Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cinque Terre Storm

Update: the latest news is that Monterosso is damaged but not wiped out:)

Vernazza, as seen from a hill above the city, was partly destroyed yesterday.

Manarola, Cinque Terre
Picture from here of  Manarola

A buzz on my phone early this morning woke me up. A friend had messaged me about the storm that hit the Liguria region of Italy yesterday, killing 8 people and destroying villages. Two of the most badly hit villages were in Cinque Terre ("Five Lands"), and my hairs stood when I read the message. Monterosso, the first village and Vernazza, the beauty queen. I can remember these places so vividly, like I just came back from there. I remember the train rides from Genoa to the Five Lands and within the villages, accessible only by boats and trains.

I googled the news and what I read made me tear. I was in Cinque Terre just a year ago with my daughter and we talk about the place often. Yi says she'll honeymoon in Cinque Terre, not places like the boring Maldives, which is the top destination for China-Chinese honeymooners who walk around in matching shorts and count the hours to the next flight home. We had never heard of Cinque Terre until my friend CY sent me Rick Steves' Europe and Cinque Terre was described like a best kept secret. Of course when we got there, it was totally invaded by the Americans.

Cinque Terre is one of the prettiest places I've been to, apart from Banff, Canada (more majestic and beautiful than Switzerland!) but they are different. Of the five villages, Vernazza is the top favorite among tourists but my fave is Manarola, which is smaller than Vernazza but less touristy, if that can be used to described these places which were fishing viallges but now survive on tourism. I can't believe that Monterosso, the first village, has been completely wiped out. It's so sad. I hope they rebuild and recover quickly.

 I'll never forget Cinque Terre and the perfect day my daughter and I spent there. My big regret is that I didn't make any hotel bookings and refused to pay through my nose to stay the night. I should have done that.

This is the Monterosso beach which is the first thing you see when you get off the train station. We didn't see the village of Monterosso because it was quite a walk away and it was too hot. As of yesterday, Monterosso village no longer exists.


Blur Ting said...

Oh my goodness! I had wanted to go there several times but keep postponing the trip. Once I even dreamed I was there and the scenes were so real right down to the houses and beach. Looking at the photos makes me sad and I hope they will recover quickly with the place still retaining the old charm.

VernazzaLover said...

My dad is from Vernazza and we were all very upset about the storm as our family live there :(.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful tribute, Terri. Why oh why didn't I go there!? Saving the best for last? Now Monterosso is no more. So sad. I wish the folks there all the best in rebuilding their lives.


Anonymous said...

Hi Terri!
Thank you for your post on this tragedy.
It's really sad, Cinque Terre are one of the most beautiful place in Italy for me.

A big hug to you!

terri@adailyobsession said...

blurtg: they will, i'm sure they will make it even better than before. chinese saying: "old don't go new don't come"

vernazzalover: i totally understand. but they will rebuilt n 6 months from now everything'll be even better!

esther: go next year, the natural scenery won't change n they will rebuild the houses even better!

laubao: it is SO beautiful. you are SO lucky to be italian! i think they will recover very quickly n cinque terre wil be even more beautiful than ever! yes!

Unknown said...

I was fortunate enough to travel to 5Terre three times this past summer. So glad I got to see this incredibly beautiful place before the storms. One of my photos of Vernazza is currently in a photo contest, follow the link to vote by clicking "like":

Roohshad Garda said...

Terrible news. Im so shocked to hear it. I just got back a few days ago from this paradise! Its such a shame it is now no more. I guess we got lucky this time, and I hope everyone else out there will be ok.

pharmacy said...

It's a beautiful place. I haven't been there but I'd love to.

cialis online said...

again I love that place just by looking at those pictures, I will start saving from now on to go there!

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