Clean up from the flash flood in Vernazza

Vernazza on a “normal” day in October

It appears there is a “semi” orchestrated effort to begin the clean up in Vernazza and Monterosso.  My sources say that mobile phone service has been restored, however phone, electrical, gas, and other utilities are still not working. 

Roads leading into the Cinque Terre are closed.  The train tracks have been cleared and some intermitting service is running from Monterosso to Corniglia.  They say the train is not stopping in Vernazza for fear of it bringing looters to the area.   The main mode of transportation for now, is boat service originating  from La Spezia. 

Here is some video taken from the breakwaters/harbor in Vernazza.  If you have ever visited Vernazza, you will recognize the church (on the left) and Ristorante Gianni on the right.  Notice the “harbor” is loaded with mud and debris.


About the Author
David McGuffin established David McGuffin's Exploring Europe, Inc. in 2001 to formally offer European tours. Since then, he has taken several thousand satisfied customers on memorable and educational tours to Europe.
  1. Ashley Williams Reply

    My husband and I were JUST there 6 days before this happened. We hiked to Vernazza and had lunch at Ristorante Gianni then walked out onto the “pier” in front of the square. It is devastating to see it all like this. Monterosso as well – we stayed there for 3 nights and have just sent our lovely hosts a note to ask if they are ok. God bless the people of this region as they work so hard to clean up and restore all the beauty burried under mud.

  2. Jan Braman. Reply

    Thanks for the update. My son, daughter in law, and granddaughter were having dinner in a restaurant on the plaze when the initial thrust hit. They were fortunate, climbed out air vents, were housed in an upper area restaurant for 6 hours, then, found shelter in a storage unit for another several hours. They were among those evacuated by boat. Tomorrow, they’ll be safe and sound back home (US).

  3. davidmcguffin Reply

    Ashley and Jan, Thanks for the comments.

    It is amazing to see what nature can do! Imagine those villages sitting there for 600 or more years, only to be destroyed by a natural event. Although, I can’t help but wonder what part “modern” technology, building methods, and tourism played in the event.

    It was only 30-40 years ago that the villages had the rivers free flowing down the center of town, where the “main streets” are today. Now, the rivers actually run underneath the roads, about 15 feet below.

  4. Rachel Bates Reply

    We were just in peaceful Vernazza for a week last month. My second visit there, I feel a special bond with this lovely place and with its lovely people. My heart cries for them. I wonder what I can do. So I pray for their recovery, for their healing, for their perseverance, for their strength. I have contacted my friend there, hoping he and his daughter are safe, but I think email must not be working yet. I hope to hear from him soon. I will follow your blog, in hopes of more news. Thank you and God bless Italia.

  5. Bonnie Chapman Reply

    My boyfriend and I were in Vernazza when the flood struck. We were staying in a fourth-floor room of a pensione on the piazza so had a firsthand view of the raging floodwaters. It was very frightening, not knowing what was actually happening, just seeing the incredible amount of water that just kept coming all night long. Our rental car was destroyed, probably washed away in the water, but felt so fortunate that we and others were safe. Our thanks to the emergency workers who evacuated the tourists the following morning. My heart goes out to the residents who lost their businesses and homes and now have the daunting task of cleanup. We will return!

  6. David McGuffin Reply

    Hi Bonnie, Thanks for contributing to my blog posts. Since you were in Vernazza on the night of the flood, I’ve got a couple of questions.

    Did most of the flooding, mud and debris occur on Tuesday, Oct. 25 during the day, or was it during the night.

    Were you evacuated the morning of Wednesday, October 26? By boat? Where were you taken? Then what?

    I will be curious to learn how the Italian rental car agency handles the loss of your car. I suspose it was parked in the lot above town?

  7. Susan Bland Reply

    My husband, daughter, her boyfriend and I spent time in the Cinque Terre this past August and although we were on a 6 week exploration of Europe, Vernazza was the highlight of our adventure!
    We will never forget the late afternoons we spent in the piazza, drinking cold beer and eating calamari in a cone, after an amazing day of hiking. We would sit and watch the young men playing football on the beach and the children playing in the square while thier Grandparents supervized.
    I know that although they have suffered a tremendous tragedy the wonderful families of Vernazza will restore thier village and we will be back!

    • davidmcguffin Reply

      Susan, My wife and I spend at least a week in the Cinque Terre each August. At first, we did all the tourist stuff, hike the trails, ride the boats, and bask in the sun. Now, we enjoy relaxing and taking it easy. The Vernazza harbor has always been our favorite spot for swimming, snacking and dining. After a month, it beginning to look like normal.

  8. davidmcguffin Reply

    Thomasina – Thanks for your comments about Vernazza and the Cinque Terre. I’ve looked at your website and will purchase “The Magic Bridge” to help the residents of Vernazza recover the beauty.

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