Vernazza Now

No sooner had I finished posting a blog with pictures and tales of our travels to Vernazza and Cinque Terre than I saw an email from Rick Steves that shows how much things have changed since we were there.

On October 25, 2011–just 1 month after we were there–Vernazza was hit by a terrible rainstorm and landslide that buried the town under many feet of mud and debris. The restaurants we dined at, the shops where we purchased our salami and cheese and wine, all are buried under the debris. Then entire first floor of all the buildings on the main street in tour basically don’t exist.

This video shows how the damage occurred:

I was shocked to see this photo posted among others on a Rick Steve’s slideshow:

Because just a month ago, it looked like this:

My heart goes out to all the people living or vacationing in Vernazza. I know it will someday return to the beautiful paradise that I remember from only a month ago, but it will definitely take some time and that time will make a huge impact on the lives and financial well-being of the residents who lost so much.

Selfishly, I’m glad my family was able to see Vernazza before this terrible storm occurred. In our memories, Vernazza will always be that sleepy little village on the edge of the sea, where the sky and sea were bright blue, the tiny stores welcomed visitors and offered the most delicious meats and cheeses, and each day seemed like the way life was intended to be lived. Relaxed and surrounding by nature’s incredible beauty.

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