|Sunday afternoon stroll and snack in the sun|
The weather has been a little warm - by no means summer sun and sand, but that doesn't seem to be stopping weekenders from stripping down and laying out on the long, empty stretches on sand that trace Via Fegina and the shore. In the sun, it is very warm, which means that all the construction is going along at a great place - the streets are clean, businesses have shiny new windows and doors, piles of dust neatly swept into corners. Fresh sanded wood and varnish smells tickle your nose as hammering and backhoes beeping keep conversations in a state of quasi-yelling. In front of the restaurant and in other parts of town, big holes have been opened up in the group, and orange safety netting seems to be draped across everything. A tourist yesterday mused sadly, looking at the hole on Via Fegina by the parking lot, that the flood damage is still so severe. It took a bit to explain that this wasn't exactly caused by the flood. This is one of the end stages in rebuilding. Going into the street to repair wiring and piping, internet cables and so forth means that yes, the look is a little dramatic if you don't know what is going on, but this is incredibly heartening progress to see. With the warmer, sunny weekends comes day-trippers - mostly Italian, some Americans and Japanese - strolling along the ocean and through the old town, taking photos and chatting quietly about what happened a few months ago, some nodding encouragingly as the peer down Via Roma, which was, in October, a torrent of water that left mountains of mud in it's wake. It's clean now, and the street is being rebuild with removable panels that allow access to the canal underneath, so it can be periodically checked. When you see Monterosso every day, the progress seems so little, but when you haven't seen Via Roma and the Old Town for a few weeks, like me, the rebuilding is amazing. So much has been done. I walked back home with a relieved smile.
The flood still looms over us, in everything that we do, but it's nice to see how great things are coming along, and to hear laughter in the streets and see people laying on the beach again, crystal blue water lapping at the shore. Even if it's ice cold. It's still February, after all.
|Via Roma, starting the new street|
|Underneath Via Roma - cleaned out, water flowing|
|Una bella passeggiata|
|New doors, new windows, clean streets|
|The sign in the door on the right warns people of wet varnish, |
though you could smell it before even seeing the sign