Saturday, February 4, 2012

slowly returning to normal...

The butcher is open again!

Residents of Monterosso have been in a bit of a bind after the flood, as I've mentioned, in terms of groceries.  We have a few stores open selling fruits, vegetables, bread (until it runs out in the afternoon) and other household supplies, but meat and other protein has been hard to come by.  Frozen is available, but it's no substitute for our butcher.  Slowly but surely, life is returning to normal here.

Also reopened are Ristorante Belvedere and Pizzaria La Smorfia... L'Osteria, Bar Centrale, A Ca Du Scienza, Cantina del Pescatore, Bar Gio and Enoteca Eliseo have been open for a few weeks.  It's funny, a few weeks ago, a suggestion to go to dinner was usually followed by the response, "sure, where?" out of habit, forgetting that we only had one restaurant and one bar for so long.  Now, with places slowly opening back up - partially due to the winter "off-season", partially due to the flood - it's nice having options again.

And being able to get off my forced vegetarian diet.


  1. Hi Christine,

    I came across your blog a couple of weeks ago while researching options for our Italy trip. Thank you so much for your posts. The information is extremely helpful and your photos are fantastic! In fact, seeing them really makes me want to add the Cinque Terre to our itinerary. We'll be in the area the last week of March and are considering staying in Manarola for 4 nights. Do you think this would be a wise decision, even though it's still the off season and Monterosso & Vernazza are still recovering from the mudslides? I'm a little concerned there won't be a lot open yet, but I was glad to read your post that things are slowly returning to normal.

    It looks like you've got more snow than us in Minnesota! It's been a crazy winter! Thanks for any advice you can offer.

  2. Hi Kate!
    Thank you for reading - I'm glad it's helpful for you!
    As for staying in Manarola in March, I think 4 nights is a bit of a long time to stay solely in the Cinque Terre, especially that time of year, flood or no flood. Monterosso should be reopen like normal by mid-April, and, as you've read, things are really improving quickly, so by March there is a good chance there will be even more things open. Vernazza remains to be seen, but I think March is too early to say that they are in a position to support tourists. They are expecting to reopen by late spring, residents have told me.
    The weather would be a concern for me, though. Last March was quite rainy and grey, and we've been having, as you read, some wacky weather this year!
    In the off-season, with the majority of things closed, Vernazza out of the plan, and several hiking trails still being rebuilt, I can't say that you'd have a great time for 4 whole days staying just in the Cinque Terre. I'd recommend cutting it down to 2, which would be enough time to see the Cinque Terre, but if you want to keep it as a 4 day stop over, you can use Manarola as an easy jumping off point to explore other towns on the Italian Riviera. Camogli, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure, Chiavari, Portofino, Lerici, Portovenere - all are fantastic towns along the coast, and all no more then 45 mins by train from the Cinque Terre.

  3. Christine,
    Thanks for the snowy photos and for keeping us updated on progress in Monterosso.
    How is Ristorante Ely doing? Will they open soon? It does seem that Vernazza has a ways to go, and it breaks my heart to look at the photos. There is progress but so much damage to repair.
    I will be bringing my group of women back to Monterosso this September. Looking forward to it!

  4. Ely is doing great! They will be open for the normal season, and the pizzeria and L'Osteria have been open since after Christmas. Along with the florist and La Cantina Del Pescatore, they're pretty much back to normal.

    Here is a video - in Italian - Il Secolo made a few months ago, highlighting how restaurants and things are opening up in town - you'll see pizzeria Ely in it, along with other faces, like the mayor and Mr. "Ciak"...

    Keep in mind that it's an older video, and there has been so much more progress made since then, but it's nice to see some familiar faces - and hope to see you in September :)

  5. Also, check out Rebuild Monterosso's facebook album "Progress" - we posted pictures today of Ely - and the inside, which you can see is just as it was.