2015 Accomplishments

2015 is a turning point for Save Vernazza:  we are celebrating the success that YOU, our supporters and friends, have made possible and we continue to make a difference in Vernazza’s town and territory with your help.

Renaissance of Vernazza Project:  Piazza Marconi in Vernazza reborn thanks to teamwork

“The piazza that love (re)built!”

A revitalized Piazza Marconi was officially inaugurated on May 25, 2015.  The Renaissance of Vernazza Project is a symbol of the extraordinary cooperation and support Vernazza has received from institutions and people all over the world following the October 25, 2011 disaster.  Thank you Save Vernazza supporters for joining us to make this dream a reality:  Together we are making a difference!

The Renaissance of Vernazza Project designed by architects Lord Richard Rogers and Ernesto Bartolini restores Vernazza’s public spaces with new stone paving, landscape design, street furniture and energy efficient lighting to increase safety, simplicity and beauty for residents and visitors.

A sincere thank you to architects Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Ernesto Bartolini and Roberto Castellani, to the Carispezia Bank, to ACRI (Associazione di Fondazioni e di Casse di Risparmio Spa) and to the Fondazione Carispezia for their generous support.

Details of the Renaissance of Vernazza projects include:

Paving:  Local sandstone will pave Vernazza like a fluid stone “sculpture”, connecting the principal areas of the village in an exceptional, continuous pattern. The project makes vital corrections to the drainage system to keep Vernazza safe during heavy rains.

Landscape Design:  New trees improve the public spaces’ landscape and environment.

Street furniture:  Durable, simple fixed and mobile benches encourage social interaction.

Lighting:  Energy-efficient LED lighting (“UFO” designed by Renzo Piano) exalt the beauty of Vernazza’s colors.

The entire restoration project for Vernazza’s public spaces is subdivided into phases and lots, with Piazza Marconi representing Phase 1, Lot A.  The Town of Vernazza with the non-profit organizations Per Vernazza Futura and Save Vernazza are still engaged in the search for donations to continue with the next lot:  Fontanavecchia, the area most affected by the flood.  Please join us today as we continue on the road to recovery!

Voluntourism Excursions with Busabout:  Turisti nei Cian “Tourists in the Wild”

2015 marks Save Vernazza’s third season of partnership with Busabout and TreadRight promoting sustainable tourism in the Cinque Terre and helping preserve a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

2015 was a very successful season with a 53% increase in the number of excursions and a 46% increase in participation as compared to 2014.  From April through October 2015, we welcomed 227 participants in 29 excursions.  In Seasons 1 – 3, Save Vernazza and Busabout welcomed 722 participants on 85 excursions.

In 2015, we were very pleased to welcome Vernazzan Irene Di Martino as our new project manager, responsible for scheduling excursions, guides, food preparation and equipment.  Irene recruited 5 new, local guides and new local women to cook for our picnic lunches.  We know that participants’ rave reviews were due to the positive experience they had with these fantastic guides thanks to Irene’s training.  Some comments include:
•    “Great insight into local community, views you can’t see otherwise, perfect for independent travelers”
•    “Get as many tourists as possible into this. Great idea and great experience”
•    “Feel like we didn’t pay or give enough for the experience we got”
•    “Didn’t want it to end, loved every minute”
•    “Had a great day, would do it again for Save (Vernazza)”

Save Vernazza looks forward to Season 4!  Together we can make a difference.
Join “Turisti nei cian” and Go Somewhere Different!  Be a tourist in the wild and do what locals do! Take a half-day excursion into the Cinque Terre hillsides and help villagers in their vineyards and olive groves on steep terracing with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Vernazza’s farmers need your help to restore and preserve their fragile territory. Participate in local traditions like building dry stonewalls, restoring land and harvesting grapes.  Work – Learn – Enjoy!

At the end of the day, you’ll share a locally sourced picnic lunch with Cinque Terre wine with a smile on your face from knowing you made a difference in helping preserve a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Vernazza Volunteer Emergency Responders and Mountain Rescue Squad
Thanks to generous donations from YOU, SV has donated a new portable stretcher and Defibrillator to the volunteer heroes of the Mountain Emergency Rescue Squad to save hikers who fall ill or have accidents when hiking through our beautiful, fragile territory.

Thanks to the women of the Pia Parlanti Library in Vernazza who held an Easter fundraiser with their handmade crafts and raised €1800 for Vernazza’s Protezione Civile, SV donated new all weather wheels for the Protezione Civile vehicle.    Save Vernazza also donated maintenance and repairs for the vehicle to make Vernazza’s safer for residents and visitors.