Another tough year in Cinque terre

Cinque Terre trailCinque terre trailIt’s going to be another tough year for tourists and locals this year. The Winter just passed has been the wettest we have seen for years and the region has suffered the consequences yet again with more landslides, large and small.

The famous coastal trail (Sentiero 2/Blue Trail)  is currently closed and while parts of it will probably reopen, others will remain closed indefinitely.

fallen wall






It’s like wounds that fester, with no time to heal. The National Park had spent most of last Summer redoing the trail Corniglia to Manarola, quite an engineering feat with two new walk bridges, when ‘bang’ the rest of the slope and part of the isolated house on the trail slid down destroying the trail yet again.

The dry stone walls bulge with the rain, like a pregnant belly, but when the terrain dries out there is nothing left to sustain them and down they go. In years past, locals tell me the walls could sustain the changes in the seasons, but with the extreme climate that we experience today, they are too fragile and easily beaten.Landslide vineyardsTrail landslide





Since the flood of 2011 many areas had massive fencing and whole slopes even ensconced in steel netting. But that it is not necessarily the best solution as I saw in Vernazza where locals were recovering stones from the wall that had slid under the netting.landslide

In some cases the abandoned land covered in blackberries is holding the place together, while well tended vineyard plots slip and slide, and locals look on in despair….and then roll their shirt sleeves up and get on with the repair. vineyard landslide






On the trail from Vernazza to Monterosso another house has been hit and remains hanging in despair.


Trail signsCinque terre







But it’s not all bad news as the vines begin to sprout and the place takes on its Springtime colours. Even the prickly pear makes a show and the sunshine dries out those saucepans nicely!

Cinque Terre cactusFig tree



Saucepans drying






The trail closure has forced people onto the high trails which I can say hold magnificent views and you will not be disappointed. Tread carefully wherever you go and enjoy them. Cinque Terre

Train timetables between each village are available, which helps in planning the day….just double check they have photocopied them correctly! A same way timetable on both sides was pretty useless to me and yet the  Park office staff did not seem too fussed by the mistake.

Cinque terre

Automatic train ticket machines can catch you out as well as they may only take credit cards or if  they do take cash may not give back more than € 1 in change!

Local volunteers have been working hard to clean up the debris washed ashore in Vernazza during the Volunteerswinter. So now all it needs is you!

Volunteerrs clean beach




6 thoughts on “Another tough year in Cinque terre

  1. Many thanks for this report on one of my favourite places on Earth. I was extremely fortunate in 2006 to walk ‘le cinque terre’ in 6 1/2 hours and was totally captivated by the place!
    Again ,

    • Thanks Doug. I have been going there since 1985 and still loving it, despite the problems. Hope you get the chance to come back again. Sue Ps I have just checked Doug’s website and he has the most beautiful photos of Italy

  2. It was even raining “cats and dogs” the last time we all had lunch together. Let’s hope the weather will treat a much-loved destination better soon.

    • Thanks Alex, but then you were here in Spring so at least the rain is expected then, and gives you a good excuse to look good in your beret!

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