Surely you saw the news about the devastation to Cinque Terre following heavy rains last fall. How are these five villages coping and are they ready for visitors this spring and summer? Kate Little, a tour guide and sommelier originally from Texas, has lived and worked in the area since 1989. (You can find out more about Kate and the Cinque Terre at her site http://www.littleparadiso.com/) She fills us in on some hopeful news for those wishing to visit the Cinque Terre this year:
October 25th, 2011, will be a date that no one in Monterosso will ever forget.
It had been an exceptionally long, dry summer and the drizzle that started on the 24th was welcome. However, during the course of a night and day of constant rainfall, the land could not absorb any more water. Culminating on the early afternoon of the 25th, 20 inches of rain pounded the village in less than three hours. Landslides tumbled downhill and downstream, taking dirt, trees, boulders, automobiles, and in many places – people, with them.
After the rains stopped, residents first made sure that everyone was accounted for and put out the alert for those who were missing. Next they started assessing the damage. The buildings were standing in their correct places as if nothing had happened. However parts of roads had popped open from the volume of water running in the canals underneath and the piazzas, remaining roads and the ground floor of almost every building were a good two to three meters under mud. Livelihoods were mixed in with the sludge. They lost everything, but not their spirit.
(Photo from RebuildMonterosso.com)