05 November 2011

Giving Thanks

This weekend, in Vernazza, has been a quiet one...in fact, it may be the quietest weekend in the last several hundred years. Friday afternoon, the town was evacuated as a precaution ahead of terrible storms headed their way. Tensions have been high with the weather reports of torrential rains for the next three days straight and the news of the horrible flooding in Genova.

According to Vernazza's mayor, the only ones remaining in the village during the evacuation period are a handful of police, a small group of Forestry service, 3 carabinieri, 7 mariners and about 40 registered volunteers. He said the night passed with very little rain, but Saturday brought constant rain for most of the day. So far, everything is holding and looking okay. 

Although tensions are still high, it has been a relief and a much needed break for the workers who have been going non-stop for days. People have had time with their families and friends and there were several happy comments about going out together this weekend.

So, in this downtime, I would like to take a moment to give thanks to those who have helped in spreading this story around the world. It has been an amazing thing to see bloggers unite like never before to get the message out there and to see the response from thousands and thousands of people, hungry for news and thanking us for being the only source of information. Many even said that if it wasn't for our blogs, they would have never heard about the floods. Through all of this, I have been completely dissalusioned by the mainstream media and their complete absence through this entire period.

First, the biggest thanks goes to Rick Steves and his team for immediately reporting the story and for linking to my first post in his newsletter. He alone has spread the news more than any other source, notifying tens of thousands of people. Now that is spreading the news! He also continues to stay updated and will no doubt create some type of fundraiser in the near future. Grazie mille!

To subscribe to his free monthly newsletter, click here.

Second, shortly after posting my original story on the disaster in Vernazza, the UK based, Italy Magazine, decided to publish it on their website. It was down to wire to get the final correct bank account numbers for listing donation funds before publication, but we got it out in time and according to them, my story reached over 140,000 of their visitors, 20,000 Facebook fans and 11,000 Twitter followers!

But even better news is what the editor just emailed me, about a decision they reached. Here is an excerpt from the email:
"Following on your last sentence where you encourage people to keep coming to Liguria to keep businesses going, we have decided to contribute as Italy Magazine by offering a one year free listing on our website to accommodation (bed and breakfasts, hotels, etc) in the areas affected by the flood. We would be grateful if you could pass this information on to anyone in your area who could benefit of free advertisement for a year on our website."
Thank you Italy Magazine for doing your part in helping the recovery effort!

If you are planning a trip to Liguria next year, please check their website for accommodations--then you can do your part in helping the recovery of this enchanted place!

To subscribe to their free weekly newsletter on the latest happenings in Italy, click here.

Now to the bloggers. My fellow blogger and ally in this has been Kate at LittleParadiso. She has not only been the world's source of information on Monterosso, but she has been tirelessly working in the mud each day as a volunteer. Not to mention that her own home is precariously situated between landslides. Let's all wish her a safe weekend.

Other bloggers have joined us in getting the work out and have linked to our blogs.
A thank you goes out to the following:

-Andi from OnceinaLifetimeTravel, who has also put together a video of Vernazza photos.
-Megan, from Bella Vita Italia is a nearby local and has been getting the word out as best she can.
-Kathy from Gioia Italian Art and Products for linking to the story on Facebook and her newsletter.
-Facebook pages like the Vernazza community page, Diamo una mano a ripulire VernazzaAssociazione Per Vernazza Futura, and the Save Vernazza page have all been keeping us updated with the news and photos straight from the scene.
-Online forums have also been a buzz, with sites like Fodor's, Frommers and MeteoNetwork.it all referring to our sites.

This has all been a truly amazing thing to see. Thank you to everyone who has passed the news on, spoken with your friends, sent out emails, linked to our blogs and to all those who have donated or are waiting to donate. There is a new update from "Save Vernazza", an Italian non-profit which was started by an expat group in Vernazza for donating directly to Vernazza. I have been anxiously waiting for them to get up and running (paperwork goes slowly in Italy) and accept payments using Paypal. For more information, click here.

Remember--donations are important! Early estimates of damage in Vernazza alone (not counting all the other towns destroyed by the same storm) are upwards of 50 million euros. Every little bit helps, so see my Donations page for all donation options.

Grazie a tutti!


  1. Thanks Nicole- Just to not take credit when credit is not due, our work in the mud ended in Monterosso (until further notice) on Thursday. Work has been halted because of the impending bad weather and the roads being closed. Our home is right over the hill from Monterosso and we are under alert, too, so we are under a forced 'house arrest' until the warning passes.

  2. Thanks, Nicole, for keeping us posted on the details of Vernazza. I have posted information and links on my Italy Retreat Blog. For the past 3 years, I have brought a group of women to Cinque Terre, so it is very dear to my heart. Blessings to all of you. Stay strong.

  3. Thanks for your kind words, Nicole. All of us here at Rick Steves' Europe love Vernazza and Monterosso. We will continue to help spread the word about what is needed, and progress that is being made. The news and images on your site are very important. Thanks for your fine work!

  4. Thank you for the mention, your blog has been an extremely good source of up to date information on the situation in Vernazza, thank you for keeping us all so well informed. I also love your other posts and photographs, our holiday in Italy was a dream come true.


I really appreciate your comments.

Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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