The catastrophic rains of October 25, 2011 have not left only mud and destruction, but also a large new beach.
October 25, 2011 is a day that in Vernazza – as in all of the Vara Valley and the entire Val di Magra and in La Spezia – no one will forget: six hours of heavy rain poured over half a meter of water on the ground; in the area of La Spezia, the rivers Magra and Vara overflew and many towns were put in danger by a tragic flood that caused 13 victims and millions of euro in damages.
Vernazza was one of the hardest hit places by the fury of the storm, but also one of the few in which that tragic day did not only leave signs of destruction: the debris carried out to the sea by the water that turned the streets into rivers, formed a a new and large beach at the very bottom of the village.
After the fear, Vernazza discovers its beach …
Right after the immediate emergency, still offended by the mud, Vernazza looks around itself and realizes that under its ancient wardtower now is located a new large beach.
In the first months after the flood, when people were displaced from the village and hard work is going on to return to a sort of of normality, the small beach next to the main Vernazza square is the headquarter of new projects already under way: for example the idea of cleaning up the new beach to leave it free to the use of tourists and locals.
The project acquires consent and gets completed: the stretch of sand and pebbles is cleared from waste and actually becomes the second (and largest) Vernazza beach, exposed to the sunlight for a long daytime and great point of view on the pearl of the Cinque Terre (according to some it would be by the way a return to the origins, because the flood recreated a beach that apparently was there decades ago and was then swallowed up by the sea).
How to reach the beach of Vernazza …
And so, now, Vernazza has two beaches: the first one, very small, in the village square, at the end of the main Street; the other one, more spacious and recently reached by a passage that opens up from the same road (from the station down to the sea, you will find an arch opening a passage on the left. Slip into it and you’ll be surprised!).
Except those of Monterosso, Vernazza has one of the most spacious beach that you can reach without any effort from one of the Cinque Terre villages. Impressive just for this reason alone, the sandy shore acquires even more charm when you know what is its story.
This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)