village reborn

On October 25th, 2011 Montorosso, one of the most charming and picturesque villages in Italy (yes, I’m slightly biased) experienced devastating flash floods. Over 20 inches of water poured from the sky in a matter of three hours, leaving the ground floor buried beneath mud and debris. Neighboring Vernazza suffered even more severely. The days following would never be forgotten.

My first trip back to Monterosso was during Christmas. My heart sank at the state of this once picture-perfect village. Already the hard work was well under way and sounds of opera filled the air as the local wine bar made a toast to the village. Resilience redefined. I returned again for Easter, my second Pasqua in Italy. What I discovered was a village reborn. Much like I remembered it.

The beach cleaned up, with several remaining boats resting upon it’s shores.

A street once ravished by the flood, bustling back to life.

The much frequented wine bar resting pre-aperitif hour.

A village in bloom, ready for the spring.

The famous pasticerria newly renovated and re-opened.

An acclaimed restaurant, ready again to serve it’s regional specialities. (Mmmm, pesto!)

The main road no longer concrete, but a mix of wooden planks and grates.

There remain parts of the village that have yet to come back to life. In time.

Crossing from the new part called Fegina, into the historic village, it’s difficult to imagine the scenes that took place just months earlier. The waters now calm and clear, the sun smiling down upon the growing numbers of tourists… a village filled with vitality. What the last 6 months have proven is the incredible strength and unity of a village and it’s people. Next stop… Vernazza.

Click here to find out more about Monterosso’s continued progress. Better yet, come to visit!

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18 Comments

  1. Phil April 16, 2012

    The ability of the human will to repair after destruction is incredible but it’s ability to take the opportunity to improve even while suffering is really inspiring. The main road with the grates is ingenious in its simplicity. The most humbling image from your post though is how you described the sun and calm waters. It’s a reminder that nature will do what it does regardless of how much we think we’re in control, and that we’ve got to accept that good always comes with bad. That balance makes everything worth appreciating. Thanks for sharing! Things are definitely looking up there.

    Reply
    • Ana April 17, 2012

      Wow, I can’t believe how beautiful Monterosso is starting to look after such a tragic event. I’m glad the town is rebuilding so quickly and I admire their resilience. Clearly they have come together as a community, perhaps stronger than before. I really do hope Phil and I can find our way to Monterosso some time soon! Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

      Reply
      • Kasia April 23, 2012

        The five lands are awaiting your visit!

        Reply
    • Kasia April 23, 2012

      You would truly be amazed by these people Phil. The kindness and strength in their spirit. I am certain you will make it to this part of the world… soon. And yes, mother nature toils on.

      Reply
  2. Lindsey April 16, 2012

    I’m so glad to see life has returned to your beloved second (or third?) home. So many good things can come out of a tragedy.

    Reply
  3. ParisienSalon April 16, 2012

    Your photos make me want to visit … and soon! Thanks for sharing the progress of this beautiful village’s rebirth!

    Reply
    • Kasia April 23, 2012

      This is an ideal place to escape, should ever you need to.

      Reply
  4. kristen (@unefemmeparis) April 16, 2012

    Kasia, After spending four days in Monterosso and recognizing the scenes from your photos, I have an even greater appreciation for this town and all that they have done to recover from such a horrific tragedy. Here’s to the strength of these villages! I can’t wait to go back again and experience these beautiful towns again. And of course, thank you for your wonderful recos 😉 -Kristen

    Reply
    • Kasia April 23, 2012

      So happy you had the chance to experience these lands (and that you liked our recos!) It’s hard even to capture their essence in photos. Do come back again soon!!

      Reply
  5. Liza in Ann Arbor April 17, 2012

    I had no idea. I went to Vernazza years ago. What a beautiful region! I’m so glad they are on the road to recovery.

    Reply
    • Kasia April 23, 2012

      It was not such big news to the world, but certainly to those who have been there, and continue to return. You must visit one day Liza, unlike any place on earth.

      Reply
  6. Gorgeous photos! How wonderful that the city is rebuilding itself!!!

    Reply
  7. Susan April 18, 2012

    So happy to see they have recovered!

    Reply
  8. Anne April 22, 2012

    It’s reassuring to see the village has managed to clean up the mess resulting from the flash floods. I did the Cinque Terre hike when I was studying in Milan and loved the charm of this part of Italy; I remember reading your tweet about the flood and being sad this was happening.

    Reply
    • Kasia April 23, 2012

      Oh, you’ve been here, happy to hear! It’s the hike stunning?

      Reply
  9. village in color April 23, 2012

    […] last look from above as the sun set through the clouds, Monterosso far off in the distance. A view that could leave you breathless. And certain that this village will […]

    Reply
  10. Andi April 29, 2012

    I love seeing a story like this, it restores ones faith in the Universe.

    Reply
    • Kasia May 3, 2012

      I still can’t believe how the village is nearly back to normal after only 6 months. Strength of community!

      Reply

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