By now you may have heard about the devastating flash floods and mudslides that hit parts of Liguria and Tuscany over the past few days (more rain is expected, so it’s not over yet). Among the most severely damaged are the Cinque Terre towns of Monterosso and Vernazza.
>> UPDATE, NOVEMBER 4: A second wave of storms and flooding has now devastated the Ligurian capital of Genoa, killing at least six and leaving many more wounded, stranded, or homeless. The death toll in Liguria from the previous flooding now stands at 10.
While this is by no means high season, there are still people who have been planning to visit the affected area for some time. If your holiday plans include the Cinque Terre, Ligurian coast, or Tuscan coast, you really need to contact the hotel where you’re planning to stay to find out if their area is okay, if they’re going to be open when you arrive, and if you should make alternate plans.
There are parts of Liguria and Tuscany that are merely getting rained on rather than flooded – note that not all vacationers to those regions should change or cancel their plans – you would just be smart to check on the status of things before you leave home.
How can I help?
Several people on Twitter asked if I knew of any relief efforts to which they could donate to help the affected areas, and thus far I’ve heard of one. If you’re in Italy, they usually make donations easy by allowing you to donate via text message from your mobile phone.
- From Alex of Italy Chronicles on Twitter: “To help storm damaged 5 Terre send text message to 45500 to donate €2 via mobile phones using Italian moble operators.”
If you’re not in Italy, you can arrange to wire money to a specific bank account set up for the relief effort.
- Bank name: Banca Intesa Sanpaolo
- Bank address: Viale Lina Cavalieri 236, Rome
- Account details you’ll need to arrange a transfer: IBAN – IT 80 O 03069 05061 100000000567; BIC – BCITITMMXXX
- Memo that must be included with the transfer: “Un aiuto subito. Alluvione Levante ligure e Lunigiana”
Other ways to donate money:
- You can also donate to the Italian Red Cross directly (there’s a page in Italian about the specific relief efforts in Liguria and Tuscany that they’re involved with).
- The Florentine Press and The Florentine have set up an easy way to accept international donations to help flood victims in Liguria and Tuscany, collecting money via PayPal in €2 increments.
- There’s a specific site/organization that’s now been set up for Vernazza called Save Vernazza. I haven’t researched the organization, so I don’t know who’s behind it or where the money will go – I’m just providing it as an option I’ve been told about.
- Kate left a comment below that Monterosso is now accepting donations via PayPal, which is great news. She says the site is currently in Italian only, so you can go to this page of her blog to find the steps explained in English if you want to donate.
- Several dead after floods hit Tuscany and Liguria on BBC
- Mudslides and Flooding Ravage Areas of Scenic Beauty in Italy on New York Times
- Villages all but wiped out as storms batter Italy’s Cinque Terre on The Telegraph
- Six killed in Genoa flooding on Telegraph
- Videos of the Flooding in Genoa on Italy Chronicles
- A Violent Rain Buries an Old Friend – editorial by Rick Steves
- Photo gallery of the damaged areas on the Washington Post
- Photo gallery of the damaged areas on Corriere della Sera
- Vernazza main square buried under mud & rock on Pietro Ligure’s Facebook page