We will return to Vernazza again and again. Our hearts are with all the people of Vernazza.
I was in Vernazza October 25 with my husband, brother and sister-in-law. They had never been to Vernazza and I wanted to share with them this beautiful village that I fell in love with 18 years ago and have returned to many times. We were enjoying a wonderful lunch of pesto pasta at Gianni Franzi’s on the harbor when the floods started, and we mistakenly thought the waters would recede so we stayed throughout the afternoon and then got trapped as the new river rushed past the restaurant with tremendous force. As the waters rose we moved from standing on the floor, to perching on the chairs, and then climbed up higher to the tops of the tables to try to get out of the muddy water. My husband and brother pushed with all their might to hold shut the door between the bar and restaurant to keep additional water from rushing into the restaurant. After about two hours, for one very brief moment, the water level decreased allowing the 50-60 restaurant guests and staff to rush out the front door to higher ground and safety. Moments later the river rushed even higher and the rains poured even harder- and we knew we had been extremely fortunate to escape when we did. After standing in the pouring rain for quite some time a kind family at the top of the hill allowed us into their home to escape the rain for about an hour (thank you so much for allowing 6 wet tourists escape the rain!). We were eventually taken to Al Castello restaurant where the kind owner Monica and her family provided us with shelter from the rain, along with about 150 other tourists and townspeople. They very generously prepared food and shared their wine with everyone and at about 10pm Monica connected us with Marisa from Gianni Franzi’s hotel. Marisa donated the Gianni Franzi hotel rooms to 20-30 of us who were cold and soaking wet. We never got a chance to pay Monica or Marisa and we will forever be indebted to them for providing us with shelter that night. I made a donation today to honor all the people of Vernazza with especially warm and greatful thanks thanks to Monica and Marisa for their kindness that evening. We will never forget it, and we will return to Vernazza again and again. Our hearts are with all the people of Vernazza.
Seattle, WA USA