Good news from the Cinque Terre

June 18, 2012 / Local Interest
Monterosso al Mare, Liguria
“Auguri! Complimenti!” These were my words to the erborista as I entered her lovely shop, newly rebuilt and neatly stocked. It’s at the intersection of Via Roma and the main piazza in Monterosso al Mare, ravaged on October 25, 2011 by heavy rains, landslides and a tornado.

Plasticized photos displayed throughout the village show the devastation, the “before.” Like so many businesses, the erboristeria had been slammed by the force of the landslide, inside and out. The owner escaped with her life by climbing the wall above her shop, with one minute to spare, and added that the incident lasted one hour in which one of her fellow townspeople was killed.

Now, only 7 months later, though damage is still evident and memories are fresh, much has been restored and the “after” is visible everywhere. The church, once shoulder high in mud and rocks, has been scrubbed and polished. The pews, once floating in high water, are now neatly aligned, none the worse for wear despite some scratches and water damage. Across Via Roma, a freshly opened boutique displays stylish fashions, alongside the edicola (newstand). At Il Bazar I bought a packaged toy marked with a special price due to slight water damage. Ristorante Moretto, with a fresh new terrace and awnings, saw a full host of customers enjoying tagliolini all’astice and branzino ai ferri with olive oil and lemon. Squisiti!

In other words, Monterosso al Mare is back! Vernazza too. It’s buzzing with workers: splicing wires, plastering walls and setting stones. Kudos to the local citizenry and to the economic powers that be. The Cinque Terre tourist economy is well on its way to recovery. Bravi!

Many thanks to Carolyn McConnell for this note! Carolyn divides her time between Paciano, in Umbria. and Seattle, Washington.

Ed’s note: We feel good news is more important than ever in difficult times… may the Monterossini’s reconstruction efforts be encouragement for the recently earthquake-stricken Emiliani and Romagnoli.

16 Responses to “Good news from the Cinque Terre”

  1. Linda Boccia

    We visited the CinqueTerre in September just before the terrible rains and devastation. And when we were living in Lucca we sent two or three sets of friends to a specific hotelin Levanto and told our guests to spend time in Monterosso and the other CinqueTerre towns. They loved the entire area and what we emailed our hotel there was that we will tell all of our friends to again revisit the area because it is so beautiful AND they need the repeat business. And when we go back to live in Rome we too will be among the many visitors. Go Rick Steves and send a lot of people there to rebuild their economy!

  2. Gian Banchero

    I was told by “someone in the know” that one of the reasons for the flooding was due to local deforestation over the decades, I hope the planting of runoff absorbing plants is then in the equation/offing. Severe flooding is a constant problem in parts of South-East Asia where forests have been felled. I’m glad Cinque Terra is recovering, thank you for the article.

  3. Stef

    We were there at Monterosse and Vernazza just two weeks before the flood! Very happy to here that all is fine again.

  4. Toni Galli Sterling

    So happy to know that Cinque Terre is being restored!!!!! On a not so pleasant note…. Three + years later, historic L’Aquila is yet to be restored…..What can we do to nudge the authorities to pay attention to the people of Abruzzo – many who are still displaced?

  5. Marie Castino Ramey

    Thanks for letting us know things are back to “normale”. My family is from Chiavari and other relatives are from nearby Casella. We know that the Italians will always persevere and survive; they have been presented with many challenges, and always seem to recover with good spirits in tack.


  6. Penny Ewles-Bergeron
    Penny Ewles-Bergeron

    Happy and impressive news from Cinque Terre. Bravi tutti. I hope to visit one day.

  7. My husband and I will plan on being in the Cinque Terre region this fall approximately Oct. 8-11. We will cheer their good work and say prayers of thanksgiving in their church.

  8. Lou Lamatrice

    My wife and i will be spending a month in florence from january 10 to february 12, 2013. i have two questions, first is it easy to get to the cinque terra by train and second is it worth the time and travel during the winter months?

    • carlos matta

      I see you’re having fun, having seen you for quite a while, I’m back in vegas and I was curious to know about you. I know you forgot about me. I was the spanish teacher in the extension program that used to teach at the clark county facility. Are you still living in Las Vegas?

      Nice to know you’re going places


  9. Anne Robichaud

    and now let us hope for aid in Emilia Romagna: just heard on the news that the heat today in the tents of those left homeless due to earthquake reached 60, 140 F…!!!!!!!!!!!!
    O Santo Cielo, as the Umbrian farmers would say………

  10. Stephanie

    I have visited the Cinque Terre and just fell in love with them. We acutally walked the entire trail along the coast through all cinque towns and loved each and everyone of them. So happy to hear that the 2 towns affected are being restored. I plan to revisit these towns one day.

  11. Barbara Palmer

    We visited Monterosso in 2009 and stayed in Vernazza (My retirement gift!) – Such fond memories. Truly close to heaven on earth. I am so glad they have come back to life!


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