pray for you all.
ScottsdaleclanS, Az USA 12/29/2011
I think you'd be happily welcomed in the CT after what happened. Those 3 towns werent affected, and part of Monterosso is fine too (i have a cousin there)...I'd still go and contribute what they need most - people to keep coming!
New York, NY USA 12/27/2011
We are so sad to hear/read about the flooding in Cinque Terre. We walked the trails of Cinque Terre in 2010 and are planning to return May 2012. After watching the movies and seeing pictures of the damage, we cannot wait to return to our favorite place in Italy and help support the local villages.
Charleston, SC USA 12/27/2011
Trying to find out information
We spent time in Vernazza a few years ago and it was one of our favorite places in Italy. We were horrified to hear and see the pictures of the flooding. How could this happen to such a wonderful place. We stayed in a B&B owned by Barbara Pensa and are wondering if she is OK. We send a Christmas card every year, but this year we didn't know where to send it with the situation as such. Wanted to know if anyone else knows her, or if there is a way to find out if she is OK
Brampton, Ont USA 12/24/2011
Hello, We have travel plan in early April to see Cinque Terre! Any info on if we should still plan on staying here for 3 nights and where? From the comments it looks as if Manarola, Riomaggiore and Corniglia did not get affected.. not sure what to do. thanks
Boston, MA USA 12/20/2011
Hector from The Blue Marlin
Unfortunately I just found about the disater in Vernazza a few days ago. My friend and I spent time there 2009 and met so many wonderful townspeople. One of which was Hector, a bartender at the Blue Marlin, who was very kind to us. Does anyone know how he is doing? I am sending a donation and will go back to Vernazza again someday to support them. My heart goes out to all. God Bless
barnegat, nj USA 12/15/2011
Hi, someone here asked about Francamaria and Andrea - I have been in touch with them and even though everything is destroyed they are doing well and hope to invite people back as soon as possible!!
Warwick, England 12/10/2011
Updates regarding Monterosso and donations to the town fund can be found at http://www.rebuildmonterosso.com.
Levanto, SP Italy 12/08/2011
Last Day in Cinque Terre
Four of us were staying in Riomaggiore on the weekend before the landslides. We took the boat tour of all five cities on Sunday and hiked from R. to M. on Monday, trained from M. to C., and hiked the rest of the way. It was a perfect day for hiking and we experienced the beauty of the blue sea and the grand vistas that the Cinque Terre offers. As it turned out, we were some of the last hikers to climb down into beautiful Vernazza and Monterosso before the devastation. We took many, many pictures of the two villages before the sad turn of events.
As a side note, the Italian Navy would not let us return to Riomaggiore on Tuesday evening when we returned from Pisa. Instead, the Navy and Red Cross put us up, and fed us, at an army barracks in La Spezia; it was a strange, but wonderful experience and they are all to be commended for their organization and helpfulness.
We got to return to R. the next day and spent two more days hiking around there, but it seemed very sad since most tourists had left and many shops were closed due to the proprietors helping others in C.T. who were in need.
Please financially support the restoration of these uniquely beautiful places on our Earth.
Dr. Craig Nelson
Saint Peter, MN USA 12/08/2011
Hotel Margherita Monterosso
We were staying at the Margherita when the floods hit and had to be evacuated. All our luggage is still at the hotel. Would like to contact them about that. Would like to make a donation to them specifically .
Pittsburgh, Pa USA 12/06/2011
Spend two glorious trips to Vernazza - the last one a few years back. Best of my wishes and love to the two people who lost their lives and to the townspeople who make their lives in the lovely Italian township.
J. D. Di Lella
San Diego, CA USA 12/02/2011
Thank you for the continued updates. I Love the Cinque Terre area and pray for them.
San Diego, CA USA 11/30/2011
I've been able to keep up with Vernazza and the progress there, but I can't find anything about Monterosso's recovery. Where can I find out how Monterosso is doing?
Columbia, SC USA 11/27/2011
Ellen - Monterosso news
Ellen, You'll find news about Monterosso on Kate Little's blog. Lots of great stories about how Monterosso and it's people are dealing with life after the flood. Links on how to donate to their town too: http://www.littleparadiso.com/
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/27/2011
Ellen, check out the site littleparadiso.com for information on Monterosso. You will find a lot of information about what happened there and the ongoing recovery effort, personal stories, how to donate, etc. Another informative website more specifically for Vernazza but gives an idea of how things are going in the area is culturalcomments.com Both websites offer suggestions and details for donation options including much needed items for volunteers in both villages.
Scottsdale, AZ USA 11/27/2011
JOE in Pittsburgh - Hotel Margherita - Monterosso
Chicago, IL USA 11/27/2011
Thanks for all you are doing for Vernazza. I recently published a book, "Magic Bridge," in which many events take place in Vernazza. I would be most happy to donate 20% portion of each book sale to the relief fund, and I have contacted the Save Vernazza group to set that up.
If you would like to see more about the book, please go to our website: www.magicbridgethebook.com. There are three chapters devoted to Vernazza, and several to Rick Steves. We have hundreds of friends of which we have recommended travel to Vernazza, and we are all just now hearing of this disaster and are eager to help.
Author, "Magic Bridge"
Phoenix, AZ USA 11/23/2011
First of all, I want to thank Tom and Julie for the slideshow. What an incredible account of the actual events and ultimate devastation. We were in Vernazza during the terrible storm, thankfully high up on the 4th floor of Albergo Barbara on the piazza. All we could see was the raging water that kept coming and coming, and the boats being ripped into the water, and eventually cars being tossed out into the water. It was so frightening because we didn't know what was happening or where the water was coming from, but now that I've read others' accounts of what they experienced, we were actually much safer than most. My heart is heavy when I see pictures of the workers and locals digging out; I can only imagine how much work is ahead to restore the beautiful village. I will never forget the looks on the villagers' faces the next morning, before we were evacuated--disbelief, grief, sadness, but also determination to rise again. I am eternally grateful to those who helped us safely onto the boat, and my thoughts and prayers are with all the people in Vernazza. We will return as soon as we can!
Bonnie and Dave
Denver, CO USA 11/22/2011
Cinque Terre/ floods
My husband and I celebrated our 35th anniversary with a trip to Italy. Our last stop on our journey was Cinque Terre 9-20-25-2011. We stayed in Monterosso @ Buranco, but visited all cities while we were there. And did the hike from Monterosso to Riomaggiore. The beauty was beyond words. I've never seen such blue water. Our hearts are saddened by the recent news of the floods. Does anyone know if Mama Mary, family, and staff @ Buranco are ok? We are concerned for them and Buranco.
Cindy and Mike
Winter Springs, FL USA 11/22/2011
Does anyone know how I can contact the Margherita Hotel in Monterosso?
Pittsburgh, Pa USA 11/21/2011
We stayed in Vernazza in April/May 2010 and rented on San Francesco from Elisabetta Carro. I have emailed her, of course no response. If anyone knows how they are doing...? We will also donate as we can. Such a shame. One of the most picturesque places on earth!
Vancouver, WA USA 11/20/2011
And thanks for the update on Il Pirata. So glad they are safe.
Vancouver, WA USA 11/20/2011
Flooding in Vernazza
The day after we arrived, we had a wonderful day visiting the five towns and woke up to rain the next morning. The owner of the place where we ate breakfast (The Blue Marlin) suggested we might like to visit another town further up the coast so we were on the train station watching the rain when the announcement was made that our train would not be coming but the next one scheduled would be there. We watched the rain get heavier and heavier and the main street began to run like a river. A beautiful playground and area with flowers and trees began to get washed away and soon the main street was roaring and churning, washing a car and truck down under the train station and water and debris over the tracks and the train platform. We were beginning to get very concerned because there was no way to get off the train platform. Three wonderful Italian men began leading people across the tracks in hip high water and over a fence when a propane tank broke free and came barreling down the main road. It exploded just before it reached the train platform and the men began screaming to run. We ran through a tunnel (a total of 14 people) and they lead us over the train tracks in hip high water, over a fence, through someones apartment and down to the back entrance of the church. We were soaked through and through by this time and the priest and Frederico, a teacher from town who was on the platform with us got us blankets, towels and a case of water. The priest took the communion wine out of the sacristy and it sure tasted good. After a couple of hours there, watching the water come up the church doors, we were lead to another church on the top of the town which was set up as the emergency center next to the mayor's office. (I tried to give the second bottle of wine back to the priest but he wouldn't take it so I distributed it in the emergency center.) By this time the town had no electricity, no water and no gas so we mingled with the local people while kind men brought cookies, water and juices from where ever they could find them. The children were kept in school overnight because it was too dangerous to let them leave the building and the raging water made it impossible to get from one side of town to the other. The rain and water roared all night long and cars, mud, trees and debris washed down the road and into the harbor. Some people were trapped in stores and restaurants along the main street and had to escape out back doors and windows into peoples' apartments. The place where we had breakfast had to take a hammer and break the wall in the back of the place so people could crawl out. Enrica, our landlady, sent her son to get us at the church and he lead us down to their home where we slept au natural after peeling off our wet clothes. After Enrica's father offered us a glass of breakfast wine, we put on our wet clothes the next morning and climbed back up to the church with Enrica and her mother since they had no food or water and we tried to get some water and bread. The bread was all gone but we did get water. It's amazing to me that all we ate in a 36-40 hour span was a couple of cookies and water and wine and we were never hungry the entire time.
The next morning helicopters dropped emergency workers into town and they began evacuating tourists by boat since the train stations in Vernazza and Monterosso were totally filled with mud and debris and would not be able to run for at least a week. Enrica couldn't get our luggage since her rooms front the main street but she managed to get a woman to let her go through her apartment and through a window and she somehow got our luggage for us. We met her in an alley behind her home and started down into town.
The harbor was filled with everything that washed down the hills and the emergency workers and local volunteers helped us cross the streams that were still running by putting benches over the streams and walking us over them. We were able to be evacuated on the second boat that dropped people at La Spezia where they provided a free bus to the train station. We missed our plane connection to Paris and stayed overnight in Piza before flying to Paris the next day.
Our shoes and suitcases still smell like Vernazza mud but we are very happy to be safe and dry again. Nine people were killed in the flash floods in Vernazza and Monterosso and the people had no water, electricity or gas even days after the disaster. We feel very bad for the people in the village because they said it would be at least 3 years before the town would be back to normal and most of the people rely on tourism for their livelihood. Very, very sad!
Ridgefield, CT USA 11/19/2011
Any news on Il Pirata? Massimo and Gianluca were the best when we visited in 2009 and we've recommended so many to this magical area. If anyone has information please respond. I am thinking of all in this wonderful land of Vernazza.
Lake Zurich, IL USA 11/19/2011
"I've been in touch with Gianluca and Massimo's families and while Il Pirata is buried, they are safe in La Spezia. I'm so sad at this tragedy, the Cinque Terre is my favorite area in all of Italia. I'm sure they'll rebuid!" From an earlier post on this thread
NC USA 11/19/2011
Charitable PAYPAL donations for Monterosso
The Municipality of Monterosso al Mare is now able to accept charitable donations through their Paypal site at http://www.comunemonterosso5terre.it/hh/index.php . If you need step by step help navigating the payment, I've explained it here: http://networkedblogs.com/q2cS4. They have also set up a blog where you can visually follow their progress through daily videos and photos and, if you read Italian, follow the comments written by the town administration. The address is http://www.buongiornomonterosso.blogspot.com.
Levanto, SP Italy 11/17/2011
Before the flooding.
We wanted to share a link to a short movie from our trip to the Cinque Terre in an effort to collect some more donations from our readers. We put a link to this site at the end of the movie and in the article.
If you would like to check it out, or share it, here is the link: http://www.thequestforzest.com/general/devastated-vernazza.html
We can hardly bring ourselves to look at the sickening pictures. If we had the money to be there, we'd be on a plane in a heart beat and offer our help for whatever they needed.
The Quest For Zest
Fort Wayne, IN USA 11/16/2011
Annamaria of Camere Fontanavecchia
I am so glad to read that Annamaria of Camere Fontanavecchia is okay. My friend and I stayed at her place across from the post office last July to recover after the heat in Florence. We love Vernazza and spent several lovely days there. So sad. I wonder if anyone has heard how Stephanie (the massage therapist who had a practice next door to Annamaria) is doing. Has anyone heard from her? I hope the "pirates" at the cafe are okay, too.
Pittsboro, NC USA 11/16/2011
Professional Surfers volunteer in Vernazza
Right now a professional long board surfing championship competition is supposed to be taking place in Levanto but the seas are too calm to surf.
So the surfers went to Vernazza to help out and to see first hand what happened there. The reactions and comments of the surfers are recorded on lovely video that ends in very touching tribute to the ones who were lost. Also in the video are some new views of the cleanup efforts in Vernazza.
Kate posted the video on her Little Paradiso blog. Please take 5 minutes to watch it: http://www.littleparadiso.com/
If you can donate to Vernazza or Monterosso, here are a couple of places to do so using a Paypal account:
Tom and Julie
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/16/2011
monterosso al mare website
Two websites/blogs from americans who live in the cinque terre posting much about monterosso and what is doing here:
I also enjoyed my stay very much at the charming house. I emailed Giacomo and thankfully he replied that both he and Maria are ok. They're staying in La Spezia for now and may return to Vernazza next week. He says there're lots of cleaning up to do.
Thank you Joanne
Joanne, Thank you for sharing your very personal account of what happened. I just got word this morning from the ladies at savevernazza.com. Vernazza is my favorite spot on the planet. I am glad you and Kevin are OK. I hope we will all be able to return soon. My prayers are with the people of Vernazza in his time of loss. Three people being take in one swift trgedy has to be devastating for this community. I donated a little contribution today and will continue to do so as much as Ican afford, and hope we can all pull together to restore our beautiful Vernazza.
Miami, Florid USA 11/13/2011
We stayed in lovely Vernazza at the end of September of this year. Does anybody know how Mrs. Gemmina (who had rooms to rent on the main street, right across the street from the Blue Marlin), is doing? Hope her and her family are safe... Thank you for posting your news and stories.
Boston, MA USA 11/13/2011
Maria Capellini Rooms
I was instantly taken in by Vernazza when I visited 2 years ago. Maria and Giacomo were so warm and friendly. Does anyone know if they're safe? My prayers go out to them and all the other wonderful people I met.
Singapore, Singapore 11/13/2011
We were blessed to stay in Vernazza Sept. 2008 at Via Carratino 62 which was on the trail to Corniglia. Does anyone know how that area fared in the floods and how Elisabetta Carro is? Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Vernazza and the Cinque Terre.
Susan Van Haren
Dewey, AZ USA 11/12/2011
Hello, my name is Bonnie and I stayed in Vernazza for the first time just a few weeks before disaster struck. I stayed in the apartment of a lovely older Italian lady named Giuseppina. Her son owns the "Salumi e Formaggio" shop across the way. I was wondering if anyone knows if she and her family are ok. This is such an awful tragedy.
Novato, CA USA 11/12/2011
Annamaria of Camere Fontanavecchia
To those of you who know Annamaria of Camere Fontanavecchia....She if doing alright. I received an email from her. Yes...her home was destroyed, but she intends to rebuild and reopen in the future. She mentioned 2013 ..... but, who really knows at this time.
Clarkston, Mi USA 11/11/2011
Coleen and Erick!
We looked for you in Vernazza the day after the flood. We were very worried about you, having not seen you anywhere during the crisis (and knowing where you were staying). We were so relieved to see you 2 days later, (as you likely saw on our faces) when we ran past each other in the train station. Had our connections not been so tight, we would have stopped and shared stories and hugs. Glad you made it out OK. Thanks for sharing your story. If you ever get to the Seattle area (or us to the bay area), we must figure out a way to get together for dinner or share a glass of Vino.
Tom and Julie
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/10/2011
Save Vernazza Now Taking Donations via PayPal
Save Vernazza is now ready to take donations via PayPal. Please visit our site at www.savevernazza.com
Save Vernazza ONLUS
Vernazza, Italy 11/10/2011
In Vernazza during the flood/landslide
This blog was written a few days after we left Cinque Terre. We were in Vernazza the day of the flooding/landslide: Thurs. Oct 27. We arrived in Florence last night after a harrowing experience in Cinque Terre (CT) our first day 10-24 in CT was very nice. We hiked a section of the trail from Monterosso Al Mare to Vernazza.....overcast and light sprinkle but still lovely. that was enough of a hike for us, but we looked around Vernazza and decided to come back the next day Tues, 10-25 for lunch and then hike from there. So we came back the next day. It was raining a bit, but we thought it would brighten up. We stopped in for cappacino and dolce and waited out the rain...soon it started raining inside the place.....not a good sign.....oh well......went out took some pictures in a light rain, then off to lunch.....we headed up a side street to Ristorante Incadase Da Piva.....we were the only customers and we had a wonderful lunch. During lunch it started raining harder and harder, oh, well, we ll have more vino!! Soon a lady rushes in hysterical because the street a short block below us had turned into a raging river.....shh....shhh.....everyone calmed her down, no problemo, the lights were flashing on and off......at times we just had the generator light....no problem. We started looking out the door at the water rushing below....Whoo! typical?? i asked.....no, no..people began to get worried about their friend with a shop on the Via Rosa the street below us. Then all of the sudden they all start yelling in the restaurant and rushed out. My husband, Kevin says to me landslide!!!! let's go QUICKLY!!(he had HEARD the landslide) We were the last ones out and we followed the restaurant staff and owner up and up people were rushing around turning off their gas....gas....gas....same in italian as Enlgish....you could smell it everywhere.....the gas main had broken in the street...so we all have rushed out of the restaurant following the locals up and up these tiny winding alleys through the residential areas....the gas smell is strong everywhere and people are really panicking-crying, yelling. We [INVALID]nate between staying under cover in walkways where the smell is stronger and going into the open areas getting drenched in the torrential rain....you can hear the water rushing down the main street in town, Via Rosa. and see it in sections. It's now muddy like a river,with all the ground from the mountain in it....it's rising quickly....the rain begins to slow to a trickle and we say to each other we got to get out of here...there are no police that we can see, no one seems to be taking charge.. hmmm....doesnt seem to be any emergency plan, what to do in case of landslide and flood ...the train station is basically covered in mudand rock ,we can't reach it anyway as there is a raging river between us and it......we decided to check out the trail that leads to the next town Corniglia, thinking we could hike out. We are dressed pretty well, as we planned to hike that day, hiking boots, rain jackets, layers , hats.....so we start out, its pretty steep going out but not as steep as the trail we hiked yesterday....and today we have more motivation and adrenalin! We head up and get to some pretty narrow sections that are now slippery. you can see the once beautiful water full of mud-debris from the landslide, and oh what is that?, a propane gas tank leaking in the water (i have pics). The rain starts hard again, im pretty much drenched to the skin, but it's not cold and no worse than a 15 mile run in the rain.....I even have my wicking hat-gloves....but perhaps this wasn't a good idea as we see that a slip will basically lead to a 50ft. [INVALID] off the cliff. Should we turn around or keep going? The decision is soon made for us as we get to a part of the trail that is impassable because of a landslide......ok.....we had walked about 20 min.and got nothing but drenched, but we turn around and are now heading down on this slippery trail in the pouring rain......we get back to town safely......although its hardly a safe place.....things seem worse.......the water in the main street has covered the entire first floor of buildings. We can see signs from the top of shops barely showing above the water... So we wander around back in town and find some Americans that we had talked to earlier from Washington State...turns out that the woman works for Rick Steves Tours-Guidebooks,and they are on a R.Steves tour. We stand around with these 4 people and 2 more tourists from Australia in this covered walkway.....now it is getting cold since we are standing still.....the Aussies are complaining that none of the Italians are opening their doors and taking us in. In Australia they would never leave people standing out side in a natural disaster....i point out that the locals are watching their shops being destroyed, and cars and boats floating out to sea and are worrying about the old nonnas and children that people are taking to higher ground......the tourists are not their first priority! Anyway i dont know if i want to go in a house anyway as the gas smell is so strong coming from inside when anyone opens a door. After about 60 min. of standing around we go into a covered doorway opening and a women (who is really upset) lets us in......grazie millie!!! No, the bathroom can't be used....the sewage water has risen up to the top.......no electricity, but they have candles lit.....ok,this makes me a little nervous......and the grandmother who looks about 90 is sitting on the couch. They bring in chairs for us, cover them in plastic as we are all dripping all over. Then we sit and chat (sorta) for another hour or so....as I'm watching these tall tapers burn down i feel like im in a movie, and this is showing the passage of time...... The husband is running back and forth helping out (doing what ?) in town.....probably getting people out of first floor buildings. Soon he comes back and tells us that there is a place for people like us.....with food-water......he will take us there. So we follow this local to a large outdoor patio at a restaurant at the Castle....the highest point in town overlooking the harbor. There are about 100 to 200 people there wrapped in tableclothes to stay warm....it was nice to be out of the rain. There was heavy plastic tied around the patio so it was almost like being inside...they had those outdoor patio heaters going and people were hanging around. We talked to other tourists for a while and found out that those who were in restaurants on the main street at the time of the flood-landslide were in water up to their thighs, then they started standing on tables....men were holding the doors to keep the doors from breaking down. .they finally got out when people cut the bars on high windows.....we were happy that we choose our lunch place on the street a bit higher! About 8:30 pm they broke out a bunch of great food from the restaurant, incredible mussels in a faboulous sauce, meat, cheese etc. We had a flashlight in our backpack, so my husband, Kevin stood with the light over the food while they served. one of the men owned the restaurant and was supplying everthing, the other who was serving just had his perfume shop and car destroyed. despite the tragedy the mood was festive....eventually i met a young couple from Houston. They had a room in town, that was high up.....they invited to stay with them that night in their extra bed...since there was no way we were leaving the town that night. We took them up on this offer, since the [INVALID]native seemed to be staying in this patio restaurant all night, and it was starting to get cold.....it gets very cold there in the mountains at night. We had found out the night before. So off we went with our new friends, lindsay and thomas. it was nice to finally get out of the all of our wet clothes. we had a pretty restless night, but at least it was in a bed....kevin and i shared a single bed! The next morning we went back to the restaurant patio to see what was going on. We watched the coast guard boats come in and [INVALID] off rescue workers.....we also watched helicopters [INVALID] off rescue workers.....an hour or so went by and it looked like nothing was happening in terms of dealing with the tourists (us). So we decided to work through town and see if there was anyway to get to the train station and then maybe walk along the tracks to get out of town.....So we start wandering around town the next morning, trying to figure out how we are going to get out of town.....there is no electricity, no water, no workig toilets, no trains out, and the sea looks really rough so we dont know how long it will take the ferry to get there to take people out. We figure that the way out will probably be by ferry, but will that be in a few hours or the next day? We head towards the train station. There used to be a pretty tall set of stairs leading up to the train station......now the train station is even with the rest of the mountain, which has covered all of these stairs.......we head that way, and see a small path, we are probably trespassing on peoples property at this point, but does it really matter? We climb over some debris, and see a possible path to the train station. There is a young Italian man shoveling dirt off a level floor.....Thomas, (of the Houston couple who shared their room with us) goes out to scout the path to see if the rest of us could make it.....he walks along the top of a stone wall, hops down, talks a bit to this guy, and then crosses the flowing river, which at this point is not very wide, over a door that the guy has put down. We find out this guy is shoveling out the inside of his house, which has been destroyed, looking for personal belongings....we see his smashed computer and other stuff in the mud. he was wiped out, physically and emotionally. Thomas continues down over the mud and debris to the train station....he talks to some train employees, and figures out that YES it is possible for some tourists to travel on the tracks....small maintenance cars (smaller than a caboose) are bringing in workers. when they head back out to Corneglia, the next town, we could catch a ride....but no luggage, people only (at least that's what Tom thought he said). In the meantime Kevin goes down and starts helping this guy shovel.....the guy seems ready to take a break, and Kevin is ready to DO something...then kevin goes down and negotiates with the train workers in italian (he has gotten good!) and hand gestures, and it is decided that we could have 2 suitcases among the 4 of us on the maintence car....since our suitcases were back in Riamigorria, this got Tom and Linday's suitcases on the car.....which was coming very soon.......so Tom and Lindsay RUN back to their hotel, down muddy paths, up millions of steps in town, up 3 floors to their room, to grab their suitcases and get back as quickly as possible......we wait to help them carry their suitcases, passing them from person to person over the trail, down some sections, over the door over the river, etc. and eventually to the train tracks.....the guy shoveling his house helps us, as do some other random locals. We make it to the train tracks and the car is already there!!!! We run to the car, squeeze our way in, and then a few other people show up (they had a toddler with them, which got them the ride) and squeeze in after us....the train guys jump on and we are off!!! Lindsay and Tom are still huffing from the run back......its about a 5 minute train ride and we remember to take a few pictures......then we make it to the next town, where we get off, grazie mille!!!! (thousand thanks) to all the train people and then we wait for the next real train running from Corneglia. We get on....phew!! we made it....we say goodbye to L & T . They are heading to La Spezia and from there directly to Florence. Kevin and I jump off at Riamigiiorre where we had our room. We trudge up the hill, and stop at the grocery store which is just getting ready to close....when we tell them where we had been, they give us bread and cheese and water all for free....they had heard of the disaster! Everything was fine there. But another town Monterosso Al Mare, had been hit badly as well. We ate, shower, Ahhh.....and head off to settle our bill.....the booking lady was a New Yorker who had moved to CT in 1979.....we showed her pictures of the disaster on our camera.....very sad for all the towns. Off to the train again, this time to La Spezia and from there to Florence.....by now it is a BEAUTIFUL warm day, and the water is glistening in the sunlight, and I am so sad to be leaving Cinque Terre!!! People in town said that it would take 3 to 5 years to rebuild the two towns that were hit! hopefully we will come back again. The END.
St. Louis, MO USA 11/10/2011
in the 5 terre on that fateful day
I stayed in the 5Terre (Riomaggiore) with my daugher and sister Oct. 23-26. The day before the storm, we took the lovely hike from Monterosso to Vernazza. As so many of you know, the site of Vernazza from the trail is breathtaking, and I am sickened by what that scene is today. The day before the storm, I took footage of the lovely scene of the local men in Vernazza laughing and talking as they methodically pulled their boats out of the water, and 'parked' them on the piazza next to the marina...with no idea what was to come. We stayed in Riomaggiore that night. The next day, the day of the storm, we went as far as Manarola and were told not to even try to get to Monterosso since the water was up to people's shins. We enjoyed a nice lunch in Manarola by candlelight since the lights had gone out. We had to walk back to Riomaggiore on the Via Del Amore, in the dark (scary!), since the trains were out. We did not know until we had gotten to La Spezia the next day just what had occured in Vernazza. We had almost booked our room there, but by the grace of God decided at the last minute of planning to stay in Riomaggiore. We managed to get out on one of the fews trains that ran the next day.
west simsbury, ct USA 11/10/2011
Our hearts go out to the people of Vernazza and Monterosso, we just learned of the floods (Nov 8). We spent 2 wonderful days in Vernazza just 2 weeks before the disaster and hope to return. Francamaria and Andrea were so kind to us, does anyone have any information about them? Thanks to Tom and Julie for posting your photos, they are amazing and heartbreaking.
George & Pam
Longmont, CO USA 11/09/2011
This is a long account on our ill-fated stay in Vernazza Italy during the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in the area on Tuesday October 25, 2011. They got 375 mm or about 15 inches of rain in about 24 hours. We arrived to join friends who had rented an apartment in Vernazza at 15 Piazza Marconi. For those who have been there, it is on the third floor above the last pizzeria nearest the water taxi dock and adjacent to the Belforte Restarant. We arrived on Sunday October 23rd and already knew that heavy rains were predicted for the 25th. Intermittent sprinkling started on the afternoon of the 24th and by late evening on the 24th it had become steadier.
On the morning of the 25th, we awoke to the heaviest rain we have ever seen in Italy. The winds were very gusty also. The locals had pulled all of their boats out of the water but it wasn't going to be nearly enough. There were a few breaks in the rain and I went to the Cinque Terre park offices on the train platforms and bought a few souvenirs about 12:30 p.m. I think trains were still running at this point. The street along Via Roma was wet with puddles but most of the stores had opened. Soon the rain came back harder than ever so we stayed in the apartment and watched.
Things changed around 3:00 p.m. when suddenly we could see mud starting to flood the little piazza below. Our power went out for the last time and the flooding began to get worse and worse. By about 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. we saw what really blew our minds as several cars came tumbling into and through the piazza and into the water. We realized that these cars had to have come from the upper parking lot above town. It looked like a green van that looked like a park van we had ridden in on earlier trips had broken in two and also tumbled into the water. Eerily, most of the vehicles had their lights on even as they swirled in the water and began to sink. We didn't see anybody inside them and prayed that the owners had gotten out in time.
Most of the little boats were eventually dragged out into the bay and sank. At least one local was almost swept away trying to re-secure the remaining boats in the piazza. We didn't see anyone in the water but if they had been swept through the piazza and into the bay, they would have been killed from the pounding. We knew that the main street must be in bad shape and that this was a major disaster for Vernazza.
Around dark, the rain began to decrease quite a bit and we got out trying to walk towards the railway station along the alley on the castle side of town. We could hardly believe what we saw as the first two archways leading to Via Roma were completely submerged in the growing darkness. As we looked down towards the little grocery Salumi e Formaggi from the next overlook, we saw that the tall doors were completely under water. There were some stunned locals out as well and we heard the same word over and over; disastro! As darkness fell we could barely see the train station but although the tracks over the road looked intact, each tunnel looked completely full of water and mud.
We went back to our apartment and before long our landlord's brother came by to see if we were OK. He told us that the Al Castello restaurant which is just under the little castle had cooked up all their remaining food and would give it out to anyone who needed it as long as it lasted. By then our water was out and we had no natural gas. We had drawn some water into pots before the water failed but it looked dirty and probably not safe to drink. We had enough leftover food for a day maybe but needed water to drink. When we went up to the restaurant, there were stunned tourists who had been flooded out of their lodgings, day trippers who were trapped when the trains stopped running, as well as locals. Some people were crying and we have never felt so sorry or helpless before. We heard that they were arranging a dry place for anyone to sleep who had no place to go. The residents of Vernazza were calling out to us from their windows to warn us of the flood waters and to offer water and food. No doubt they knew friends or family that may have been missing and still cared about tourists like us. It was very moving. The owners of the restaurant were so kind and generous too; the people of Vernazza were amazing to use a totally inadequate word.
We ended up taking in a Russian couple we discovered in the entrance way into our building who had been trying to wait out the storm in a doorway. They had been given water and a snack from some locals. We offered them a share of what we had but they just wanted to rest and went to sleep early. They decided to hike to Corniglia and left early the next day. Just after sunrise Wednesday I got out and saw the first helicopters hovering and assessing the situation. A small coast guard boat managed to dock in the harbor though the morning had shown that it was mostly full of debris and rocks. The water was still dividing Vernazza along Via Roma but locals had begun to work to divert the water through the old harbor and archway.
We got out and tried to help clear a small section of a walkway above the train station but it was useless without tools. We saw our landlord again and he said that a small train could get some of the tourists out to Corniglia on one section of the tracks that was cleared out. Later he came back to tell us that boats would be arriving to evacuate the tourists and those who were hurt. Fortunately, the weather was clearing quickly though the seas were rougher than normal. We felt so sorry for the people but there was nothing we could do. Worse, we were more mouths to feed which made all the tourists liabilities. With emergency personnel rappelling down ropes from hovering helicopters we packed and moved to the harbor as the second ferry arrived. My wife and I were the last two to board that second ferry and around 13:30 p.m. we said our sad goodbye to Vernazza. There were tourists on the ferry as it arrived from Monterosso. We had seen the city lights there the night before and didn't realize they had suffered like Vernazza as well.
We were evacuated to La Spezia and representatives were speaking to us as we waited near the dock. We had heard a rumor the Italian government had chartered a flight to take tourists to Paris from the Pisa airport. I had a couple of phone numbers for the two hotels in Portovenere and called them to see if they happened to have rooms. I called the Hotel Genio and they had rooms so we travelled to Portovenere and stayed there the next two days. When I told him our group had been evacuated from Vernazza, he offered us a discount. Even though Portovenere was probably less than ten miles from Vernazza, it appeared to be untouched from the rains when we arrived. The weather was about perfect for the 2-3 days we were there which was as different as you could imagine from just a few miles away.
While there I got some Italian newspapers and was stunned at the devastation from the region. Although I cannot speak more than survival Italian, the scope of the disaster was obvious. I'm pretty sure one of the pictures was of us as we boarded that second ferry at Vernazza. I asked the innkeeper's son who could speak some English if he knew how many had died. He said that according to the news reports 6 or 7 were dead in the region with two in Vernazza with more missing. He said that the two reportedly dead in Vernazza included a man who ran a grocery and a woman who ran a gelateria. If this is true, I have a pretty good idea which businesses these were from. Even after getting back to the USA, I haven't heard any other news about casualties in the Cinque Terre towns. I suspect that the Italians have no idea how many tourists may have been in the area when this happened.
We travelled to La Spezia on Friday the 28th to leave the region only to learn that three days later, only a few trains could get through from the north and there were long delays on all southbound trains. We stopped in the CT office there at the train station. The women there didn't seem to know anything more in terms of conditions in the CT towns other than to say that the entire park was closed. We saw a number of scars on the mountains as we were evacuated and would guess that the main trails through the area have been cut in multiple locations.
After getting back, we have begun to read some of the stories of rescue such as the Canadians who had locals cut the bars so they could crawl through a small window of the small bar they were trapped in along with a waitress and cat. We met them briefly and saw the tiny window some of them crawled through. We have begun to hear of the new web pages set up to coordinate donations for Vernazza and Monterosso. Apparently Manarola and Riomaggiore must not have suffered any major damage even though they are situated at sea level with mountains behind them. I guess the other towns must not have been situated within larger watersheds unlike Vernazza or Monterosso.
We will make a contribution to one or more of these relief funds and plan to return at some point to the Cinque Terre. We had been there four or five times previously over the years and the hard working nature of the residents there was evident as they scratched and struggled to clear a path to reconnect each half of their stricken town even before any heavy equipment could arrive. Those businesses along the Via Roma were destroyed but I am confident they will be rebuilt and probably quicker than I would have thought possible. I need to look over the photos and videos we have and may post some when we figure out the best way. We look forward to returning to the CT sometime in the future.
Mark and Maria Derrick
Chattanooga, TN USA 11/09/2011
Tom and Julie in Vernazza
We first met you on the train to Vernazza. You had gotten on the train and then you jumped off because you had not stamped your tickets. Then we saw you again on your way to the trail to Corniglia. (To distinguish who we are is my husband is Japanese and I am caucasion.) We actually saw you at the train station in La Spezia the day after the flood too. Anyway, our story is that we went to Santa Margherita and Portofino that day and when we were coming back, the train stopped in Sestri Levestri. Everyone had to get off the train. It was not going any further and no one knew why. Fortunately, there was a woman who spoke some English and we followed her on a bus that got us to Lovanto where we started to get some information about what happened in Vernazza. The next day we got on a train from from Lovanto to Monterosso. That is when we started to see the devastation. We were told to get on take the evacuation boat to La Spezia. (We thought we were going to have to leave our belongings behind in Vernazza.) Surprisingly, the boat stopped in Vernazza and, even though people were warning us not to get off, we did because we had to see if we had a chance of retrieving our stuff. I waited down at the piazza and my husband went up to where we were staying. (You got a couple of good photos of the place. It was the last yellow building way up on the hill above the train station. From your photos, I saw the damage and realized how lucky we were to not have been there.) While I was waiting, I saw boats bringing in water and food and helicopters landing with emergency supplies. The scene was unbelievable and heartbreaking. But, town's people were amazing. Everyone was working to get organized and helping one another. It was a little over two hours, before I saw my husband bringing down our suitcases. He had to traverse his way up the hill and then carry the bags one by one down the hill. All the paths were washed away. Again, we were lucky that another evacuation boat came and took us to La Spezia. We stayed at the Venizia and went to the laundromat too. However, the mud/silt stayed on our bags the rest of the trip which provided a vivid recollection of the disaster. Thank you for your slide show. It really helped me understand what exactly happened in Vernazza.
Colleen and Erick
Concord, CA USA 11/09/2011
Although we stayed in Monterosa, we visited Vernazza along with the rest of the Cinque Terre. The region should be classified as a UNECO heritage site. I think Vernazza will come back, its people are tough enough to have created a village in a narrow valley along a craggy coast.
Stamford, NY USA 11/09/2011
Visited the Cinque Terre area for the second time in mid September this year - LOVE Vernazza - it's my favorite of the 5. Going to savevernazza.com after this post to make a donation. I believe the people there will make every effort for a full recovery! Hopefully the harbor will once again be the serene haven for the beautiful fishing boats and the people will again be serving up great food and friendly smiles!
Dallas, TX USA 11/09/2011
Vernazza flash flood
We made it out o Vernazza in search of food especially and water on a small work train the next morning around 10am. The crew were kind and the train could only go south to Corgnilia due to the track status. We hadn't known there was food available at a hilltop restaurant and the locals around us didn't know either. We had collected rainwater during the flood rains 'just in case.' But Via Roma seemed to be the only street that had sold food and the rest appeared residential. Heartbreaking and hard to not have boots and a change of clothes so we could dig in and help. We were soaked that morning from sheets of rain on our way to breakfast at Il Pirato and weren't sure how many days we'd have to make it with our one dry set of clothes. No electricity that night, no potable water. We saw gushing water just south of the hillside and then a large sound and then the gushing stopped, i think that's when Via Roma likely surged and people told us they piled tables to climb up and out of restaurants. Many single women told us they were taken in by whatever locals they were with at the time. When we bought groceries no one said anything about needing to stock up so I don't think they had a flash flood warning at all. We saw local men with boots that very night rescuing the older women from their flooding apartments using ropes on the flooding stairs. Local fishermen probably had the right gear ready to go. The Italian coast guard circled around a lot the next morning but didn't appear to be dropping food or water. We parcelled out our 2 meals worth of picnics since we gave half to a couple who arrived the night of the flood without food. We were going to run out of these small meals by Tuesday night. Mostly we were just grateful to be alive but I felt torn I could not helped, then realized it would help most not to be a burden on the local food supply which would surely need to be boated in. We hadn't heard anything about when boats would start but we met people who took the boats and arrived in Corgnilia the same time we did so they were pretty quick about getting started, there just wasn't any communication yet about what would happen...unless perhaps we had had a radio and understood Italian? The train workers told us that machines would be used rather than people to get the mud out, after I'd told him I wished there were boots so we could all get to work on the mud.
Snohomish, WA USA 11/08/2011
Stephanie- yes! I remember you well. You were a great help to us all and definitely on my hero list (which is long). Your calm translation was essential for us that night, and your good humor was a lovely bonus.
Thank you. Our whole group, which we reunited with in the morning after the night at City Hall, has had Vernazza on our minds nonstop since that day and will definitely contribute as much as we can.
I also have a favor to ask regarding getting in contact with people[INVALID] do you have any contact information for Massimo and Jeff from the Blue Marlin? We would love to check in with them and see how they are and to send personal thank yous.
Christine & Vicki Rousu
St. Paul, MN USA 11/08/2011
The rain grew heavier as we nibbled cheese to the sounds of Puccini arias and the ducks quacking in the stream below our ground floor apartment windows. We were relaxed; reading passages from The Elegance of the Hedgehog and fiddling with a miniature travel puzzle. The apartment was only three years old with walls of ancient rock framed with perfectly run white plaster; a cantilevered bathroom vanity surrounded with opaque glass; hardwood and marble flooring below the translucent glass tiles of the countertop backsplash in the up-to-date kitchen. We crossed a footbridge each time we left "our home" at the bottom of the four story building to get to the street running down through the village into the harbor. We were scheduled to leave in several days, after a languid sunny month in Vernazza, one of the five Cinque Terre villages on Italy's Ligurian coast.
About an hour after we noticed rain accumulating outside our entryway, our host knocked on the door, asking us to quickly pack a small bag and move to a room on the floor above. From our heightened vantage point we watched as the babbling brook became a raging river, first filled with rocks and mud, then with cars, vans and buses from the parking lot farther up the road. The village's ruptured five hundred gallon propane tank was swept into the harbor after covering the lower village with a yellow haze. By nightfall the footbridge had been destroyed by vehicles and rocks washing over and beneath it, and the building's entrance porch[INVALID]with the only exit door from the four sleeping rooms on the floor we now occupied was sheared away, leaving us stranded unless we leaped into the maelstrom to be swept toward the sea.
The entire roadway became the river. We were in typhoon-like weather. Landslides from the mountains surrounding the tiny valley filled the original river bed and must have [INVALID]d earthen dams that seemed to burst periodically as pressure mounted, sending down mud, rocks and water at speeds too fast to estimate, with noise too terrifying to forget. The cannonade of rocks bombarding the building's foundation and lower floors shattered our nerves. Waves of mud and water crested as much as a foot above our second story room's window sill. Water inside our room kept rising.
Earlier we had barricaded the main hall entrance into the second floor with a chest. Now we tipped the sleeping room's particle board wardrobe onto its side atop the bed, added a few pillows and blankets to sit on, barricaded the door to the room and waited. We watched the brown water cover then float the bed. As the wardrobe's joinery came apart we placed all the flat panels and the broken doors we could find on top of the floating bed, but the platform was uneven, and our weight pushed the bed down to the floor, leaving us waist-deep in cold muddy water. By then the exterior hallway door had given way; the windows in the room beside us had broken open; we expected our room's water level would soon be level with the screaming torrent outside. Several times the water receded, [INVALID]ping two or three feet, only to rush in again with increased force. We prayed together, talked about what our lives together had meant, and sent signals with our LED flashlight. It was pitch black, except for an ever-so-important floodlight, still shining intermittently from a building across the road.
About midnight men wearing orange wetsuits with aqua tanks, along with local men in orange rain gear knocked on the window to our room. The window had held. Water in the room had remained lower than the water in the hall. Outside, the bottom of the riverbed was now level with the second story window sill. Although it was still raining, the storm seemed to have ended as quickly as it had begun. We were led to a church uphill[INVALID]my wife was carried over the rocks because she had no shoes[INVALID]given hot tea, dry clothes, and we tried to get some sleep.
With daylight more orange men arrived on helicopter ropes. And that afternoon remaining tourists were evacuated south to La Spezia, helped across the broken harbor to the heavily loaded boat by local men having lost everything. Neither roads nor trains were functioning. There was no electricity. There was no potable water. But people have lived in the Cinque Terre for well over 1000 years. Their family and community roots go deep into the rocky soil. Three days after the tragedy Italian TV showed footage of heavy equipment helping men with mattocks and shovels beginning the long process of recovery.
There is no way my wife and I can adequately express our gratitude to the people of Vernazza, and especially to our hosts, Annamaria and Moggie Meregoni, who cared for us even as their lives and livelihoods were falling apart, with their families and friends in such terrifying peril. My wife and I left Vernazza in borrowed clothes and with little luggage[INVALID]merely two of the 2.3 million people visiting these five tiny villages each year. We left feeling deep respect for the people of Vernazza. We wish them Godspeed in their recovery. They radiate God's grace already.
Don & Phyllis Hornbeck
Spokane, WA USA 11/08/2011
Camere Fontanavecchia and the Vernazza flood
Dear Don and Phyllis - my wife, daughter and I enjoyed the same apartment at Camere Fontanavecchia for three beautiful days in September. For us, the location was ideal, the apartment lovely and Annamaria and "Mama's" hospitality welcoming. Watching a video shot from across the street (at a time when you were most likely in the building) showing the river of water and mud flowing through the lower levels of the structure, my thoughts were two: 1. if anyone was occupying the apartment, I pray for their safety and 2. I hope Annamaria and Mama are physically safe. Your post addressed my concerns, and I thank you for that. I, too, share the conviction that the people of Vernazza will overcome this tragedy and make this special place a model of how the human spirit can look adversity in the eye and defeat it. I'm glad you're safe, and I hope to hear from Annamaria and Mama at some point in response to an email I sent earlier.
Saratoga Springs, NY USA 11/08/2011
Heartbroken to see the pictures of the destruction of this beautiful area. While I've not visited Vernazza in several years, I used to go regularly in October and always stayed at Albergo Barbara in a room overlooking the harbor. While I feel confident that lovely inn survived, given that it's on the top floor of the tall red building facing the Harbor, I'd love to know how Albergo Barbara's Giuseppe and his family is. If anyone's got any news, please post. I'm glad to see from the posts that people have made it to safety.
Arlington, VA USA 11/07/2011
We were in Monterosso the day of the flood. We arrived at the Hotel Margherita as the rain was coming down. We decided to go to lunch at Via Venti which is recommended by Rick Steves. We had a lovely lunch and then the water started to come down the street like a river. We helped the owners Micele and Iloria put up chairs and move things to the back of the restaurant, but then we were told to get out and move to higher ground. We were taken in by a wonderful family across the street. Their apartment was on the first floor above their restaurant. We spent the night with these wonderful people and never learned their names. We are truly grateful to them. The next morning we were evacuated to Sestri Levante where we spent the next night. We somehow got on a train back to Monterosso to see if we could get our passports which were in the safe in the hotel. We were shocked and saddened to see the devastation. The hotel lobby was completely destoyed and we were not able to get any of our belongings. They are still there we hope. We met the owner outside the hotel. We gave him our room key and he was greatly relieved to see that we were safe. He had reported us as unaccounted for. Does anyone know the status of Via Venti and the restaurant across the street? How is the Hotel Margherita? We intend on returning one day and thanking all the wonderful people we met that day.
Toni and Joe
Pittsburgh, PA USA 11/07/2011
Il Pirata cafe
My husband and I spent part of our honeymoon in Vernazza this past May and were saddened of this news. We enjoyed drinking cappuccino and eating pastries at Il Pirata cafe daily and enjoyed the company of Massimo and his brother who own the place. Hoping that they are ok and can bring this wonderful little cafe back to life. Does anyone know how they are doing? We will definitely be back to visit Vernazza as it is a magical place for us.
San Diego, CA USA 11/07/2011
Some new pics from Monterosso.http://helprestorecinqueterre.wordpress.com/
Ada, Mi USA 11/07/2011
I am leaving on 11/9/11 and heading to rome and florence. We have reservations in Riomaggiore for 11/17-11/19. Do you think we should change them? Is there anything left in the villages?
Visiting Cinque Terre post-flood
Erin - I would not stop my trip to Riomaggiore. Vernazza and Monterosso, which had the damage, are the two northernmost towns of Cinque Terre. Riomaggiore is the southern-most town. We stayed in Manarola in mid-October (pre-flood) and also had great concerns about the people and the area. We learned from our landlord that Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore were not damaged at all. The area could certainly use the tourism support and I would think it would be fabulous to be there when the area was less crowded. There are many things to do and see in the area than simply walking the trails from town to town. You can also catch a water ferry or bus to more northern towns (Portofino). This is an area not to be missed.
Brookfield, WI USA 11/07/2011
Went to Riomagiore, Manarola and corniglia today. Everything was quite. Train line was running but the hiking path was closed completely. Train was running all the way to monterosso but I did not want to get in the way going down there. The weather wad terrible. Heavy rain. But suppose to clear up. I am unsure if the hiking path will reopen which will be disappointing for a lot of people. I originally was going to spend several days here. But instead went for a day trip. I couldn't cone all this way and not see it. I would watch the weather and inquire on the path before booking and go last minute instead of pre booking.
Riomagiore and Manarolo seemed to have a few restaurants open but that was still limited. Barely any tourists. Maybe saw 2 couples.
It's worth seeing but be prepared for the hiking paths to be closed a quiet town minimal food options and lots of rain
Hope the best for those in Monterosso al Mare and Vernazza.
We were in Cinque Terre the first week of October this time. We were there three years ago and will be back. We stayed at Buranco with Mama Mary in Monteroso for this trip and loved it. We know these amazing people will be back on their feet and we are supporting them through www.savevernazza.com. Our love to all in this region and we will see you soon.
Chantel and Jason Hasman
Middleton, WI USA 11/07/2011
Helping Paradise to come back
For the last 3 years, I've visited Cinque Terre for a week with a group of women. It is paradise, and this September the Sea was crystal clear. I love Vernazza and Monterosso. Let's all spread the word to gather donations, so paradise is not lost. Give however you choose. There is also a site where 100% goes to Monterosso: http://helprestorecinqueterre.wordpress.com/2011/11/01/donate-here/
Fairfield, IA USA 11/07/2011
My husband and I spent some time in Monterosso in April and we visited all the five towns. We LOVED our time here and made several good friends. Our hearts are broken by the pictures we now see. We send our thoughts and prayers to all who are in the region. We hope to return next year to a rebuilt land of beauty and grace.
Clearwater, FL USA 11/06/2011
My family and I visited Vernazza last summer and spent every morning having coffee at Il Pirata. The twin brothers who own and run it quickly became one of our favorite memories of Vernazza. Does anyone on this thread know if they or their coffee shop are ok? I am so saddened for the people of this beautiful little city. It was without question one of the most magical spots of our trip to Italy.
Pasadena, Ca USA 11/06/2011
Monica Lercari Aids Vernazza
Monica Lercari and her husband, Massimo, a very generous couple, operate the Ristorante al Castello, rent out several apartments, and are local leaders in Vernazza. I read elsewhere that they sheltered residents in their high-positioned restaurant after the flood. What follows is a shortened version of the message that Monica just sent to a number of us who have been her customers.
many of you knowing of the disaster that has hit your and My Vernazza wish to contribute.
Here below are the banking details:
Branch: UBI Banco di San Giorgio, Via Chiodo 115, La Spezia
Please state: "Friends of Monica - Castello - for Vernazza"
Hoping to be able, in a few mounths time, to thank you personally in a, once again, clean Vernazza.
San Jose, CA USA 11/06/2011
Well, as with most of you, this region has a very special place in my heart. Me and my two best friends stayed three nights at Manuel's Guesthouse in Monterosso (was glad to hear that he and his son are OK via posts here). One of my fondest memories was one night kicking the futbol around with a few local teens and at that very moment, felt like we lived there. Looking forward to returning soon.
Mountain View, Ca USA 11/06/2011
LA Gazza Ladra - Monterosso
@Linda- Alessandra at La Gazza Ladra is fine. The shop had extensive water damage and the majority of her goods were damaged but, already, after just 10 days, most of the mud has been cleaned out and we are just waiting for water to be restored to clean up the rest. I have forwarded this onto her so she can see your note and respond when she has time. Your moral support means a lot to everyone here. Thanks, Kate
Levanto, SP Italy 11/05/2011
My daughter, grandson and I were in Monterosso the end of Sept. and the first few days of Oct. We fell in love with Cinque Terre and the very proud people who live and work there! My heart goes out to you and my thoughts and prayers are with you! What strength you gain from one another in this rebuilding! Together you CAN! I not only can't wait to come back to be with you, I would love to live there! Thank you, everyone for keeping the updates coming!
Plymouth, Mn USA 11/05/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
We were in Manarola Oct 24-26 and had planned to hike on that fateful Tuesday. Due to the bad weather, we took the train to Monterosso and believe that our return train was the last one that made it back. Our photos of Monterossa' beach being destroyed and Vernazza being flooded are heartbreaking. We were safe in Manarola at the Ca d'Andrean and want to thank proprietor Simone, who was so concerned and helpful.
Chuck & Joanie Rogers
Boston, MA USA 11/05/2011
Saved in Vernazza
Hi to Christine, Vicki, Tom, Julie and the other trapped travellers in Vernazza on Oct. 25, i am the woman with the black dog that was helping to translate while we took refuge in the church at the town hall. It is so touching to hear your stories. Your accounting of the events brings me to tears. I hope you are all home recovering from the traumatizing event. Thank you for your continued support! Stephanie Sette Founding member of Save Vernazza ONLUS www.savevernazza.com
Vernazza, Italy 11/05/2011
Anne, Annamaria is fine physically. We were staying in one of her rooms during the catastrophe. She, along with all the other locals are amazing. She made sure she found us and that we were ok and could recover our items from our room, even though that was of least importance to us. We have emailed her and not yet heard back from her, but know she made it through the disaster ok. She is likely preoccupied with more important things at this time.
Tom and Julie Wallace
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/05/2011
Stephanie, we remember you well and are glad to hear from you.
Thank you so very much for taking us to Annamaria the day after the flood. How are she and Mama doing?
We've been closely following the clean up efforts and weather [INVALID]s (keeping our fingers crossed....)
Great work on Save Vernazza! Much appreciated! We can't wait to donate! We were surprised but also delighted to see a link to our slideshow on www.savevernazza.com
Can you give us info on how we can reach Margherita? We would like to keep in touch with her. Also, we are wondering the name of the local man who works at and rescued us from the train station. We would like to send him a personal note of thanks.
Tom and Julie Wallace
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/05/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
My hubby & I were in the Cinque Terre the end of September, 4 glorious days in the most incredible place! We were saddened to learn of the flooding! We'll be back in the spring. Tom & Julie, your photos are the most awesome ones we found. Thanks for posting them.
Jean & Jamie
Loveland, CO USA 11/05/2011
Unfortunately, we only learned about this disaster yesterday. My sister and I were here this past June, based in Monterosso, in the old town on Via Roma. We are shocked and saddened to see the devastation in Monterosso and Vernazza. Lots of websites now available to donate. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the beautiful people of these towns who have shown such remarkable strength and endurance during this difficult time.
Vancouver, BC Canada 11/05/2011
visited all these wonderful villages in May and remember being surprised at the continual beauty as we moved from one village to another.Our thoughts are with these wonderful people who will once again show the world the hidden beauty of this Italian treasure.
ottawa, ont canada 11/05/2011
Tom and Julie
Hi!!! Everyone is displaced since the flood and subsequent evacuation, so I have not seen Anna or her mother in law. Would guess they are in Levanto with Anna's family. Not sure where Margherita went, but I will try to find some contact info for you. She was great that night, opening her home as she did! Describe the train station guy to me and I will see if I can figure out who he is. Did he have a beard and stash? Your photos of the before during and after are amazing!!! Thank you! I hope you are both well!
Vernazza, ITALIA 11/05/2011
Hi! Thanks for the [INVALID] on Anna and Mama. No hurry on contact info for Margherita. We're sure you have many more pressing matters to attend to.
The 2 men who rescued so many of us at the train station are both in the photo slide show that we posted. They're in the picture taken from the point of view of looking out of the gift shop to a nearly deserted platform. It's the picture with the caption "These two townsmen saved the lives of many (including us) by safely evacuating the station". The large muscular, bald guy worked at the train station. The other one, we're not sure. But this other guy is also in the previous picture taken of the crowd gathered in the gift shop. He's the only one facing the camera and his hair is wet. These 2 heroes saved many people that day when they led us to safety. Any contact info would be appreciated as we didn't have a chance to thank them.
Thank you for all you're doing Stephanie! We're watching the weather reports and hoping for the best.
Tom and Julie
Tom and Julie
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/05/2011
Save Vernazza Update
The website www.savevernazza.com is up and running. Today we finalize the legal paperwork which will allow SAVE VERNAZZA to be recognized as an ONLUS, an official non profit organization in Italy. This will provide an easy, direct way of donating non-taxed money directly to Vernazza for the immediate rebuild and future long term cultural enrichment programs that will benefit the community. Ours is an entirely english speaking site (in order to make it easier for foreigners to be up to date on the situation in Vernazza and to donate and understand the needs of the community). We will be able to accept donations via PayPal by the end of next week as we are in the process of legalizing our organization in order to provide a fully transparent way for people to donate money to our cause. We thank you in advance for your support in reaching out to the many members of the international communities who have expressed a desire to participate in the rebuilding and restoration of Vernazza. We can all make a difference.
Michele L., Ruth, Stephanie and Michele S.
Vernazza, Italy 11/04/2011
I had reservations for Vernazza for Oct. 27th & 28th. I had not heard anything about the flooding, as I was traveling. When the train stopped in Cornelia, the security guard told us "Vernazza Dead". Luckily there was another train employee who spoke English and informed me and the other couple headed to Vernazza what had happened. I was able to visit Riomaggiore and Portovenere, which were both beautiful, but the train wasn't even going as far as Manorola on the day I was heading out, so I left for Lucca instead. The boats and harbors are being used for relief efforts only. I watched them pull a capsized boat into harbor at Portovenere.
Milwaukee, WI USA 11/04/2011
OUr family went to Cinque Terre in early October of this year and enjoyed it so very much. It is heartbreaking to see how devasted it is now. Since coming home Cinque Terre is the first place I tell people they should visit in Italy. I hope that they are able to recover quickly.
Indianapolis, IN USA 11/04/2011
Dear Tom and Julie from Maple Valley - we met in La Spezia after getting off the rescue boat from Vernazza. I was with my Rick Steves tour group and you asked for suggestions of places to go to recover from the flooding. I have just looked at your photos - taken from the opposite side of Vernazza showing the floods outside the harbor where we were trapped inside Gianni Franzi's restaurant - makes me realize even more how very lucky we were to have survived the floods. I hope you two found a tranquil place to rest and I thank you for posting your photos. Hopefully we can reunite someday in Vernazza under sunny skies. I didn't collect your email so I hope you read this post and know I am thinking of you.
Deanna from Rick Steves
Edmonds, WA USA 11/04/2011
Sadness for Monterosso and Vernazza
My wife and I stayed in Monterosso for a few days in mid-October 2010 and it may have been the best part of our two weeks in Italy. We were both sad to hear the news, and are thankful for the availability of all of the information and the photos to come out of this that keep us up to date. I'm definitely glad now that I bought a few bottles of olio from Enotecca Ciak, and have hung onto them. Best wishes for the people of the region and for their recovery.
Stephen J Schilling
Indianapolis, IN USA 11/04/2011
Hello Deanna, Yes we remember you well!
Thank you so much for the great advice to dry out and have some down time in La Spezia. We got a room near the train station in Le Spezia at the Venizia Hotel and started drying out. There was a laundromat nearby so we washed EVERYTHING in the big heavy duty washers – including our Rick Steves backpacks! (afterwards we read on the labels that they were to be hand washed only but they did fine in the machine.)
While at the laundromat, we ran into 2 other couples who were also in Vernazza during the floods so we had folks around us to start processing what we'd all just been through.
The following day we continued on with our plans and visited Siena and eventually Venice. But the thoughts of what happened in Cinque Terre stayed with us – both during the rest of our trip and also now.
I'm glad you watched our slide show. It's heartbreaking to watch - and to be reminded of what happened and what is still ahead for Vernazza and Monterosso.
We're making our donation today to the Italian Red Cross and next week to the SAVE VERNAZZA website. If there is more we can do, please let us know. I've filled in the email field for this post. Please don't hesitate to contact us.
Thank you again for your help and kindness
We hope to return to Cinque Terre someday.
Tom and Julie Wallace
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/04/2011
My heart aches for the people of the Cinque Terre. My husband and I were there on Oct 16-18th and celebrated our honeymoon and our one month anniversary in Vernazza. I longed for years to go to this wonderful part of the world. We felt so lucky to spend such a short amount of time in such beauty. Although, we were budget traveling- we splurged on a couple wonderful meal sand cologne from Gocce Di Byron, our photos... We will forever treasure these things and be a reminder of the town's people and we can not wait to go back! our thoughts and prayers will be with you Cinque Terre!!!
Stacey and Richard
VENTURA, CA USA 11/04/2011
Vernazza, Monterossa flooding
LOVE VERNAZZA and the Cinque Terre! My husband & I & daughter spent a weekend in Vernazza-at Giani Franzi's-in July 2006. We loved every minute of it. Walked through all the five villages. It's mind-boggling what has happened there/seems surreal. It WILL come back because the people are so tenacious. Kathleen Hazel
Spokane, Wash. USA 11/04/2011
We already have a reservation for June 2012 for Vernazza and we still will be coming! Even if it is just to help during our visit.
Vacaville, CA USA 11/04/2011
Camere Fontana Vecchio
We also stayed at Camere Fontana Vecchio, on Oct 4-5-6 and have been worried about Annamaria since we heard about the flood. Does anyone have news?
Berkeley, CA USA 11/04/2011
Our Vernazza visit during the floods
Our stay in Vernazza began late in the afternoon on Oct. 23rd. It was our first visit to Cinque Terre and like many had gone there on the advice of Rick Steves. My wife and I were celebrating our 30th anniversary with a 2 week trip to Italy. Our highly anticipated 4 day stay in Cinque Terre was to be our "vacation within a vacation".
During the 24th, we hiked from Vernazza all the way to Riomaggiore, stopping at Corniglia and Manarola along the way. What a spectacularly beautiful area! Around every corner of the trail we were treated to new and enchanting views of the lovely Cinque Terre. The lower trail from Corniglia to Manarola was closed so we took the steep trail up from Corniglia to Volastra and rode the bus downhill to Manarola. At Riomaggiore, we enjoyed the best meal of our 2 week trip through Italy at Ristorante La Lampara. Caught the train back to Vernazza and hung out with the locals for a glass of wine at the Ananasso Bar. We felt so welcome there.
On the 25th we decided to stay put in Vernazza since it was raining so hard and most of the trails were closed. We walked the town in the morning and stopped for a most entertaining coffee and lunch at the Blue Marlin. What fun! (Later on we heard from other travelers that many people were trapped that afternoon in the Blue Marlin by the rising waters. The owners literally broke down a wall in the back to provide a safe escape.) In the afternoon we took refuge in the train station gift shop to wait out the increasingly strong rains. When it became unsafe to stay any longer, we were escorted to safety across the tracks and over a 12 foot wall by the station manager and a local resident. I think these 2 heroes literally saved our lives by providing a safe way to leave the flooding train station. There was no way we could reach the room we had rented in the upper part of town but eventually we were taken in by a kind lady named Margarita and given dry clothes, food and a place to stay. The next day we ventured out to see a devastated town. My god it still takes my breath away and puts a lump in my throat when I bring the images to mind of the damage done. I think it was around noon that we were taken by boat to La Spezia.
What will linger forever in my mind is that the only thing more beautiful that Vernazza is the soul of its brave and generous residents.
Tom and Julie
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/03/2011
Precautionary Evacuation of Vernazza's Last 150 Residents
Today Italian news agency ANSA is reporting that with the forecast of further rain in Liguria, authorities have conducted an precautionary evacuation of the last 150 residents of Vernazza. The mayor, Vincenzo Resasco, says the residents had left "in an orderly way and without any alarm". http://www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/english/2011/11/03/visualizza_new.html_644625882.html
Kent, WA USA 11/03/2011
Forever Grateful, Anxious to Return
Thanks, Tom and Julie, for the post and amazing slideshow. It mirrors our experience closely-- and it's stunning to see these images again. I hope you don't mind if I share it.
My mom and I were part of the Blue Marlin crew that was evacuated up to City Hall for the night after Massimo, Jeff, and others hammered through a wall to get us up to the second floor safely.
It was such an intense experience; I still can hardly believe it happened. You always hear people say of flooding "it just happened so fast", but until you are in it it's hard to fully grasp. One minute, Massimo was playing the piano for us in the dark, as the power was going in and out, and then what seemed like just the next moment, we were climbing through a freshly hammered hole in the wall and rushing up to the second floor.
We'll forever be grateful to the Blue Marlin staff, especially Massimo's fast thinking heroics and Jeff's incredible calm and steady hand. I have no doubt that Vernazza will recover-- the strength of the people was evident through the whole thing. We must all go back when the are ready for us, and do what we can to help in the meantime.
Christine & Vicki Rousu
St. Paul, MN USA 11/03/2011
Vernazza is the kind of place that immediately feels like home. Even after arriving for the very first time, it's love at first glance, and you feel instantly possessive of it, as if it were the town you grew up in. But unlike that ex that you're still in love with, the desire to claim Vernazza as your own doesn't mean you mind sharing her with others. As you pass fellow tourists on the street you can't help buy flash a big grin at them, as if you're all sharing an inside joke: you could be somewhere else, waiting in an massive line for a crowded bus on its way to your cramped cubicle and bloated inbox as winter freezes your nostril hairs together, but instead you're here, on the Italian Riviera, in Vernazza, one of the five towns that make up Cinque Terre.
It's a place where a local is more likely to own a boat than a car. Where a short hike provides you with a view that takes your breath away and then gives it back again. Where a delicious meal of pasta and fresh seafood at a quaint hole-in-the-wall restaurant is never more than a few cobblestones and one or two lazy cats away. Where you can bask on the sand or a wall of boulders in the harbor as the setting sun bathes you in orange and pink. Where you can walk out onto the balcony of your room in a castle and see the ocean through the bottom of your wine glass. Vernazza is one of my favorite spots on the globe, and I was devastated to hear about the tragedy there. I took these photos while having the pleasure of visiting there again in late September, 2011:
I will be back to visit again as soon as I can, as I know we all will.
Honolulu, Hawai' USA 11/03/2011
Sad about Cinque Terre
I'm so sad to learn today (ll/3) of the terrible catastrophe in Cinque Terre. Two dear friends, Sue and Lee and I just recently spent 4 incredibly happy and memorable days in Monterrosso. During this short visit, we traveled to all the towns and marveled at the exquisite natural beauty of this coastal area. Even more beautiful than the physical beauty of this place were the warm, open and friendly natives whom we met. In just a few days we got to share some happy times with them.
On the night before we left (Oct 20), the rain storm was so fierce and heavy that we decided that instead of eating at Miky's or the Belvedere we would stay in our room and play cards. We had a bottle of great local red wine and two pizzas that we got from a nearby pizzeria. Looking out our window we saw rivers of water gushing down through the narrow, cobbled hillside street.
The next day we departed on a train and headed for Genoa. This was the day before the train strike. We all felt quite sad to leave, but fortunate to miss the strike.
Today, I'll try to email the cozy Marina Albergo where we stayed to see how Alex, Nicoletta and Marina are doing. I'll also try to reach Alessandra, a very dear person we met and the owner of La Gazza Ladra shop. I'll ask what we might do to help.
There are so many who made our stay special. We also met up with the Rick Steve's group on our last day there and chatted with a few happy travelers from Colorado. How glad I am that they got evacuated safely.
As this area depends so heavily on tourism, I will now definitely plan on returning next year. Please don't be swayed to stay away. There is still so much more to appreciate and experience in this beautiful area.
PS: Does anyone know how Il Gigante of Monterrosso fared? Is he still intact?
Longmont, CO USA 11/03/2011
We ( 6 friends from Toronto, Canada) were in Vernazza that horrible day in a restaurant at the bottom of the hill near the water. As the water rose very quickly and the gas lines snapped we were trapped inside and would have drowned. We escaped with the help of the staff in the restaurant and emergency crews who were able to saw bars off an air conditioning hole near the ceiling and we crawled through.We then ran up several flights of stairs and ended up in someones apartment where we stayed overnight until we were rescued. We were amazed at the generosity of the villagers who made us food and tried to keep us warm.A sad end to a wonderful Tuscany holiday. Our hearts go out to all those who lost everything.
Maureen Murray,Charlie Murray, Joanne & Donny Amos, Barb & Larry Cassidy
Toronto, Ontari USA 11/03/2011
We ( 6 friends from Toronto, Canada) were in Vernazza that horrible day in a restaurant at the bottom of the hill near the water. As the water rose very quickly and the gas lines snapped we were trapped inside and would have drowned. We escaped with the help of the staff in the restaurant and emergency crews who were able to saw bars off an air conditioning hole near the ceiling and we crawled through.We then ran up several flights of stairs and ended up in someones apartment where we stayed overnight until we were rescued. We were amazed at the generosity of the villagers who made us food and tried to keep us warm.A sad end to a wonderful Tuscany holiday. Our hearts go out to all those who lost everything.
Maureen Murray,Charlie Murray, Joanne & Donny Amos, Barb & Larry Cassidy
Toronto, Ontari USA 11/03/2011
We were in Vernazza in September, celebrating our 40th. Loved the town and the people; our friends who go there often had given us their friends' names to look up, which we did, and all were so friendly...we have pictures of us with Massimo at Blue Marlin, the "Canolli Bros", etc. BUT when the horrible news came - I was so concerned about elderly "Mama" at Fontana Vecchia, as she and daughter Annamaria the innkeeper, lived on the lower floor of the hotel, below street level. In some of the devastating videos and slides we saw actual pictures of Fontana Vecchia with mud up to the window of the room we had in front. My same friends here just received a message from one of their Vernazza friends who named the victims....my heart nearly stopped when I recognized ALL three...two shop keepers..AND "an elderly woman at Fontana Vecchia". At risk of spreading an untrue rumor, I hope someone can verify this. Vernazza was our favorite site in all of our three week trip, and we are sick at heart. Would like to know status of Annamaria at Camere Fontana Vecchio if anyone knows. W're amazed and appreciative of the first hand accounts, though they're painful to read.
Eugene, OR USA 11/03/2011
JUST LEFT MONTEROSA BEFORE
MY FRIEND AND I WERE STAYING IN MONTEROSA ON OCT19 TO 22 ,WE ARE BOTH IN OUR 80THS FULLFILING A DREAM I HAD LONG HELD iT WAS PARIDSE AND WE VOWED TO GO BACK IN OUR 90,S. wE STAYED AT THEBEAUTIFUL VILLA DEGLI AGENTIERI AND FERVENTLY HOPE EVERYONE IS WELL THERE ALSO THE WARM AND FRIENDLY PEOPLE AT THE RESTAURANT LA BOUGANVILLE..WILL BE WATCHING WHERE TO SEND RELIEFE MONEY. LUE RILEY AND DONNIE VANDERWALL MONTREALPQ
MONTREAL P.Q., QUEBEC USA 11/03/2011
We visited in July 2011 and found this to be the most amazing part of our trip to Italy. Beautiful people, food, scenery. So sad to hear about the devastation!
Laura Lee Fekete
Dove Canyon, CA USA 11/03/2011
@linda - the giant? he's fine, he's a tough guy :) more seriously, the new side of town faired much better, aside from via 4 nov and via molinelli, which are both concerns with the rain and severe storm alert tomorrow through sunday. We have taken every precaution, including partial evacuations, but keep those positive thoughts coming...
Monterosso al Mare, Italy 11/03/2011
Mama and Annamaria
To Diane Speckman, Both Mama and Annamaria are physically fine. We had a room at Camere Fontanavecchia during the floods and saw them both the next day. Mama was distraught but fine physically. Annamaria was more worried for us than anything else since she didn't see us until the day after the flooding.
Maple Valley, WA USA 11/03/2011
Does anyone know if Antonio Greco and his wife are ok? We bought art work from their shop at borgata d'arte cinqueterre- via Roma 21.
St. Louis, Mo USA 11/03/2011
Cinque Terre flooding
My husband and I added a visit to Cinque Terre to our Italian visit this October and spent a wonderful weekend in Bonasolla, a hill town just west of the five villages. We left the day before the floods. I have two observations: do not miss wonderful places by thinking that you can always go another time/year. Second, there are still wonderful things to see in this region, and we should go back and help with our tourist dollars.
Williamston, Mi USA 11/03/2011
I have been in contact with friends in Monterroso and I have been told that Angelo and his family (Angelo's Boat Tours) are all safe.
Boston, MA USA 11/03/2011
How to help?
I've not yet been to Cinque Terra, but am hoping to do so some time next year. Rick Steves: Will you please let us know the best way to help the people of Vernazza. Do you recommend the Italian Red Cross, which is mentioned in some of the e-mails?
Denver, Co. USA 11/03/2011
Photos of Vernazza and update on Albergo Marina in Monterosso
To Tom & Julie from Maple Valley - Thank you for posting the link to your amazing photos. It broke my heart to see them but they tell the story. I was in Vernazza in June and remember wandering past the childrens' playground while enjoying my gelato from one of the stores down below. How sad to think that they are all destroyed.
For anyone wondering about the Albergo Marina in Monterosso - I heard from Erika in behalf of Eraldo & Marina, and she said that they are all safe and working hard to make sure that their wonderful hotel is ready to open in March. They are encouraged and strengthened by knowing that people are praying for them all over the world.
We need to all go back when the Monterosso and Vernazza are ready for us!
Seattle, WA USA 11/03/2011
Missed it by two days
It was Friday, Oct 21st. during our honeymoon. My husband and I we were so disapointed thinking that we could not make it to Cinque Terre because of the train strike. Although it was after midnight when we arrived to Vernazza, our B&B host met us at the train, welcomed us and led us through the town. We awoke to church bells and the most spectacular views. We spent two beautiful days walking and discovering the towns. It was a short visit that made a powerful impression. We left Sunday afternoon with our great memories and pictures. It is heartbreaking to see those very same spots devasted 2 days later. My best to all those enduring the disaster. You will never be forgotten!
Chicago, IL USA 11/02/2011
Good Things Will Happen
My wife and I had the priviledge of visiting Cinque Terre October 2010. This was one of our favorate sites in Italy and someplace we will go back to. We will pray for a speedy recovery for the town and the people.
Steve & Jenny Machado
San Francisco, CA USA 11/02/2011
Most of the comments coming out of the relief efforts are that they don't have enough work gloves, rubber gloves, thick socks, buckets, wheelbarrow wheels and broomsticks. I am wondering if maybe we can arrange people shipping some boxes of these things directly to the relief unit. Yes, the US is far away, but the stores in the area are all running out of these items and a one hour trip to Home Depot could supply their needs. I don't know if it's a crazy idea, but we certainly have practice sending boxes to our troops halfway around the world.
Everyone is wanting to help in some way and wiring funds does help, but you never know what happens after the money is sent. This is something physical that we can plan and ship FedEx by next week[INVALID]and it helps them NOW. I have the necessary address if anyone is willing to help organize. Please let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
La Spezia, Italy 11/02/2011
Corniglia mostly ok nov 2
We were in Corniglia today. It seems fine (train, shuttle running) except: There are signs everywhere saying not to drink the water. The phone land lines are still out, so nobody is accepting credit cards.
Overland Park, ks USA 11/02/2011
Civil and Parish Records
Does anyone know if Vernazza's civil and parish records were damaged in the flood? Please contact me if you know at Melanie_Holtz@hotmail.com. These records are a valuable part of this town's history.
Benson, NC USA 11/02/2011
I visited Cinque Terre in August of this year. I am so sad to hear about the flooding. This area is so beautiful and unlike any place I have ever seen. I am very sad to hear that mother nature tore through Cingue Terre with such force and distruction. Thoughts and prayers are with them all!
St. Louis Mo, MO USA 11/02/2011
This is heartbreaking and sad. We were in the region a year and a half
ago and immediately fell in love with it and its people. We pray for a speedy recovery.
Homestead, FL USA 11/02/2011
Hotel Pasquale & Hotel Villa Steno
I see some posts inquiring about Hotel Pasquale as well as Hotel Villa Steno. Both hotels are owned by the same family. I stayed at each hotel in early October 2011 and sent an email to Matteo at Villa Steno to inquire about the whole family and their properties. He responded immediately -- as soon as the Internet came back up two days ago -- to say that he and his family are all okay and, altho they incurred costly property damage, they are simply happy to be alive. They very much appreciate the prayers and the support and concern of so many of us. In his last email he said: "Please tell people that a good way to help Monterosso and Vernazza is to come back here next year. We hope to be ready for the next season by Easter. Thank you. Matteo" Hopefully by sending donations and making plans to visit them again in the future, we will all be able to help them and other locals of these beautiful villages to overcome this devastating event. God bless them all!
LOS ANGELES, CA USA 11/02/2011
My wife & I were in Monterosso in May and stayed at Manuel's Guesthouse
We just received an email from Lorenzo and he said that the family is OK and that the Guesthouse did not suffer any significant damage.
However, Lorenzo felt that the town would need several months to get back to any sort of normalcy.
We had planned a trip to Spain & France this spring but in light of these events we are now planning to modify our plans to include a trip back to the Cinque Terre and support the people of this amazing land
Mission Viejo, CA USA 11/02/2011
Donations for the flooded areas
The Italian Red Cross has a site in English where it is possible to donate with a credit card at http://cri.it/flex/FixedPages/EN/Donazioni.php/L/EN. The areas of Monterosso and Vernazza are on their knees after this flood. They are fortunate to have international fame backing them up so hopefully, everyone who has ever fallen in love with these two minuscule communities will pitch in something. If you have ever been touched by the Cinque Terre, or if you dream of coming here, I encourage all of you to donate something. 5 bucks buys a pair of work gloves. You have no idea how much a simple pair of work gloves makes a difference. 75 dollars can buy a shovel and a wheelbarrow. Wheels are falling off our wheelbarrows from overuse today. We need to also remember the other communities in Liguria and Tuscany, those that are not known to the international community- really not even known to many Italians, which are suffering just as much. The Red Cross fund goes to help all of the communities affected by the flooding and, without a doubt, will currently be the best at making decisions as to where and how the money should be spent. Again, on this site you can donate with a credit card, making it much easier than through an Italian bank account. When you go to the site, make sure that on the drop down menu, you [INVALID] EMERGENCY TUSCANY AND LIGURIA. It's a tiny bit tricky but works great. If you are donating from a foreign country, leave the 'state' field [INVALID]- and the 'nation' field will be written in Italian. If you are from the US, the nation will be 'Stati Uniti'. Some have told me too that they have had to fill in 00000 for the zip code (but I filled in mine normally and it worked). To all of those who have inquired about friends and businesses in Monterosso- there was only one death. A young man who worked as an emergency services volunteer died as he was working to secure the safety of others in the village. Everyone else is fine. The only structure that was severely structurally damaged from what I've seen so far is the Albergo Margherita. All of the other buildings are on their feet. The insides of most of the ground floors in the historic center have extensive water damage and many still have a lot of mud inside. There is sporadic electricity and some running water. I have not been to Vernazza since the flooding but I have heard that there is danger of more landslides. Along with your donations, send lots and lots of good thoughts to this corner of the world. Please know that all of your concern is felt and appreciated by these people who are literally breaking their backs to return to some sort of normalcy. Thanks- Kate (www.littleparadiso.com)
Levanto, Italy 11/02/2011
I posted after the flooding and was wondering if there was any news of how the recovery was going in Vernazza and the area.. We stayed in Volastra, one of the little towns above Vernazza, so does any one have any updates today of how things are going.. I am so sad about how long it will take for the people to get water, electricity..etc... grazie SGentry Stanwood, WA USA
Stanwood, wa USA 11/02/2011
I want to add that my Sicilian wife Marianna and I are shocked to hear this news. We spent 2 magical days & nights i Monterosso on Oct. 11-12. I'm hoping the fabulous Cafe Miky and our hotel (Punta Mesco) on la Via Molinelli aren't too devastated. The people were so wonderful there. Ironically, we flew over the region on Oct 25, and saw a very unnatural weather feature in the clouds that day. It was a very dark line in the clouds that, according to my untrained eyeball estimate(scale is difficult to establish from that wiewpoint without visible land features), was a quarter mile wide and fifty miles long, ruler straight, and featureless. It was almost as if a fifty-mile-high tower was casting a shadow upon the clouds. Commenting later, Marianna said, "It was like Niagara Falls."(More accurately, it was like a dam's spillway overflowing.) Eerie...
South Tahoe, CA USA 11/02/2011
I am going to Monterrosso Monday and would be happy to deliver any messages or concerns.just send an email with details and I will do my best to deliver.if you want pics I will post them on http://helprestorecinqueterre.wordpress.com/ Please be as specific as possible as its confusing over there now.Email email@example.com
Belmont, Mi USA 11/02/2011
Fell in love with the Cinque Terre
We fell in love with the Cinque Terre 3 years ago and have dreamed of returning ever since. We stayed in Vernazza for 3 days and hiked the most beautiful path in the world. I was upset that this disaster didn't make national news, and I didn't learn about it until a week later reading Rick Steve's newsletter email. We definitely will return to help the economy to rebuild this wonderful place on earth.
Omaha, NE USA 11/02/2011
I just read a post from a traveler about Il Parata being wiped out. This is where my brother and I planned to stay had on Monday night. God has a way of protecting us and pray that the wonderful people of this area will regain their lovely town. I missed the hot chocolate at Il Parata but hopefully we can return some day again.
Christopher, IL USA 11/02/2011
So sad, Montorosso and Vernazza
This is so sad. Cinque Terre is no doubt special. I had the chance to spend an afternoon in Montorosso, and 2 nights in Vernazza less than 1 month ago. On my 2nd day, there was also a storm, as well as a train strike. So being stranded in Vernazza I walk the village from top to bottom and spoke to nearly every person there. Shop owners, Restaurant owners, and even the local winemaker, who took her time to talk with me and give me a tour. I will always keep them in my heart, and watch for news as to how we can help.
Fountain Valley, Ca USA 11/01/2011
The towns of Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore were not damaged by the floods. There is some train service between all the towns, but visitors are currently being asked to keep out of Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. The condition of the hiking trails is something you will need to assess when you arrive. Significant rain is predicted every day in the area from Nov 3 to Nov 10. Even under normal circumstances, this often closes hiking trails. You should read blogs like "Little Paradiso" or www.cinqueterre.com for updates on local conditions.
Houston, tX USA 11/01/2011
My husband and I were just in Vernazza three weeks ago for our honeymoon. We instantly fell in love with this town and vowed we would try to return every year. We still hold true to that vow. While staying there, we met Giuliano (and again saw him in Lucca by chance). Does anyone know if he is okay and where he is? He made our visit so memorable and we know how much this town means to him. Our heart goes out to the folks in the town.
Washington, DC USA 11/01/2011
So sad to see these pictures. I was just in Vernazza on Oct 13 and had lunch overlooking that beautiful harbor area. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in that area.
Richmond, VA USA 11/01/2011
My wife and I were driving into the area on the way to MIlan and planned to stop and have lunch and take some pictures when the storm hit. At first we tried to go down but the roads were flooded. We turned around and went up, we tried every road out but soon learned we were trapped with about five other cars. We found a safe spot in the road and waited till the rain let up, never seen it rain so hard. Finally around 4 or 5 in the afternoon two local guys in a four wheel came and escorted our group to a little used road which led up into the hills. It looked like a logging road. We came to a slide over the road and there were local people trying to get in and we were trying to get out. We helped each other push cars through the mud and rocks across the slide and got everyone in the direction they wanted to go in. As we were finally getting out the local guys ran out of gas. I tried to give them money but they refused it. We feel very lucky and grateful that we were able to survive the event.
Blooming Prairie, mn USA 11/01/2011
My husband and I left Monterosso on Tuesday 25th in the morning by train having loved hiking through this beautiful place. It was raining heavily, but we had no idea this had happened until a few days later in Chianti region when some other travellers mentioned it. This is a tragedy. My sympathy to all in the area.
Isaacs, ACT Australia 11/01/2011
We were there--in Vernazza and Monterosso
Of all days to plan a day trip to Cinque Terre, ours was October 25, 2011 — the day the towns would be changed forever. We were on a Mediterranean cruise, and we took a day trip with Papillon Services to explore the region we had only dreamed about. We had no warning that our dream would soon become a nightmare.
Our ship had sailed through intensely rough seas the night before from Villefranche, France, so much so that I wondered if we would be able to make the port in Livorno. I awoke as we were docking, the weather was overcast but calm, and the forecasts continued to call only for "some showers." We embarked with our driver with no idea what we would soon face.
When we arrived at the Cinque Terre, we parted with our driver in Riomaggiore to make the trip through the towns by train. At each step, the skies darkened and grew ominous. When we arrived in Vernazza by late morning, the rains began. Within minutes, the rain was running down the main street of the town like a river. A shopowner took a photograph of us in our rain coats and umbrellas holding up a postcard of Vernazza on a sunny day. We thought that the worst was that we wouldn't be able to see the region in all its glory. Little did we know that we had not seen anything yet.
We continued by train to Monterosso, arriving at 12:25 to meet our driver. He advised that the mountain road was in terrible condition and that he had been told to wait until the storm passed to drive us back. He parked his car near the sea in old Monterosso (the part just south of the newer Monterosso al Mare), and we walked to Al Pozzo for lunch. The rains dwindled, the floods in the street ceased, and we enjoyed a delicious lunch of trofie al pesto with some wonderful Cinque Terre wine. Despite the rain, it was truly la bella vita.
As we prepared to leave Al Pozzo, the skies literally opened once again. As the ground was obviously saturated from the earlier rain, the street quickly filled with a massive river of water. Our driver was given permission to drive up the main street to pick us up and to drive us up to the mountain road to safety — or so we hoped.
When we got into the car, emergency workers were running in all directions. We understood very little Italian, but they were telling us that we couldn't go down the mountain to the harbor because there were "holes" open in the road for draining. After waiting for some time to be able to get down to the parking area near the harbor for what we hoped would be safe ground, we were told we would have to try to drive up the mountain in the river of water to try to evacuate via the mountain roads.
Our car and two other vans tried going up the mountain. We made it some distance until it became quite steep, and large amounts of debris was falling down the road — huge chunks of mud, garbage cans, and anything in the water's path. One van full of tourists was caught in the water and was stopped precariously in the river. Our car was able to get to a safer spot just off the road — at least for the moment.
A police emergency vehicle arrived and began by evacuating the tourists from the precariously positioned van. The authorities advised they would return for us as soon as possible. The four of us waited alone for quite a while. As we did, we realized the river of water pouring down the main street was growing larger. Much more terrifying was that, in front of our car, there was another much more rapid flow of water. It appeared to be a drainage area but it had turned into a massive flow of unthinkable amounts of water. Between the river behind us and the rapids in front of us, the small piece of ground we had found for safety was literally being torn out from under us.
Our driver continuously looked for ways to get us out. We waited and waited for the police, who I know did everything they could to save us, but as of yet had not been able to return. I pray that their services were used to save other lives. As we saw the waters rise and the unthinkable amounts of rain continue, we knew we had to do something very quickly. Our driver found a meandering road in the town and said he believed it was our path to safety. He said succintly, "we must try." He tapped my hand and backed our car into the smaller river of water rushing down the main road. I have no doubt that God's hand held our car — we drove through the river and up a small street where the waters were much less. Little did we know that at the top of the street was a lovely hotel, Hotel Villa Steno, where we were welcomed. We finally made it out of the storm.
At Hotel Villa Steno, we were able to get out a quick email to family advising them that we were stranded but fine. Just afterwards, we lost power. People continued to come to the hotel, and we realized that it was a mix of stranded travelers and locals with simply nowhere to go. You could see the massive river of water rushing through the streets. The sound of it will stay with me forever. We were advised that the road we were stranded on just minutes earlier had now entirely washed away.
We waited in the lobby as afternoon turned to evening. As the sun went down, we had no lights but our cell phones and a few flashlights. The lobby was full of people from around the globe, but all of whom who lent a helping hand. Those with rooms offered us pillows, blankets, dry clothes, and even famous lemon candies. As we sat in the room with candlelight, there was a moment of inescapable beauty — so many languages being spoken, everyone having faced a harrowing day, but with a sense of peace, togetherness, and hope.
Later in the evening, after rooms were provided for children and the elderly, the hotel gave us their last room for a few weary hours of sleep. Overnight, you could hear the river rushing and voices of Italian rescue workers, but nothing else. A tree branch cracked at one point late in the night, and I wondered about the stability of everything around us, although I tried to push these thoughts from my head. The fear began to sink in, though, as we were alone in the dark room with no idea what would happen next.
It seemed a terribly long wait until dawn, but when the sun finally began to rise, we went out to see the city from the terrace above the hotel. Sunrise above the Cinque Terre was such a beautiful sight — one I had dreamed of. Yet, the sun showed the heart-breaking extent of the destruction. The town was buried under mud. Debris littered every corner. The hardest site for me was when I realized that the van, from which the other stranded tourists were with us were evacuated, was in front of us, quite a distance down the mountain and entirely destroyed. Thank God that the tourists were taken to safety.
As we began our early plans to evacuate, a man named Marco volunteered to lead tourists to the train station, although we still had not heard if trains were running. We had to take a path over the mountain that was very difficult, especially for the rest who had to evacuate with luggage. When we arrived at the harbor, you could see the devastation in that area for the first time. The quiet of the town was only broken by the sound of countless rescue helicopters overhead. It was unfathomable.
We received word that trains were only running towards Genoa. As we had to reach Rome by 7pm to attempt to reboard our cruise, we knew this was probably not the best option. We then heard that boats were coming. We saw a coast guard boat and wondered why it could not begin to evacuate us. We were told the heartbreaking reality that these boats — along with the helicopters — were looking for those lost at sea. What a reminder of the blessings of our situation.
Eventually, a volunteer tourist boat came from La Spezia. It boarded 200 tourists from Monterosso and Vernazza. We sailed along the beautiful coast, glad to be returning to safety but with the heaviest of hearts for all of those who were not as fortunate. Although we had no news, we knew due to the sheer magnitude of what we had witnessed that many lives had been lost.
Our driver had a car meet us at La Spezia, which took us directly to Civitaveccia to reboard our cruise ship. We did safely make it aboard. Words cannot describe the joy of reaching our families.
We have just now finished our cruise and returned to the USA. Our hearts are broken for the people of the Cinque Terre. Although we spent a brief time there, the kindness of the people enured them to our hearts forever. Despite the fact that they had lost everything, they did not pause to lend a hand. We would find out later that Marco, who led us to the train station, was a shop owner that had no shop to go to. He volunteered to show us the only possible path through the mountains to the train. We offered to give him a tip out of sheer gratitude. Although he had lost everything but the shirt off his back, he refused.
I could not agree with Rick Steves more that we must commit to the rebuilding of this place, not just for us to revel in its beauty, but for them, our friends. It may be one of the most breathtaking spots of land on our earth, but for these kind people, it is quite simply home. They have forever touched my heart, and despite the horrors we witnessed, I would go back tomorrow if I could just to lend a hand and help put them back to where they were on that fateful morning when we entered their lands. I will continuously pray for their recovery, and I hope we can all do our part to help. May God richly bless the people of the Cinque Terre.
(Note — I have video and photos of our harrowing rescue. I am attempting to find the best way to post them online. I will re-post a link when I have been able to do so).
TN USA 11/01/2011
LOVE YOU VERNAZZA!
I also go here every year! (Thanks Steve) seeing the fisherman's boats being swept out to sea really kills me. I will go here again. and Again!!! These people are wonderful and will recover! My thoughts and prayer are with them.
Carrollton, GA USA 11/01/2011
Magical Cinque Terre
I was in the Cinque Terre from Oct. 19-22 and stayed at the Albergo Marina on Via Buranco in Monterosso - does anyone know how it fared during the storm? I also spent time in Vernazza and the other three towns during my visit - I had dreamed of going to the Cinque Terre for years - it is a magical place. My heart goes out to all the wonderful people I met in Monterosso and Vernazza during my visit. I would like to donate to relief efforts - what is the best vehicle to do so? My thoughts and prayers are with all of the residents and relief workers.
Charleston, SC USA 11/01/2011
Monterossa Tues 25th
Monday eve, 24th, the wind picked up and made walking through Monterossa difficult. Switching from sharp cold wind the night before to a warm balmy breeze, which just kept increasing in intensity. The wind whistling through the otherwise weatherproof windows gave warning to what was happening outside. The rain came in sheets, the waves crashing to a height of twenty feet, all barely visible thru the faint light of the lamps at the harbor.
Morning came but without an appreciable increase in light. The wind relented, but the rain increased in intensity. There were a few pauses, which encouraged some to run for the train station. We later saw most of them soaked to the bone. The rain, as it came, was again in sheets, battering and shaking the train cars while sitting and moving. Our train left at 10:55, minutes late. By the time we arrived at Genoa PP, there were cancellations of inbound trains from Roma. We felt lucky to have gotten out when we did/could, but felt bad we weren't still there to help.
Frankfort, IL USA 11/01/2011
We will return!
We were in Cinque Terre with Rick's group a couple of years ago and immediately fell in love with the area. We swore an oath to return and have tickets to go next June. We hope and pray for the people of Vernazza and Monterosso and wish them success in rebuilding. We still promise that we will return to the area in June to show our support.
Tom & Sylvia
Wake Forest, NC USA 11/01/2011
Cinque Terre disaster
We stayed in Montrosso from 10/1 to 10/4 this year and were enchanted by it and the other towns of the Cinque Terre. Heartbreaking to see the devastation of places where we had just strolled and dined.
Sunnyvale, CA USA 11/01/2011
We have been to Beautiful Cinque Terra a number of times, the last in July, 2011 while visiting my wife's cousins that live in Rapallo and Chiavari on the coast not to far from Cinque Terra. We heard from them about this last Wednesday. We will be going back in 2012. In the meantime we are sending a donation to them to give to the local recovery groups.
Don & Donna Meylor
Lake Forest, CA USA 11/01/2011
We have been to Beautiful Cinque Terra a number of times, the last in July, 2011 while visiting my wife's cousins that live in Rapallo and Chiavari on the coast not to far from Cinque Terra. We heard from them about this last Wednesday. We will be going back in 2012. In the meantime we are sending a donation to them to give to the local recovery groups.
Don & Donna Meylor
Lake Forest, CA USA 11/01/2011
Our prayers are with you.
My husband and I stayed with Rosson Teresa Sept 28-Oct 1. Our first, and hopefully not our last, visit to this heaven on earth. Our hearts are heavy with sorrow for these beautiful people. Does anyone know if Teresa is ok?
Glenn & Donnie Halter
Lake Toxaway, NC USA 11/01/2011
I read the report of the devestation in the Cinque Terra with tears in my eyes. Rick introduced me to this beautiful area when I was planning my European adventure several years ago. I spent six beautiful days there and fell in love. Rick's recommendation for accomodations was to stop in at the Blue Moon Bar in Vernazza and someone there would help me. It turned out that I stayed with the owner's parents. They were wonderful and my stay there was amazing. I talk often about returning. My prayers go out to the people of Vernazza and Monterosa.
Peoria, AZ USA 11/01/2011
We were so shocked and saddened to hear the news about the flooding in Vernazza and Monterosso. As devoted followers of Rick Steves, we have visited most of Italy in the past five years and in June spent four days in Vernazza for the first time. Because we were so impressed with the area, we vowed to return there in the near future. We just can't believe what we have seen in the photos and videos of the flood damage to the main street, the beach and railway station in Vernazza. We truly hope and pray that the town will be restored so that we may return.
Karen and Don Harvey
Reading, MA USA 11/01/2011
We were there in May because of reading about it in Rick's books. We are so saddened about the flood.
Bill & Rose Muros
Dallas, TX USA 11/01/2011
My husband and I stayed in Vernazza for 3 nights just 3 weeks ago and soaked up the kindness of the Vernazzans and the dreamy warm sunny weather. I am in tears right now having just learned of the disaster. If I could, I'd pack up my shovel and fly out to help out. My heart is broken. What can we do to help?
Renton, WA USA 11/01/2011
Cinque Terre = LOVE
I'm in tears reading Rick's post this morning eating my breakfast, drinking my coffee in the comfort of my home. My heart breaks for the communities affected. The outpouring of love and prayers is amazing. We visited Monterosso al Mare a couple of years ago and Riomaggiore prior to that but we have never had the privilege of visiting Vernazza...yet. Thank you for all the informative posts and heartfelt comments. Those of you that were there, I can only imagine the horror. Blessings to you all.
Corona, CA USA 11/01/2011
Giuli is fine though his rooms took a beating. Structurally they seem fine but the hillside behind the buiilding fell on and around them and paths up to the property leaving quite a mess... Physically and Emotionally things are very tough! Your concern is very much appreciated, thank you!
Vernazza, Italy 11/01/2011
C.T. november 1 2011
We arrived in Levanto yesterday (after being warned by police in Genoa that the town was closed, but assured by a call to Hotel Garden that Levanto is fine). The only trail open is Via Amore (free for now). Some local trains cancelled to make tracks available to salvage crews, causing delays of 1-2 hours. Travel is manageable!
Fulk, KS USA 11/01/2011
Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso
We were in the Cinque Terre Oct. 18 & 19 of 2010 on a Rick Steves' tour. We loved all of the towns and stayed in Monterosso at the Hotel Pasquale, right across from the water. It was a beautiful place to stay and the family that ran it was wonderful. Does anyone know how the Pasquale and the family are doing? We are very worried about them. Our prayers go out to all in Monterosso, Vernazza and the entire Cinque Terre.
Frank and Linda
San Jose, CA USA 11/01/2011
4 of us were in Vernazza from Oct. 21-23. We stayed in the Albergo Barbera, shown on slides 1 and 13. The car in slide 13 is actually a child's miniature car that was in that entrance way when we were there. I can't believe the devestation! Also, the trail between Manarola and Corniglia was closed due to a rock slide when we were there.
Vancouver, Wash USA 11/01/2011
our experience during the floods
We were at Lake Como during the floods, on our way to Cinque Terre. We arrived in the area the day after the floods. As posted already, the trains are delayed with many cancelled. You can still travel them as long as you know you may be waiting (nothing new for U.S. Amtrak travelers!). Cinque Terre is closed to nonresidents. We got off the train and were immediately escorted back on by local police. The destruction is very visible from the train. Although our trip was planned to visit Cinque Terre, we spent the week in neighboring ciites... a whole lot to see and more than worthwhile. Do NOT cancel your trip if you are heading to the area- just plan to change where you will be visiting. Not a lot of English spoken in this area, but we really enjoyed communicating with our very limited Italian and their limited English (some do speak, but many do not). We have been to Italy many times and this visit will always be one of the most memorable probably because of the new places that we got to see. Italy is about its people, its beauty, the food and wine.
Manhattan Beach, ca USA 11/01/2011
Beautiful Cinque Terre
I was in cinque Terre two years ago, it was an unforgetable experience, such beautiful place. It really brakes my heart to see all the destruction, our thoughts are you. May Jehovah the God of all comforts be with you.
Los Angeles, CA USA 11/01/2011
My husband and I were in Monterosso during the flooding and our hearts go out to the people of this lovely village. We were lucky to have taken your advice and stayed at the Hotel Villa Steno and cannot say enough about Mateo and his wife. They took people in, cared for guests, staff, villagers and stranded travelers in spite of their own personal worries and concerns. Mateo personally led us out through fences, gardens and back alley ways the day after and lugged our two heavy suitcases so that we could make our way to the train station. This lovely place was a wonderful spot to stay in the days leading up to the disaster and as soon as Monterosso is out of the woods I would strongly encourage your readers to book a visit at Hotel Villa Steno. It is a wonderful spot operated by truly incredible human beings.
Vancouver, BC Canada 11/01/2011
I've been in touch with Gianluca and Massimo'f families and while Il Pirata is buried, they are safe in La Spezia. I'm so sad at this tragedy, the Cinque Terre is my favorite area in all of Italia. I'm sure they'll rebuid!
Denver, CO USA 11/01/2011
My heart is with you
I come from one of the prettiest places on earth (Jamaica) but we are also subject to many hurricanes. Cinque Terre and the people of Monterosso have become one of my FAV places on earth. Having just brought more of my friends to experience this slice of paradise I am very sad. but I KNOW like all people who come from these places, with our support they too will rebuild. The best thing for us to do is donate now if you can, but also to keep going back and telling people to go as well. Please provide mental and physical support in these time. I for one cannot wait to go back and have a hot bombolino from Laura's in the old town. :-)
Toronto, Canada 11/01/2011
Missed trip to Villa Steno
My husband and I have planned for years ro celebrate our 30h wedding anniversary in Italy. Never having travelled to Italy, we wanted to see most everything, but Cinque Terre was recommended by a friend 20 years ago and we looked forward to this part if our trip most. we were to spend 4 days in Cinque Terre. We were unaware of what had happened as we tried to drive from Siena to Monterosso on Oct. 26. We were detoured several times and places, but not knowing Italian, we didn't understand why. After spending 6 +hours driving, we were turned back by a police officer who told us Cinque Terre was "impossible". We later found out the devastation and loss of life. We were incredibly disappointed, but felt very lucky to not be there during the storm. We will return and enjoy Cinque Terre.
Grapevine, TX USA 11/01/2011
I , like so may others, Love Vernazza. I was there this summer traveling alone and stayed 10 days at Pensione Sorriso with Aldo and Francesca. Vernazza is like a friend to me....traveling alone...I never felt alone, meeting so many of the townspeople, Valerio, Gino, Antonio, Antonio #2 and his Wonderful American Expat Wife Michele....My heart breaks at this tragedy and my eyes swell with tears at the thought of the devastaion. I have been in Vernazza tha last 2 summers...and both times felt like it was home....My plan is to be there at this same time next year....with hope, prayers, money and alot of hard work....hopefully the town will recover...the trails I know will be damaged for along time....but the people make up this area....and they are what really counts now.....much Love and ALoha!!!
Lahaina, Maui, HI USA 11/01/2011
My wife and I were in vernazza from oct 22 to oct 25 and we left on that tuesday around 130pm. The rain was pouring down like crazy in the morning and it slowed down quite a bit when we boarded the train to La Speiza. Didnt know it was that bad until we got to Rome that night while we watched tv. We will keep the wonderful ppl in that area in our prayers and hope the the area will recover. The area was such a beautiful place, definitely sad to see the pics.
Chicago, IL USA 11/01/2011
Departed on morning of 25-Oct
I spent 3 nights in Vernazza from 22-Oct and leaving the morning of 25-Oct. When we left early in the morning of 25-Oct for Florence it was lightly raining and a bit windy. The photos and videos are just stunning. It is hard for me to comprehend that places that we enjoyed visiting such as Il Pirata and Trattoria da Sandro have been destroyed by the flood. Life is sometimes so cruel. My thoughts are with all of those in the Cinque Terre that have been impacted by these terrible events.
Vermazza is a unique and beautiful place and I can't wait to come back and see it back to normal.
New York, NY USA 11/01/2011
Monterosso-Hotel Villa Steno & Hotel Pasquale
I was fortunate enough to stay in both Hotel Villa Steno & Hotel Pasquale during my first visit to Italy & the Cinque Terre recently from Sept 30 thru Oct 3 (I highly recommend both places!) As Rick Steves' outlined in his guide, both hotels are owned by the same lovely family and they made my stay extra enjoyable. I have been very worried about the whole family so I sent an email to Matteo at Villa Steno. The internet just came back up yesterday and he responded immediately to say that he and the family are all okay and, altho they incured costly property damage, they are just happy to be alive. He thanked me for my prayers and said those are important. I told him of all the concern and support for the locals of Monterosso & Vernazza and he asked me to pass on that one of the best ways to support them is to spread the word to come visit again soon. Here is a copy & paste of his last note: "Thank you so much Lizette for doing all this. Please tell people that a good way to help Monterosso and Vernazza is to come back here next year. We hope to be ready for the next season by Easter. Thank you. Matteo" Monterosso was one of my favorite places of the many lovely towns & cities I visited in Italy and I hope to return there in the fall of next year. Hopefully many of you will do the same! God Bless Matteo, his brother Marco, their parents and the rest of their family & friends!
LOS ANGELES, CA USA 11/01/2011
Travelers to or in the 5Terre
For anyone in the 5 Terre or with travel plans to visit in the coming weeks, I have provided some information on the status of the 5 Terre and some suggestions for alternatives.
La Spezia, Italy 11/01/2011
Cinque Terre Flooding
My wife and I have long wanted to visit and spend at least a few weeks in the Cinque Terre, but have had many intervening trips that put off going there. With this event of October 25 this year, we are more determined than ever to come to the region and at least help the local economy with our visit in the near future. Equally, we certainly want to enjoy one of the most dreamed about places to visit. Our prayers and thoughts we extend to Verranaza and Monterossa and all those affected by the flooding.
Mechanicsburg, PA USA 11/01/2011
4 nites in Montrosso in September 2011
I so appreciate this site to hear other travelers stories...esp those that were caught up in this horror. We randomly heard of this tragedy on Sat 10/30 when my Daughter was in a shop in Portsmouth NH & heard a sales girl talking about the flooding. My best friend, daughter & I spent 4 nites in Monterosso at L'Antica Terraza & fell in love with the area. Rick Steves Guide Book was a huge influence on this trip (our 2nd to Italy). It was on our "bucket list" and did not disappoint. It is still on my "bucket list" since I did not get enough the 1st time around. Our hearts go out to these wonderful people whose villages have been affected by such a "freak of nature". Honestly it makes me want to go back even more and I'll make it happen sooner than later. www.littleparadiso.com has been a great site to keep track of what is happening in Monterosso. Vernazza has been especially hard hit. It is so sad to think of all of the merchants have lost their livelihood for many months to come. What a magical place...it takes hold of your heart...I'm sure the residents of Liguria will persevere...only wish I was closer to participate in their rebirth!
South Boston, MA USA 11/01/2011
I feel like crying.
My husband and I visited Vernazza in 2007. What a wonderful place, with wonderful people, wonderful food, and wonderful views. I feel like crying. Those lovely people and their lovely village - absolutely devastated. I will pray for all of you. I hope to return some day.
Salem, OR USA 11/01/2011
Special Place in My Heart
I spent one of the most beautiful nights of my life watching the sun set over Vernazza two years ago and have always planned on returning. I'll never forget the experience I had, and I am forever grateful. I also was able to spend wonderful moments on the beach at Monterosso and look forward to returning some day. I've always held a special place in my heart for the Cinque Terre.
Manhattan, Kansas USA 11/01/2011
My oldest granddaughter and I visited the Cinque Terre last summer while on a Rick Steves tour and stayed at the Hotel Pasquale. Everyone in the town was so friendly, the town so beautiful, and we were left with such a lasting impression, that next summer I'm taking another granddaughter on the tour. I look forward to sharing the experience with her too. The people of Cinque Terre are in my thoughts and prayers.
Rockwall, TX USA 11/01/2011
I sent this note to Rick after reading his posting on the devastation to such a special place. Rick: Thank you for your heartfelt narrative on this terrible event. My wife and I were in Cinque Terra three weeks ago as part of our Best of Italy tour. Actually, it was more than a part; that experience has penetrated into my psyche more than anywhere else we went. I keep looking at my photos of Vernazza and the other towns in a way that almost feels like a love affair. Thus the news hits like a betrayal to a beautiful embrace. The Sunday morning hike from Monterossa, first catching a glimpse of Vernazza sparkling below, feels so poignant now. Your expression of thoughts on this tragedy is Rick Steves at his best – bringing the spirit of place and people into a deep connection with the traveler. We should all stay alert for ways to help bring these special places back to good health.
Tacoma, WA USA 11/01/2011
We were there on Monday and it was beautiful only to hear Tuesday the floods came and distroyed the towns.
easton, pa USA 11/01/2011
Thoughts and prayers
I'm still in shock from viewing the pictures posted by Rick. One of my fav pictures from my trip last October 2010 is of all the boats piled into the colorful square after a storm. And I couldn't believe the damage from the slide...my thoughts and prayers are with all the people of vernazza and monterosso. I will remember what once was and what will be again!
San Francisco, CA USA 11/01/2011
My family were at Vernazza from 3 Oct to 4 Oct and fell in love with Cinque Terre. We had dinner at Da Piva. What started as an enquiry to the music being played led to Raphael's father singing with two friends on the guitars and ended with dancing in the restaurant!!! This epitomizes the beauty and spontaneity of Cinque Terre, not to mention the wonderful food and yes, the amount of Gelatos we ate. This beautiful place will be rebuild because of the spirit of the people and yes, God willing, we will be back!! We will pray for the speedy recovery of Cinque Terre.
Singapore, Singapore 11/01/2011
I visited Cinque Terre in Sept 2005 as part of a European tour that I was on with a friend of mine. It was one of our favourites--we had planned to stay for 3 nights but stayed for 4 and really would have liked to stay longer. It is beautiful and the people are warm and inviting. this has been a very sad event and as many of you have already noted--they will want to rebuild--it is their home. My prayers and thoughts continue to be with them, I have been wanting to return and will do so --I have many wonderful memories and want to add to these memories!
Abbotsford, BC Canada 11/01/2011
To expand on what Michele Lilley wrote regarding the non profit we are working on setting up, the idea came out of the need to be certain that all donated monies actually reach Vernazza for the recovery of our beloved town. The 4 expat Americans currently involved in what we are calling "Save Vernazza" (www.SaveVernazza.com) are Ruth Manfredi, Michele Sherman, Michele Lilley and Stephanie Sette. The website is currently under construction, and Michele Lilley and Ruth have a follow up meeting with the accountant this morning. We have been told that by the end of next week the organization should be up and running. The extent of the damage in Vernazza is still being assessed, as the strength of some of the build's foundations remain in question buried under 13-20 feet (4-6 meters) of mud and rubble. The recovery effort will be one of years, not months, and we still have 5 months of rainy season ahead of us, with more strong rain and winds expected this weekend. Longterm support and prayers will be critical to making this recovery possible. The community of Vernazza is staying connected to the outside world through our Save Vernazza Facebook page where you can see real time mobile uploads on the clean up effort and stay abreast of the progress of SaveVernazza.com. Your out pour of love and support and concern for the communities of Cinque Terre act as food and fuel sustaining us through this time of desperation. A special thanks to Vernazza's biggest fan, Rick Steves, with whom we've been in direct communication and also awaits the launch of SaveVernazza.com.
Stephanie and Michele S.
Vernazza/Lucca, Italy 10/31/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
We loved the Cinque Terre and Vernazza so much that my wife chose it to celebrate her 50th birthday there in 2001 with family and friends. We both feel terrible that this has happened. We will help out with whatever relief efforts are organized. Terrible news!!
San Francisco, CA USA 10/31/2011
Susanna, We were at Il Pirata that morning. Mossimo closed the shop when the rain got heavy and to the best of my knowlwdge got home safely. His cafe however is totally destroyed, totally flooded and filled with rocks and mud. We were staying in the building above. We were evacuated the next day being told the building was not safe, so I am unsure of it's current status. As you know it is at the top of the hill, so it was hit hard.
Lori Schweitzer Holt
Olathe, KS USA 10/31/2011
Monterosso al Mare
Let's not forget Monterosso which was hit hard as well. We have created a site in which you can donate money to their recovery process. http://helprestorecinqueterre.wordpress.com/
Grand Rapids, MI USA 10/31/2011
Floods Cinque Terre
if you're looking for news about someone you know there, maybe this Facebook page can help http://www.facebook.com/pages/IL-CERCAPERSONE/214583631945284?ref=ts
The situation is critical there, they really need our help!!
Lyon, France 10/31/2011
family member in vernazza
my sister lives there,for the last 9 years .Thankgod she's safe. she wont leave ,she is helping those wonderful people Cleanup..she just cant believe the devastation .no water no electric, and only way out is by boat , she is an artist who just only opened a new gallery with her work in 2 weeks ago,all has gone ,she feels for the villagers that have lost family businesses,i just wanted to tell people we are thinking of vernazza at this time god bless them .
newport gwent, wales United Kingdom 10/31/2011
Cinque Terre flooding
Is there a donation help fund from this website or Rick Steves' book users who've visited Vernazza over the years? If so, please post, I'd like to contribute. If not, Rick, please start one!
Portland, OR USA 10/31/2011
An Official Donation Account
The most official funds I have found are these:
If you would like to donate money to help the victims and the rebuilding of Vernazza and Monterosso, a fund has been set up by the Municipality of Monterosso at their official bank, Carispezia of Levanto.
-For transfers within Italy: Codice IBAN: IT64 W060 3049 8700 0004 6275 829
-For Transfers outside of Italy: SWIFT: CRFIIT2S365
*Please make a note on your transfer: "Aid for Monterosso and Vernazza".
Cinque Terre website to verify: http://www.cinqueterre.it/info.php
The Italian Red Cross has also set up a disaster relief fund for the entire area affected by this storm, as there are many other towns in Liguria and Tuscany that were badly damaged. You can donate by credit card directly on their website: http://cri.it/flex/FixedPages/IT/Donazioni.php/L/EN
-Select "Emergency Tuscany and Liguria"
La Spezia, USA 10/31/2011
After flood situation
Hi from Miriana it is still impossible to reach Vernazza by road and even though trains and boat now connect both Monterosso and Vernazza, these means of transportation are uniquely for volunteers, villagers and for emergency needs. you can follow updates on Cinque Terre situation at following blog if you like http://www.cinqueterreblogspot.com/blog/ Do not for any reason plan a trip in these days in the area; if you are around we suggest you to go to Portovenere and Lerici area, that were untouched buy the flood We all hope that in a few months situation will have turned quite to normal again, even though, as far as Vernazza is concerned, probably times will be a bit longer, due to the peculiar morphology of the place and to the fact the probably a new road will be built since the existing one will be no longer practicable
la spezia, italy 10/31/2011
Floods Cinque Terre
@Nicole thanks for giving this information!
Municipality of Monterosso and the Italian Red Cross are two nice possibilities for those who wish to help.
Lyon, France 10/31/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
We just left Manarola today after spending three days there. We were originally going to stay in Vernazza, but found out about the disaster once we arrived in La Spezia. Luckily we were able to secure rooms in Manarola at Casa Capellini at the last minute. France and Gianni were wonderful. Manarola and Riomaggiore are fine. So is Corniglia. We had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful. The only problem is that the train service is very spotty. We were lucky to get out of Manarola early this morning, October 31. We showed up at the train station at 7 am and waited for the first train heading south. Finally one came through totally unannounced and we jumped on. There is no predictable schedule.
If you don't mind the unpredictabe train schedule, I would say go to any of the other three towns. They could use the business and where happy to accomodate us. They definitely need our support.
Helena, MT USA 10/31/2011
Il Pirata, Vernazza
@ Lori Schweitzer Holt THANK YOU so much for the information. It's so hard to believe all that has happened to this wonderful place. I'm glad to hear the family is safe or so it appears. Continued thoughts & prayers for all in need.
Website for donations to Monterosso
Please visit this website to make your secured donation via Pay Pal to aid the citizens of Monterosso.
100% of proceeds go to Monterosso. Join all of us who have been so moved by this beautiful corner of the world to help it recover from this disaster.
Belmont, MI USA 10/31/2011
How can I volunteer?
Hey does any one know if there is a way to volunteer in Cinque Terre right now? We are supposed to head there tomorrow for 4 days and would love to volunteer to help in any way. Please let me know if any one knows how we can get actively involved.
Chicago, IL USA 10/31/2011
My heart goes out to the people of Vernazza and surrounding region at this very difficult time. We have stayed in Vernazza for the last two years and have been the recipients of the most wonderful hospitality from Giuliano Basso whose kindness, helpfulness and generosity are without compare. The donation I will be making will be in his honor as I am sure he represents the spirit of the people of Vernazza, which will rise again.
Menlo Park, CA USA 10/31/2011
Please do not go to le Cinque Terre in the next few days to volunteer
Several residents of le Cinque Terre who are bloggers have posted on internet websites that the damaged areas of le Cinque Terre are presently off limits to all but emergency personnel. People wishing to help should visit the docks in the city of La Spezia, where emergency supplies are loaded onto ferries, and ask what goods are needed. You may be asked to donate basic goods like hygenic supplies or food staples. You can purchase them at the store and bring them back to the dock. A donation of money, however small, may be most useful and thoughtful gift you can give at this point.
Also please be aware if you are headed to that area this weekend that the weather forecasts are for heavy downpours of rain. In an area already soaked and destabilized, it is not safe conditions.
All donations and expressions of support are appreciated, but you really cannot be a worker in the area right now.
houston, tX USA 10/31/2011
Anne Chapman and Monica , could you please write me with details about your donation initiative? Thank you! Kate@littleparadiso.com
Levanto, SP Italy 10/31/2011
Cinque Terre Hiking
We are planning on being in the Cinque Terre on Nov.19th. Our original plans were to take the train to Monterosso and hike back to Riomaggiore. I have followed the flooding as best I can but can not seem to determine if the trails are open and if the train is running. Can anybody provide me with direction on where to gather this info?Is it correct that 3 of the towns(Manarola,Corniglia,Riomaggiore) have been spared from the damage?Thanks.
Seattle, Wash. USA 10/31/2011
Please go to the "Little Paradiso" website of Kate Little Paradiso and read about Bruna a wonderful lady from Monterosso who is my "HERO"
Lincoln, NH USA 10/31/2011
Punta Mesco Hotel
Has anyone heard if the Hotel Punta Mesco faired well during the flood? We were there two weeks ago.
Fremont, OH USA 10/31/2011
The Brothers Cannoli
Like everyone who knows and loves the Cinque Terre, my family and I were devastated to hear the recent news and see the pictures and videos. We were there in 2004 when our daughter was 13. The Brothers Cannoli (Massimo and Luca) who own the il Pirata Restaurant treated her like a queen. We returned this past May and headed straight for their restaurant at the top of the hill. Even though it was 7 years later, the brothers remembered us with a friendly welcome! My heart goes out to them and everyone in Vernazza and Monterosso.....and also to Rick Steves as I know this area is a particular favorite in his travels.
Marine on St. Croix, MN USA 10/31/2011
We were there in May/June 2008. Getting off the train, our group was surprised to see Rick Steves on the platform to say hi and greet us. Anyway, the towns of the Cinque Terre are beautiful. The people there do seem resilient.
Seattle, Wa USA 10/31/2011
I'm saddened to hear about this tragedy. I have not yet visited this part of Italy but hope to do so someday. Mr. Steves, I'm also saddened that you used this tragedy in order to belittle those of us who disagree with the theory of anthropogenic global warming. I've used your books and enjoyed your programs for many years, but I believe it was inappropriate of you to write this in your newsletter. If you truly believe in AGW, then perhaps you should consider staying at home more and taking fewer flights, since you are contributing to the problem.
Johns Creek, GA USA 10/31/2011
Vernazza & Cinque Terre Floods
I am currently in shock and in tears as I look at the photos and videos of the devastation in Vernazza! I stayed in Vernazza in September of 2008. I took my Father to Italy for his first time in Europe. We both fell in love with Vernazza! The town was an absolute GEM! The kind and warm hospitality of the people were even more touching! My fondest of travel memories are in this town!
We stayed at Trattoria Gianni and ate at their restaurant. The food was excellent and their hospitality was warm and kind. Now to see it under mud is devastating! We also ate at Il Pirata. The food was great and so was meeting Gianluca and Massimo. They treated us like family! I am glad that one posts below, believes that they got out safely. Please post any new information!
Like many of the American travelers who have been there, I want to know how I can help. Please continue to post any information that you can.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Vernazza and the Cinque Terre!
Santa Clarita, CA USA 10/31/2011
My husband and I were just in Italy (july 2011) and the Cinque Terre was one of our stops. We had a lovely time there! I am very sad to see the destruction. I really hope the people will build and that tourist will come! I would go back again!
Bremerton, WA USA 10/31/2011
We go to the Cinque Terre almost yearly and was wondering about the Ely Restaurant in Monterosso Old Towne, specifically our favorite waiter Alexandros......also wondering about the Alberga Marina, which is just up the street from the Ely.
Pascagoula, MS USA 10/30/2011
Cinque Terre flooding
Hurray to Stephanie in Vernazza for her response. I have been to Vernazza and the other Cinque Terre villages twice and it is a beautiful place with a beautiful soul. Prayers and best wishes to all of you.
Marshville, NC USA 10/30/2011
Vernazza and Monterosso
Thank you for giving us all a greater perspective then b could possibly give. I would guess that 65 million euros will only be a down payment... My wife and I will help as much as we can. If you know and see Michael from Via Venti restaurant in Monterosso tell him I said ciao. Grazie et Buona Fortuna!
Bethesda, MD USA 10/30/2011
Help Us Find our Friends in Vernazza
We too have friends there that we can't get ahold of and we are worried. Michelle and Antonio had the shop called Bottega d'Arte Cinqueterre. Is there anyone who is currently in contact with people from Vernazza that would be willing to connect with us? Please email us at Scooter94965@yahoo.com. We would also like to donate, but given the recent embezzlement of Cinque Terre National Park funds we are hesitant to do so without knowing who is in charge of the funds.
Sausalito, CA USA 10/30/2011
We just ate at a Restaurant in Vernazza and ran up the street to catch a train. The water washed me down about 300 feet but my husband and an italian rescuer grabbed me. Anyway, I saw a few people from our restaurant in the church where they took the survivors. There were 7 of us and we all got seperated but back home safely. Let me find out where we ate and will follow up with any information I have.
San Benito, Texas USA 10/30/2011
La Poesia Monterosso
Sunday, Oct 30, 2011: I phoned my dear friend Nicoletta, owner of La Poesia in Old Town, Monterosso. I remember how excited Nicoletta was in July when she told me about her visit from Rick himself this Spring. Nicoletta informed me that it started raining heavily about midday Wed. At 1pm she looked at the mountains and she could actually see the earth moving! Within a matter of minutes a torrential river was crashing down Via Roma. At present the height of mud and debris is 3 meters high. La Poesia is still standing, but most shops and restaurants in old town are destroyed. There are hundreds of volunteers in Monterosso working to clean up. The new town is in good shape. Naturally, Nicoletta and all other residents of Monterosso are shocked by this cruel act of Mother Nature. I wish I were closer so I could lend a hand in the clean up effort. No one knows at this point where they will put all the mud! I have already made reservations for La Poesia for 2012 and plan on returning. Will call Nicoletta again next week for an update.
Venice, CA USA 10/30/2011
I was there in September . My heart goes out to these beautiful people. What are conditions like in Corniglia and the other towns?
Harlngen, TX USA 10/30/2011
a message from Monica Lecari: Al Castillo Restaurant
Dear Readers, We were just there for 5 days and left Oct 11th. We stayed in Rick's recommended Monica Lecari honeymoon suite. We fell in love with city and people. I wrote to Monica immediately asking after her family, etc. This is her reply and a link to the most stunning video I have seen yet as to the devastation. Dear Peggy, we are all safe but Vernazza has been terrebly hit. They say it will take at least six mounths just to clean up. Thank you for your prayers because we need them.Thank again Monica To give you an idea of what happened look below: http://www.youreporter.it/video_Alluvione_a_Vernazza_la_catastrofe_in_presa_diretta
Los Angeles, CA USA 10/30/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
HUGE FLOODS IN THE CINQUE TERRE for our friend Michele Lilley
Michele Lilley Ciao tutti: Myself and my family are okay. We have evacuated (no running water, food, ecc in Vernazza - now they are bringing it in by helicopter and boat...but conditions are not good for children and elderly). We are now staying at my mother-in-laws in Prato. I am currently working to set up a non profit to get foreign funds for rebuilding. It is hard to count on Italian politicians especially these days.We are four women ex-pats who want to do something for Vernazzans by Vernazzans in order to make sure every penny that is donated benefits our town and nearby Monterosso. You couldn't imagine what is was like. I was in our store and the water just kept coming up and up.... and running so fast you couldn't cross, move - I was lucky enough to grab onto a doorway and a door and get up and out into a building next door to us and kept climbing to higher ground with another elderly couple. Other merchants weren't as lucky - we lost a dear friend who hung onto his awning as long as he could. It was horrible - now everything is buried under mud and it might rain again soon... We just have to keep working to dig ourselves out. We are lucky to be alive and need to work as a community to make this work. It seems almost impossible.
San Diego, CA USA 10/30/2011
Thank you so much Stephanie Sette for your prompt reply regarding Christian and the people of d'Sandros. I am very grateful to hear that they are alright. Would love to know where we can donate money to help with the relief effort in Vernazza and Monterosso.
Edmonds, WA USA 10/30/2011
my wife and i stayed at monterosso 3 weeks ago my son and wife 2 weeks ago and a good mate his wife and 3 children 2 weeks ago we are all in shock what happened and our thoughts from australia go to all who have been effected, we have fond memories of the walks, swimming in the crystal clear water having a coldy at the blue marlin bar and savouring the hospitality at resorante le aly; as a person who is involved in the water resources industry i dont feel it is fair to blame anyone for this event, rainfall of the frequency and volume would effect any community as we have felt here in australia recently lets all band together and ensure the idyllic communities are back to normal as soon as possible
macedon melbourne, USA 10/30/2011
QUESTION TO RICK STEVES: I'm sure that anyone who has visited 5-Terre is in shock about the extensive flooding and loss of people and homes as well as the loss of beautiful buildings. Rick, my question to you is this: as a traveller who has promoted this area & subsequently both given & received much from it, you are the common denominator on this website and the only one that we all know (or at least know of). Would you personally take it upon yourself to set up a site to receive donations to help with the reconstruction and assistance to its citizens? Too often we hear of on-line scams and as a well-known personality, I believe you could be a huge help to those of us wishing to donate and an enormous help towards the rebuilding of the 5-Terre towns.
Victoria, BC Canada 10/30/2011
I finally, after 12 or so years of waiting, got there in May 2010. It is a most beautiful and amazing place. We spent 4 nights in Vernazza and hiked 2 days and did the entire trail, my dream. I am totally heartbroken about the devistation. Please, Rick, set up a place for donations and where we can keep up with the progress and see pictures and videos! :-/
Vancouver, WA USA 10/30/2011
Rick Steves has commented on relief efforts to le Cinque Terre
Rick Steves has already answered the issue of his contribution to relief efforts for le Cinque Terre:
"(I don't feel comfortable with collecting money, and it's too early to clearly see which relief organizations will be involved. In the meantime, the Italian Red Cross is a good choice.) I think, most importantly, the best thing we can do is keep Vernazza and Monterosso in our travel dreams and incorporate them into your next trip."
If you click on the "News & Events" option on the menu bar of this website, you can read his reminisces of his past visits to Vernazza in their entirely.
In answer to a query below about whether Corniglia was inundated by mud, the answer is no. Of the five le Cinque Terre towns, only Vernazza and the old part of Monterosso were devastated. In other parts of Liguria and Tuscany, other towns much less famous but many as beautiful and historic, were also devastated.
Houston, TX USA 10/30/2011
Il Pirata, Vernazza
Does anyone have news about Gianluca & Massimo Cutropia, owners of Il Pirata, in Vernazza?
My thoughts & prayers are with all the people in the Cinque Terre.
Details on Vernazza
I met my husband in Vernazza almost 10 years ago and I now live in La Spezia with him. We have many dear friends in Vernazza and I have been following the events every step of the way. My husband spent all weekend in Vernazza to give support and help to clean the village out from the rubble.
I have written a detailed account of what happened, plus many pictures on my blog. If you would like to know more details, as the news does not seem to be covering it at all, please see my blog at: http://culturalcomments.blogspot.com/2011/10/disaster-strikes-vernazza.html
I have also included information on the bank account that the municipality of Monterosso has set up for donations.
I was very touched by Mr. Steves' words in his newsletter. There has been almost zero news coverage about this terrible event, so I also wanted to thank him for helping to get the info out there to people.
La Spezia, Italy 10/30/2011
Cinque Terre are still here
Just a quick note: Some uncontrolled "rumors" in the past days said: "The 5Terre don't exist anymore". That's false of course. Manarola, Corniglia and Riomaggiore have not been affected by this terrible event and are gorgeous as ever, come and be witness. This is not a commercial spot, we do need tourists to come to sustain our economy so that we can help our brothers in Vernazza and Monterosso, devastated by the flood. Cinque Terre will recover ( and they're already working hard) and will be even ore beautiful than before, you can be sure ! Check for updates on http://www.cinqueterre.com/blog/alluvione-alle-5-terre-foto-e-video
Manarola, IT ITA 10/29/2011
We were scheduled to stay in Corniglia on Wednesday and Thursday but were rerouted from A12 east of Genova in route from Monaco. We followed local traffic along the sea thinking we could reach Monterosso and not knowing the extent of damage as we had not seen any news of the devastation. The local road was passable and we saw some areas where mudslides had been cleared from the road. We reached the turn-off for Monterroso and were told there were problems in town, but that we could hike the road down – again unknowing the extent. We reached the bottom of the hill and saw emergency workers and residents working through the initial clearing. It was scary and serial. Mud and debris covered the ground floors of buildings. Cars were sunk in mud. We decided the town had more important work than to entertain tourist – so we headed back up the hill and stayed the night in Levanto. Since A12 was still closed we spent our last vacation day making the long drive around back to Genoa towards Milano, the Parma, Bologna, Florence and the airport in Pisa. It was an inconvenience for us--but nothing compared to the rebuilding ahead of the residents and work crews in Monterroso and Vernazza. We will follow the progress and cannot wait to return and share in the beautiful towns.
MaryLyn & John
Union, KY USA 10/29/2011
No community should have to suffer through this type tragedy. But Italy has committed $90 million in emergency help and the residents of Vernazza and Monterosso struck me as affluent and resilient so perhaps after no more than one and one half seasons of reduced tourism, these towns will be back better than ever. Port au Prince, Haiti on the other hand, will suffer for decades.
Anderson, sc USA 10/29/2011
LATEST NEWS ABOUT VERNAZZA
www.facebook.com Diamo una mano a ripulire Vernazza
THIS PAGE IS AN UPDATED SOURCE OF INFORMATIONS ABOUT 5 TERRE'S FLOOD.
LEVANTO sp, ITALY 10/29/2011
Devasted by the news of this tragedy, Vernazza is literally my favorite place in all of Italy. I am confident that the town will endure and come back better than ever. I have a few friends who live there as well, and have not heard anything back from them. Dodi, who owns the gelateria in town and Guiliano e Michela who rent out some nice apartments above the train station.
Crystal Beach, Fl USA 10/29/2011
Donate to Monterosso
This is the account number to donate directly to the Comune of Monterosso without the Red Cross. I know it's difficult for Americans to do it this way, and I'm trying to work something else out, but it's what we've got so far...
MUNICIPALITY OF MONTEROSSO:
HEADING: "Un aiuto per Monterosso e Vernazza"
CAUSAL: "Alluvionati 5 Terre"
We are desperately in need to rain boots in sizes 38 and up, especially mens - work gloves, water proof gloves, and hand sanitizer, IF anyone can figure out how to get this to us here...
There is so much being done. It's a muddy mess, but a special thanks to Villa Adriana for letting the town use their well water to shower and their bathroom...it is REALLY hard to clean without water....and the folks cooking us lunch and dinner every day in the piazza, both in the old town and on via fegina. We are full of angels here!
@Andrea in Manarola - 100% correct. Grazie :)
Monterosso al Mare, Italy 10/29/2011
Hotel Porto Roca
Hello. I am very sad for the losses these people have experienced. I wondering if there are any videos or pics of views looking down into the village from Hotel Porto Roca during the rains and mudslides. Does anyone have info on how the people in the high elevations of CT have fared?
NJ USA 10/29/2011
Does anyone know if Giuliano Basso is ok? We stayed at his guesthouse in 2004 during our honeymoon. What about the Sicilian couple who own the bakery? I wept in disbelief looking through the photos and wish I could be there to help them recover. It's one of our favorite places in the world. I know they and the neighboring towns will prevail and continue it's beauty for the world to see. Ti amo, Vernazza!
Orlando, FL USA 10/29/2011
Here a video in italian of the situation in Vernazza. Images are more clear than words. All the help is welcome, 'cause many other villages are in the same situation.
Portovenere, Italy 10/29/2011
Wondering how Christian, who runs La Marina, and the wonderful people of D'Sandros, both in Vernazza, are faring. They are so in my thoughts and prayers
Edmonds, WA USA 10/29/2011
Christian and family are ok as well as everyone from d'Sandro's. Christian along with Raffa, assisted in a heroic rescue of tourist stick up at Camere Giuliano durring the flooding. We are all very proud of them!!!
Vernazza, Italia 10/29/2011
Stephanie I was in Vernazza a week ago. As an american and as a businessman all I can say is I'd fly back there now if I wouldn't get in the way. I will send money. I totally agree with you I don't judge the comment I just have been in that position. People just don't know.
Woodbridge, VA USA 10/29/2011
Donations for Vernazza
www.SaveVernazza.com is a grassroots organization being spearheaded from Vernazza by 4 American expat women who know and love the village are a determined to provide a safe donation point where 100% of the money will knowing go directly to Vernazza to help rebuild the community . There are certain legalities to setting up such an organization and we are working through them. We hope to have more information for you in the next day or two. Thank you for your patience. We invite you to our facebook page, Save Vernazza, where you can find more information and updates
Lucca, Italy 10/29/2011
Donation to Help
Michele, Guliano, Cristian, Raffa and so many others
Vernazza has become one of our favorite spots in the world and it was just gutwrenching to see the sudden devastation.
You're all safe by the sound of it, so something to be grateful for. Our hearts go out to you all and we'll definitely want to make a donation when the site is up Michele to at least help a bit that way. I'm sure Vernazza over time will be back just as beautiful if not better, and we'll be back as well!
Koos & Bonnie
Hong Kong, USA 10/29/2011
We left there oct 10! Hope and pray that The people will be helped! Talked to la poesia owner in monterosso and she sounded frantic! Hope a donation center will be posted! I am so sad that the area is so devastated!!
Ca USA 10/28/2011
Blue Marlin people OK
I wasn't in Vernazza during the floods but was very worried about the guys at the Blue Marlin where Massimo often invites me to play piano. Thanks for providing the info that everyone there is OK. Please give them my best wishes to get back up and running as quickly as possible. This plucky little town is in my heart. Paul Wiffen
London, UK 10/28/2011
FYI - Ristorante Miky survived with minimal damage and Ca Du Gigante and the Cantina (more the cantina) sustained lots of damage from the flooding. In the New Town we are incredibly lucky it was just water. We are working round the clock with friends, family and the community to repair, rebuild, and save our town. Thank you all so much for your kind words and prayers and thoughts.
Monterosso al Mare, 10/28/2011
We have just created the domain www.savevernazza.com and hope to have up and running in the next day or two a way for people to donate directly to the town of Vernazza. Stay tuned for more info.
there is also a facebook page savevernazza
Lucca, Italy 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
Thank you for posting about Monterosso. We have been waiting anxiously to hear about our friends at Restaurant Miky and Ca Du Gigante. Some of our most wonderful vacation moments have been with them. Please convey our thoughts and prayers as we send our good wishes to all of you in Monterosso and Vernazza. We are so sorry for all of your losses.
Gail and Julian Hart
Burke, VA USA 10/28/2011
Monterosso and Vernazza
My wife and I were in Monterosso at the Hotel Porto Roca for a week in late September for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary... we fell in love with the entire region and especially Via Venti Ristorante on XX Settembre in the Old Town. The hotel was exceptional as were the staff, notably, Prisco our waiter and Ramon the bartender; we hope and pray they and everyone in Monterosso and Vernazza can reclaim their lives soon. Please visit our movie that I posted to youtube for a brief respite from this horror...look for italy 2011 msdvd
Bethesda, MD USA 10/28/2011
We were in Vernazza two weeks ago for the second time. We stayed at Gianni Franzi , also for the second time and ate at their trattoria. Please let me know if they are okay. I am devestated by the damage I'm seeing in the pictures. This is one of the best places I've ever been to.
Dallas, TX USA 10/28/2011
My husband and I stayed in Monterosso for several nights just 3 weeks ago, and it has been heartbreaking to learn about the flooding and devastation there. It is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. We stayed at Manuels Guesthouse, and were so warmly welcomed by Lorenzo and Giovannni - I am praying for their safety.
I know you can donate to the Red Cross, but it would be nice for Rick to set up a way to donate specifically to the towns of Monterosso and Vernazza.
MD USA 10/28/2011
Michele in Lucca
Met you at the train station this summer. You showed my friend and I how to read the Departure board. You were so helpful. Glad to know you are ok. Such a sad story for a place full of great people. Good to know that Massimo and Jeff are ok, how about Rica across from the Blue Marlin?
San Jose, CA USA 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre floods
My husband and I also stayed at Manuel's guest house several weeks ago and are concerned about Lorenzo, Giovanni and their families as well as their property. We traveled around Italy and our time with them was our favorite of the trip. We would like to know how they are doing and any info on their property and how we can help. Catherine
Royal Palm Beach, FL USA 10/28/2011
Flood Relief - Donating
Hi all, I'm working on setting up a crowdfunding site for donations on IndieGoGo in order to make it easier for people outside of Italy to donate to flood relief with credit cards and Paypal.
Will have it set up today if there's interest.
Los Angeles, CA USA 10/28/2011
Also, are there any organizations on the ground in Cinque Terre helping out? If anyone wanted to volunteer, does someone know an organization that we could reach out to?
Los Angeles, CA USA 10/28/2011
To the post wondering about Manuel's Guesthouse - I just saw Lorenzo, they are doing fine and helping everyone around the clock. Ristorante Miky, Ca Du Gigante and La Cantina Di Miky - to the Harts, thank you! We're doing ok. Trying our best and are making lots of progress with lots of help. Everyone here is much too stubborn to let what has happened ruin all that they've worked all their lives for. It's hard work, but it's getting done. Thank you guys all for all your kind words of support - I'm relaying them and everyone is really heartened that people care this much. We are working to set up a direct site to donate to Monterosso. I will post when we get it done.
Monterosso al Mare, 10/28/2011
Floods in Monterosso.
We would like news of the people in Monterosso as we spend a month there every two years. I have been visiting the town since 1984 and it remains one of the most beautiful places in the world. We know the Manfredi family at Villa Cavallo and would be grateful for any information. Also Pozzo's Restaurant..Al Pozzo and his wife and the people at Bar Centrale.d
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, USVI USA 10/28/2011
Was there harm or is there news of Hotel Punta Mesco in Monterosso al Mare? Everyone there has been so helpful to me in the past and I am in the midst of planning a return...
St. Augustine, FL USA 10/28/2011
Saddened by the news and photos
I was shocked and saddened to hear the news of the flooding. We were just in Monterosso two weeks ago, and visited Vernazza while we were there. We stayed at Manuel's Guesthouse, and I'm glad to hear Lorenzo and Giovanni are doing well. I'm confident that the residents of these beautiful towns will clean up and rebuild as soon as they are able. Let us all give whatever support we can.
Roswell, GA USA 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre Floods
My partner and I hiked Vernazza to Corniglia, then Manarola to Riomaggiore (Via di Amore), about two weeks ago. We're heartbroken at the devastating damage from the floods.
I found this crowd-sourcing donation site, though I am not sure how reliable it is. Any feedback on its authenticity would be welcome, because I would love to help out:
Dallas, TX USA 10/28/2011
le cinque terre relief effort
I join with the other people in hoping that Rick Steves will help set up a relief fund. I think that without the le Cinque Terre towns, people might not have ever understood what traveling to Europe "through the back door" was really all about. People only knew to go to expensive Portofino, which was completely commercialized. Rick Steves pointed out they could enjoy the beauties of the Riviera by going through the "back door" to le Cinque Terre. The idea of traveling that way caught on, and people trusted Rick Steves to guide them to better travel experiences.
Now there are a lot of people who have seen le CInque Terre on Rick Steves recommendation and would like to help. They are unsure about where to send money and who they could trust to make sure it all goes to relief. They would open up their wallets if Rick Steves created a fund.
I realize he can't do this by just snapping his fingers. He has to go about it in a legal, appropriate way. But I hope he will soon speak up personally about how to help. I hope he will use his facebook page, his radio show and his TV appearances to call attention to the need in le Cinque Terre.
It appears to me he reads the comments posted on his facebook page. If any of you have a facebook account and can post messages there, please pass along the word that people are hoping he will personally get involved in the relief effort for le Cinque Terre.
Houston, TX USA 10/28/2011
My wife and our 1 year old son were there during the storm. It started raining around 11:30am and by 2:00pm the streets were flooded out and things got very scary. It rained so hard and so fast, it was like nothing I had ever seen before. When we woke up Wed. morning the town was covered in 5-10ft of mud and cars were everywhere. Simply put, the town was destroyed. Police officers asked that all tourist to leave immediately. We came by car, but had to evacuate by train. Our rental car was left in the town and we felt so helpless for everyone there. The locals were so great to us during the storm. We had no food or water and the locals helped us with everything including diapers for our 1 year old son. Though we only spent 1 day in total in Cinque Terre we have a huge place in our heart for it. I am not sure the media or public really know how bad it is. If you have the means to help then do so. These poor people have lost everything and it doesn't seem they are being supported enough with the bare necessities and man power to help dig out.
Our prayers are with you Cinque Terre.
Denver, CO USA 10/28/2011
Ti Amo Vernazza
My wife and I got married in Vernazza last September. The town and residence have been an important part of our lives for many years. I am heartbroken for what everyone has gone through.
I come to tears when I think about sipping coffee outside at Il Pirata, having drinks at the Blue Marlin, or enjoying a moonlight meal at Gambero Rosso.
Seattle, WA USA 10/28/2011
My daughter and I love the Cinque Terre and are shocked at this devastation to the lower towns. Our last apartment was higher up the hill in Monterosso, however we worry about our friends in the lower village. All prays for these people and their villages.
Augusta, GA USA 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre flood
[28/10/2011] Vernazza to be evacuated? it's a possible evolution of the near future since several houses seem to be severely damaged, still there's no water, no gas and no electricity. Today estimates says 35.000 cubic meters of debrees (!) have to be removed from the main street of the town, a new river-bed in place of the old one...One big Caterpillar taken in place by the Navy is operating near the seaside ( Piazza Marconi) where the space is wide enough; inside, only small buldozzer can acceede the internal street, it will be a long way to the recover.. video, pictures and updaates on this post about Cinque Terre Flood.
+ a request for Mr. Rick Steves launched on twitter, people are asking to donate from US, we think Rick is very reliable and very much in touch with our 5 terre, he seems to be the one who may help a lot our community to recover setting up a "donate" campaign for US citizens, what do you think?..thank you for your attention on our terrible situation.
Andrea from Cinque Terre - Italy
Manarola, IT USA 10/28/2011
I am an American living in La Spezia and Vernazza for the past 12 years. I was in Vernazza yesterday. Yes, it is totally devastating. But the community of Vernazza is strong, the people are digging out and help has arrived already. Right now, Vernazza is in emergency mode but it will be a long rode for the rebuild effort. As Michelle mentioned, we are setting up a site and starting a non-profit to collect donations that will go directly and solely to Vernazza. We will keep you all posted. Much help will be needed in the coming weeks and months. To see some of my photos of the devastation, go to Ruth Manfredi on Facebook.
Vernazza and La Spezia, Italy 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre update
From a Texan in Cinque Terre. A detailed update, and info on how to help.
San Diego, CA USA 10/28/2011
5 Cites Ligurea flooding
my husband and I were in Cinque Terre a year ago and totally fell in love with it.. We are so saddened by the way our 5 cities look now after the flooding. We are praying for the people and for nature to take back our beatiful Italian lovers place..
stanwood, wa. USA 10/28/2011
Cinque Terre Visit
My wife and I were in Cinque Terre — stayed in Corniglia — from Saturday — left Tuesday morning. We met some members of your Group on the trail Sunday between Corniglia and Vernazza and/or between Vernazza and Monterroso. At their suggestion we enjoyed dinner at the Belvedere, and briefly met your Tour Director.
It rained a bit on Monday night and was very windy as we left on the train Tuesday morning heading for Florence.
We were happy to hear that no one from your Group was injured.
Jim and Susan Eaton, Minneapolis, MN
Jim and Susan Eaton
Minneapolis, MN USA 10/28/2011
I am sickened by the sight of one of the most memorable places I have ever been suffering with the floods and destruction. Tears are in my eyes as I write and there must be something we can do to help. Please let us know if there is some way to help make it better for these wonderful people!
Tigard, OR USA 10/28/2011
My wife and myself are heartbroken to hear this news. We used to go to Vernazza every summer. We pray for the wonderful people of Cinque Terre.
Moscow, Russia 10/28/2011
Myself, my brother and my sister in law were there for a day trip from Monrolla and ended up getting stuck for 24hours. I have traveled a ton and have experienced many things but never have I seen/experienced something like this. At one point I really thought I was going to die there,we were at the Blue Marlin restaurant eating lunch and decided to wait out the heavy rain before going back. Little did we know that the next 2hours would be the most frightening in my life. The restaurant owner,mossimo had to break down the wall buy the electrical box and we had to go up stairs to the 2nd floor. The water continued to climb up and the receded right went we were started to freck out because there was no where else to go. Everyone was starting to relax even though it was still raining, just much lighter. Then it happened again...the loud crashing and river started raising again because all the water from the mountains was coming down and we needed to get out, right then the volunteer rescue team found us and took us up to the city center, I can video and pic if you are interested.
San Diego, Ca USA 10/27/2011
We got as far as La Spezia before having to turn back on Wednesday. Good luck to those wonderful businesses in Monterosso.
Fernandina Beach, FL USA 10/27/2011
Flooding updates via Facebook
Because internet and phone access is still spotty in the northern section of Cinque Terre, it has been somewhat difficult to get information. However, there are a couple of Riomaggiore Facebook groups that have been regularly posting pictures and news. Usually they have bilingual posts, but they have been in Italian. (Google Translate quickly resolves that though.) There have been a lot of volunteer groups leaving Riomaggiore daily to help their neighbors. I'll list those groups at the end of the comment.
I was hoping to see Rick use his extensive list of contacts in Cinque Terre to spearhead some sort of relief effort. I know fans of Cinque Terre from the States and around the world would like to do something to help. Rick is in a unique position to take a leadership role.
Here are the Riomaggiore Facebook groups that have been actively posting news, pictures and organizing relief efforts: Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo Rimazůu Riomaggiore
Here are two Italians with regular updaates: Claudio Burlando Presidente (a politician from Genova) Sandro Bordone
The floods have been devastating to one of my favorite places to visit. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the Cinque Terre.
Raleigh, NC USA 10/27/2011
This breaks my heart. I was in Vernazza this past July and fell in love with the town and the people there.
Rebecca, I've been trying desperately to find anything out specifically about the Blue Marlin and the employees there. My niece and I loved that place and it became our hang out every night. Do you know anything about Marco and Anthony (the bartenders there)? Can you post the video? Thank you for any information you can provide.
San Carlos, CA USA 10/27/2011
Cinque Terre Flash Floods
I stayed in Monterosso 3 weeks ago and did the 2 hour hike from Vernazza to Monterosso in addition to visiting the other villages. One of the most beautiful areas I've ever scene and the locals were so warm. I too am heartbroken to hear of this devastation and will make a donation for the cause. I am also sending up prayers for the locals and specifically for the family who owns Hotel Steno & Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso. I have taken many stunning pics from my recent visit and will try to find a place to post them to share with other Rick Steves travelers. God bless those who have been affected by this tragedy.
LOS ANGELES, CA USA 10/27/2011
Latest on Vernazza
I am an American who until very recently lived in Vernazza (for 6+ years). I've been in regular contact with friends in Vernazza and they are truly shell shocked by the recent catastrophe. The town is covered in over 4 meters of mud & debris (over 13 ft) and the town is currently without water and gas, half still without electricity. Some diggers have finally arrived to begin the clearing. Three people from Vernazza had gone missing and two have been found deceased. Food and water are being brought in by boat and helicopter and many are being evacuated. Myself and a few other American expats from Vernazza are working to create an account for funds to be donated directly to the town of Vernazza. As soon as that information is available I will post it here.
Lucca, Italy 10/27/2011
Vernazza - Blue Marlin
Everyone from the blue marlin is fine, we were lucky we managed to break the wall and climb up but it is heartbreaking to know others werent so lucky and to know from experience the terror going through everyones minds. Definetely the most terrifying thing ive ever been through and i can only hope it gets all the attention it deserves so we can all help towards rebuilding these beautiful villages. I have plenty of footage right from when it was still just heavy rain to when the water was well above the first level destroying this beautiful little restaurant called trattoria di sandro which was directly accross from us. A big thankyou to the locals who provided us with blankets and food and dry clothes. My heart goes out to this gorgeous people
Melbourne, Vic Australia 10/27/2011
Cinque Terre Flooding.....I am sobbing all over my computer
I Went to Cinque Terre Last Summer (2011) And I am completely devastated to hear this awful news..That beautiful little beach on Vernazza...I played there for hours.. Its all gone..I am SOO devastated!!! We ate at this wonderful little restaurant ..And it's all gone..I am soo..I cant even tell how completely and absolutely horrified and devastated by this news..I cant believe it..I *sobs on COmputer* I am in tears..I Loved Cinque Terre..Now it's Tres Terre......
Yorktown, VA USA 10/27/2011
Thanks Sinara. I can't imagine what you all went through and how frightening that must have been. I will always have a special place in my heart for the town and the wonderful locals we met there. I hope that eventually there will be information available about where/how we can donate to help begin the long process of rebuilding.
San Carlos, CA USA 10/27/2011
My daughter & I were also at the Blue Marlin. Thank you Massimo for saving our lives & for your beautiful piano playing at City Hall. We will always remember & hope to visit your restaurant in the future. Hoping that vernazza can recover from this disaster.
Vicki & christine Rousu
St Paul, Mn USA 10/27/2011
I am so devastated by the the photos of the floods in Vernazza. The Village is one of the most beautiful places on earth I have been to, and the walking track to the other villages was unforgettably beautiful. My heart goes out to all the people affected in this area.
Launceston, Tas Aust 10/27/2011
We were just there as well - October 6-9. This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. My heart hurts for all these people - they all rely on tourism for their livelihoods. Will Red Cross be collecting for them? Can volunteers go and help dig out?
Cedar Rapids, IA USA 10/27/2011
CInque Terre Tragedy
We were in the Cinque Terre in late August. It is truly one of the most special places in the world. My heart goes out to all of the people of the Cinque Terre. I hope that Rick spear heads a drive to raise money to help them in their recovery efforts.
Olympia, WA USA 10/27/2011
My wife and I left Vernazza on the 8:19 train to Le Spezia on Tuesday morning. There was just steady rain at the time and I had no idea this was about to happen. What time did the flood hit? Who is the best person/group to donate to for their relief effort?
Madison, Wi USA 10/27/2011
I am deeply saddened by this news! My family and I had the great privilege of visiting this amazing and beautiful place back in May. We lodged in Riomaggiore but spent alot of time in Vernazza as well as visiting the other towns. Words cannot describe how special Cinque Terre is and I will be praying for the people. I too would like to donate to relief for these wonderful hard working hospitable people.
Yorktown, VA USA 10/27/2011
Vernazza- prayers are with the townspeople
Me and my wife were there on holiday in Mid august for 5 unforgettable days. We vow to return again and bring our children next year. So sad to see it now- heartbreaking to see all the pictures, we rented an apartment from Paulo and Dina who own the wonderful ice cream shop along the harborside walk, hard to believe but it looks literally like you could step out of the upstairs window onto the debris. our hearts are with with you, hope you are all safe and also the nice American girl that runs the internet shop.
Harreson & Joanne
Nelson, BC CANADA 10/27/2011
Heartbroken in NY
My boyfriend and I just spent 5 wonderful nights in Vernazza from October 5-10 at the Pensione Sorriso...any word on what sort of damage they've endured? We were heartbroken to hear about this devestating storm after enjoying the beautiful atmosphere and the warm, friendly people. Our hearts are with you all, and if there is any sort of fundraising to help out, please post a link. It is the least we can do after all the warmth and hospitality we were shown.
Queens, NY USA 10/27/2011
I have been to Cinque Terre three times, it's one of my favorite places in the world. I'm devastated to hear the news. I have spent a few hours trying to find ways to help. Are there no relief efforts set up yet? How can we help? Would 'Rick Steve's' cover my expenses to go there and help? I'm an experienced traveler and writer. I can share photos, take videos and write articles to help drive funding and support for the relief efforts through his website. Please contact me if anyone is interested in collaboration.
Milwaukee, WI USA 10/27/2011
We were in the Cinque Terre in May and fell in love with Vernazza and stayed there for 5 days. How devastating and heartbreaking......what can we do to help? Happy to hear from Bob from Morgan Hill.....we met your son and remember him and his puppy, thank God he's alright.
Santee, CA USA 10/27/2011
Bob, is your son Jeff? If so, my niece Amanda and I met him while we were there and remember talking to him quite a bit since I am from San Carlos and was very interested in how he ended up in Vernazza. Such a wonderful guy and I'm so relieved to hear he is o.k.!
San Carlos, CA USA 10/27/2011
we have both been to and enjoyed Vernazza especially the gelati shop where we know the owners family.Trust Valentino and his family are safe and well.
rob and jannette walker
lennox head, nsw australia 10/27/2011
We were in Vernazza during the flood and watched first-hand from the 4th floor or Albergo Barbara (recommended by RS). Words can't describe the chaos, devastation, and surrealism of being there and not knowing what was happening. Our thanks to the rescue workers who so graciously evacuated the tourists via boat to La Spezia and who were working so hard trying to begin the clean up of the mud and debris. Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Vernazza--may you be back on your feet soon, and may we visit your beautiful and magical town next year. Grazie to all who took care of those who didn't have places to stay, food to eat or water to drink, even during their time of loss.
Denver, CO USA 10/27/2011
Has anyone heard of any relief efforts one could donate to? Vernazza is my favorite place in the world...
Minneapolis, Mn USA 10/26/2011
Cinque Terre Flood
I heard from the Hostel in Manarola that ONLY Monterosso and Vernazza of the 5 Towns received damage from the flooding. I have seen pictures of 3 - 5 feet of mud over the tracks at Vernazza Train Station. For those of you that have been there, that is tons of mud blocking the tunnel under the tracks and all the way through the village. It also lokks like the harbor has been completely filled with mud, rocks, cars, boats and trash.
CA USA 10/26/2011
Here are new photos of the terrible flood in Vernazza http://www.come-to-liguria.com/wordpress/cinque-terre/the-pictures-about-the-flood-in-the-cinque-terre/
L.A., CA USA 10/26/2011
i talked with my son who lives in vernazza great response by emergency teams and great community effort helping each other with food and shelter
morgan hill, ca USA 10/26/2011