In the Autumn of 2011 huge land slides created devastation on the Cinque Terre, the jewel of Liguria in North-Western Italy. By all reports the Cinque Terre reopened for business in time for Easter 2012 – 90% open at any rate – and for a town that was buried in 13 ft of mud that is an amazing effort.
Are Cinque Terre Trails Open 2018?
CINQUE TERRE translates to five lands or in this case five towns. Of the five,Vernazza and to a lesser extent Monterosso, were hardest hit. The water and mud raced down the hillsides with such force that three local people were swept away from Vernazza and tragically died.
We were lucky to visit in April 2010 when the trails and towns were in pristine condition. The trails also had to be rebuilt in places.
Incredibly, in September 2012 disaster struck again with rock falls damaging the Sentiero dell’Amore, or Lovers Walk, injuring four walkers. Read here to see which Cinque Terre Trails are open.
Cinque Terre Train
We caught the train from La Spezia to Cinque Terre. We arrived at Monterosso the furthest of the five towns on the Cinque Terre and walked back along the picturesque coastal path that connects the five towns, finishing in Riomaggiore. In this photo Vernazza, the second town on the trail and my favourite, peeks out from behind the mountains enticingly.
Vernazza April 2010.
How to walk the Cinque Terre Trail
I think Monterosso to Riomaggiore is the best direction for walking the Cinque Terre trail. Although the climb from Monterosso to the point where the above photo was taken was quite strenuous, walking from the other direction entails climbing a multitude of steps, which we instead got to walk down.
This photo shows the coast hugging train track arriving in Vernazza from Monterosso.
The View of Vernazza from the harbour wall.
Visitors arriving by boat.
Looking back to the Harbour as we climbed through the streets of Vernazza, destination Corniglia.
Looking back on Vernazza.
The train track as it departs Vernazza, Corniglia bound.
While the other three towns were saved from flood destruction by good drainage systems and the natural contours of the land, Vernazza and Monterosso were endangered because of the untended terraces on the mountains behind the towns. In the 1960’s when tourism increased, the vineyards and terraces were abandoned. Now there is a push to replant and tend the terraces once more, which together with improved drainage systems should keep the towns safe in the future.
Which Village to Stay in Cinque Terre
If we were to visit the Cinque Terre again I would love to stay in Vernazza. To my mind it is the most picturesque of the five towns and my blogging friends seem to agree. Although staying on the Cinque Terre is more expensive than staying else, like in La Spezia it is good to splurge on special destinations if your budget is flexible. One of the best places to stay in Vernazza Cinque Terre, location wise, is this charming room.
This post is linked to BUDGET TRAVELERS SANDBOX.
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