Friday, October 28, 2011


I took this picture of Vernazza while hiking in the Cinque Terre, and it must be one of the most beautiful views in the world. We were climbing on the celebrated trail that connects the "five lands," and we had just cleared the mountain from Monterosso and were heading down the narrow path to Vernazza. This magical town has lasted centuries clinging to the cliffs, surviving attacks from pirates and Saracens, wind storms and earthquakes. You would think it could last forever.

I was shocked to read that the Cinque Terre, especially Monterosso and Vernazza (pictured above), were nearly destroyed by flooding and mudslides. According to news reports, at least two of the five World Heritage-listed coastal villages have been all but wiped out. If you have never seen this magical spot it may be too late.

From today's Washington Post:

Flash floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rains earlier this week barreled through picturesque towns along the northwest coast, burying streets under mud, damaging homes, stores, churches and overturning vehicles.

At least nine people died. Among hard-hit towns are Monterosso and Vernazza, along the Cinque Terre hiking trail popular for its breathtaking views.

From The Telegraph (UK):

The worst affected region was Liguria, with at least two of the five World Heritage-listed 'Cinque Terre' coastal villages cut off as a result of roads being washed away.

The walking trails and picturesque fishing villages of the Cinque Terre attract hundreds of thousands of international tourists, but two of them – Vernazza and Monterosso – were severely affected as rivers of mud poured down from the hills behind them.

The mayor of Monterosso said the fishing village had all but been wiped out.

"Monterosso no longer exists," Angelo Betta told an Italian news agency.

Huge amounts of mud had swept through the tiny settlement, causing an "unimaginable disaster." The neighbouring village of Vernazza had to be evacuated by sea, with the Coast Guard rescuing stranded foreign tourists and locals.

A tourist filmed the devastation

1 comment:

The heart of Cinque Terre - Guest House said...

The next time don't forget to visit us: