Thursday, April 26, 2012

Miracles, new beginnings and old supporters

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Rick Steves himself the past few days, as he followed up on his promise to come visit the Cinque Terre and see how we have recovered from the flood 6 months and one day ago.  Through Rebuild Monterosso, we met with him and toured the town over the course of a few days, and he's a very nice, very down-to-earth man who clearly feels strongly about Monterosso al Mare. 

I spent 6 hours with him today, and he clearly holds this area very close to his heart - and yes, he actually does personally check in on the hotels and restaurants himself.  It's beautiful to see someone interested and amazed with all the work done here.  Sometimes, I think it's better that visitors now only have a glimpse of the immense work done here post-flood, sometimes I want people to know exactly how much was done.  How mountains were, literally, moved, and how people that feel there is nothing "authentic" left here need to look no further then the street under their feet, which was rebuilt by locals who refused to let their town sink into the mud.  There is nothing more "authentic" or "real" then a town full of people who used their bare hands and months of backbreaking work to save it. 

La Repubblica, one of the biggest Italian newspapers, featured an article today about the "miracle of Monterosso, and it gives me goosebumps - no joke.  "In only six months, the town has resumed it's life", they wrote, speaking of the miracle that seems to have occurred in our reconstruction.  Only six months after the mayor famously quoted that "Monterosso was no more", the village has firmly planted it's feet and come stubbornly and proudly back to life.  Looking at the final stages of the rebuilding of the Cantina - the last darn thing to open up - it's a beautifully fulfilling feeling of accomplishment. 

Baby jellyfish cleanup

The cantina, little by little!

Le Barchette

Me and Rick Steves after a lonnnnng day around town
Today, the sun shined and the clouds cleared.  The beach was filled with color - but not of tourists and umbrellas.  Little bright blue and violet jellyfish, called barchette or velella, are totally harmless, but scatter the sea and the shore this time of year, which is another sign of clean water and sea beds.  Old supporters (be it in the form of a great travel writer or a little blue sea creature returning for a normal spring) are helping us usher in these amazing new beginnings as Monterosso smiles at it's streets from a new store front, a reopened bar, a cafe dotted with people soaking in the sun.  Miracles or just a lot of hard, hard work?  Maybe a little of both.  But it's never a sight I get tired of seeing.


  1. So happy. Yes, last week I wrote on my blog about Miracle in Monterosso, and I say all of you performed the miracle with such hard determination and work. Hope to meet you when I bring my Italy Retreat women in mid September. Glad to hear Rick Steves was there.

  2. Yes, I saw your post - it was wonderful! And I'd love to meet up in September :)

  3. Christine I am sad to think people dont know or see how far you have all come. I know from personal experiance the work and heart of the people to clean up, and in that is the mirical of Love. you can all rest in great comfort for the hard work and labour of Love you have done to bring back to life Monterosso. not long now and I will be sitting in the Cantina catching up with you for a wine I hope. Blessings till the 4th June.