A level orange weather alert has been issued for the Cinque Terre and surrounding areas. The alert started at 5am this morning, November 5, and is expected to downgrade to yellow at 3pm.
This is the fifth weather alert in the span of a month and the first time an alert has been issued with such short notice—our city hall is scrambling to enact the safety measures required for a level orange alert and many families discovered upon waking that local schools are cancelled.
Meteorologists are expecting thunderstorms and heavy rains. The ground is already saturated from the previous storms and river and stream levels are well above the norm; flooding already took place with the last alert in inland areas near the Magra River.
Are you wondering why weather alerts and storm warnings are seemingly so frequent in our area? Check out this post.
Alerts are classified as either yellow, orange or red depending on the level of risk associated (yellow being the lowest on the scale and red the highest). As this is an orange alert, extra safety precautions within the Cinque Terre automatically go into effect. In the Comune di Riomaggiore (which encompasses the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Volastra and Groppo) businesses located within potential flood zones are required to close, vehicles must be moved to areas not prone to flooding and organized tour groups are not permitted to visit the villages (amongst a plethora of other ordinances, but these are the main ones that affect those visiting our area). During the weather alert all hiking trails in the Cinque Terre National Park are officially closed.
If you are staying in the Cinque Terre we recommend buying food and snacks to tide you over as many businesses (bars, restaurants, shops, offices, etc.) are required to close. Only a select few businesses (with secondary emergency exits or outside of the flood zones) are allowed to remain open.
Here are the businesses that are permitted to stay open during a level orange weather alert for the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola (but keep in mind that just because they can open doesn’t mean that they will open). We’ve also officially entered the off-season where many businesses close for holiday.
Fuori Rotta (bar/café)
Coop 5Terre (grocery market, the one located higher up on via Colombo)
La Zorza (bar/café)
Dau Cila (restaurant)
A Pié de Mà (wine bar)*
Focacceria da Paolino (focaccia and snack bar, located in the marina)
Non Solo Pizza (street food)
Trattoria dal Billy (restaurant)
La Scogliera (restaurant)
Nessun Dorma (bar/café)*
*I think it’s extremely unlikely these businesses will be open during a weather alert as their seating is outdoors.
If you are staying in Corniglia, Vernazza or Monterosso speak with your host to see how you will be potentially affected by the weather alert.
At 3pm the weather alert is expected to downgrade to yellow, meaning that businesses are able to reopen.
What do I recommend? Use this time to catch up on sleep or some much-needed R&R. Delve into a new book or catch up on emails. If you decide to venture out, be prudent and prepared for heavy rains (and be ready to turn back should conditions worsen). Steer clear of low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. Don’t be alarmed, just be cautious.
P.S. You can monitor the status of the alerts on the ARPAL website (they are the government agency that issues the alerts).