People started to explore, look for fellow townspeople, cars and valubles still missing and venture to see what was left of their businesses. The remaining tourists were hurriedly guided to the ferry boats that could take them to safety. Everything was still uncertain as news spread that the village was surrounded by imminent landslides and isolated. The village was also told of terrible events that had also occurred in neighboring Vernazza.
Two years ago today Monterosso faced one of the most difficult challenges of its history. Water, rocks and mud unexpectedly ravaged the historic center of the village, leaving it gutted in a matter of hours. If you have not seen the photographs and videos of that day, look at them here. Watching these images is heartbreaking and, still now, the prospect of eventual reconstruction seems impossible.
As we have said before, impossible is not part of the Monterossino mentality. If there is a job to do, it gets done.
Rebuild Monterosso was born from this tragedy, as a way of helping the international community participate in the reconstruction of the village. Through your donations, your Facebook posts and your encouraging messages, you helped Monterosso know that the world was rooting for them. Monterosso knew it had to get back on its feet, not only for themselves, but also for all of the people from all over the globe that loved it and couldn’t wait to return.
Your support has been critical in keeping morale high. Knowing that tourists would be returning was an enormous motivation in making sure that the town would reemerge stronger and more beautiful than before.
For the past two years www.RebuildMonterosso.com has participated in the progress of Monterosso first hand and through its site tried to involve its readers as the town moved from literally being buried to its present state. Tourists who now come to Monterosso can see little to no effects of the flood- you can make it out only if you know where to look: scratches on the walls, the mud stains inside the church. The amount of work done to arrive at this point has been heroic. Much more still needs to be accomplished, particularly in the countryside where landslides and falling walls continue to be a threat. These projects will be ongoing and will hopefully prevent this type of disaster from ever occurring again.
Since the reconstruction of Monterosso is practically completed within the historic center, www.RebuildMonterosso.com has decided to stop writing regular blog posts. The site will still be available to consult past entries and we will try and post about transportation timetables and events in Monterosso as they become available. Our Facebook page will remain active and we encourage friend participation. Please post your photos, memories and stories of Monterosso there.
What happened will not be forgotten in Monterosso and should not be ignored by visitors who come to appreciate the village. It has shaped the town both physically and mentally and will remain a scar to everyone who experienced it both in person and on a computer or television screen. Not only did we lose our certainties during the flood, we lost a friend – we all thank you for your sacrifice Sandro Usai.
An immense thank you, from us personally and on behalf of the residents of Monterosso, to everyone who has followed us over the past two years and everyone who has returned to Monterosso after the flood. Your support has been, and continues to be, invaluable.
Summer in Monterosso is different than in other parts of the world. In summertime you can naturally entertain yourself with the outdoor and sea related activities like swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, paddle boating and paddle boarding. More so, there are the evening activities planned by the city and willing and creative citizens. Some Italians plan to stay a week in Monterosso based on what free shows they can see or what kind of activities they can otherwise participate in. For most foreign tourists this entertainment is just a pleasant surprise! Here is the calendar of events for July that was meticulously translated in to English by Hotel Punta Mesco. There is everything from outdoor theatre events to kitsch cover bands and cocktail tasting. . . hope to see you there!
Rebuild Monterosso is dedicated to the diffusion of information to Monterosso’s international community. By following the progress and the community’s plans for reconstruction after the flood on October 25th, you can participate and support the rebuilding of this beloved area.
To access the trail walk down the promenade with the sea on your left away from the station and the Historical Center. Walk trough this part of Town called Fegina until you see the Gigante Statue.
Here you keep walking straight, not toward the statue under an archway and turn right up the stairs. Follow Trail # 10 to the end of the steps where you will reach a road that you will walk up for about 10 minutes and see the where the trail and stone steps begin again.
View of Monterosso from the trail that runs between Levanto and Monterosso
By hiking for about an hour up this trail you will come to a fork. Go left to see the the Saint Anthony monastery.
Trail #1 – Colleadi Gritta
A beautiful part of Tail #1, marked 1.2 on the map above, free of charge, can be taken from the point before ruins of the Saint Anthony monastery, by walking inland. Taking a right at this fork takes you on Trail #1 the path coming from Levanto. This part takes you on a small up-hill path, going straight up you will get to a a rocky area and radio towers keep following the path upward. Continuing on the #1 it will become greener and lead you to the fork in the road that leads you to town or Soviore Sanctuary. This part of the trail was cleaned in March 2012 takes you through the forest and along the ridge that divides the coast of the 5 Terre and the Tigullo coast north of the 5 Terre, thus giving you views of both. The trail takes you to the ‘top’ of Monterosso of where there is Hotel and Restaurant ‘Monterosso Alto’. This is where there is a fork in the main road for vehicles to access both sides into town.
Alternive 1 – Cemetary, Via Buranco – 45 minutes to town
Here you can take a right at he fork to walk the street down into the new part of town. On both sides of the road you will see private kitchen gardens, olive and fruit groves, vineyards and animals. After about a 30 minute walk take a left and pass through the cemetery and/or the charming Via Buranco to get to the historical center.