My pandemic tale from Italy

Where to begin? The crickets have been chirping here on the blog this past year, and now I’ll tell you why. This past year has been the most trying and tumultuous that we’ve ever experienced. The Covid-19 pandemic led us to worry not only about our health but also about how to support our family. We went from living quite comfortable lives to seeing our livelihoods whither to null. For a family income based 100% on tourism, quite likely the industry hit hardest by the pandemic, it was a devastating blow. Being both pragmatic and proactive, my husband and I immediately took drastic measures to reduce our expenditures to the absolute bare minimum.

I won’t lie, the pandemic and its economic consequences forced us to eat a big ol’ piece of humble pie.

We gave up our office, closed contracts, sold our second car, delayed our mortgage and watched every penny we spent. Yes, we had savings but who could have ever imagined that we’d have to face such extreme circumstances for such an extended period of time? As business owners we knew, and time proved, that we couldn’t rely on the Italian government to help us make ends meet. My husband and I dusted off and polished our résumés and sent them everywhere imaginable. It wasn’t long before we discovered that there was essentially no chance of work in the midst of an economic contraction, the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the Great Depression.

With a stroke of luck I started my Covid pivot in November 2020 as a substitute teacher in the Italian public school system. I’m now working full time at the elementary school in Monterosso. I had always thought I’d teach when I lived in the States but I never in a million years thought I’d teach here in Italy.

We’ve learned that, for as difficult as it has been, there’s always a silver lining.

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy

This pandemic pushed us out of our comfort zones. It forced us to take risks that we otherwise would have never taken. I’ve (re)discovered my love for teaching. My husband is on a promising path for a new career. This past year we’ve gained clarity on what are true necessities and what are luxuries. Spoiler alert: Most everything we thought were necessities were actually luxuries. We’ve learned to swallow our pride and ask for help when we need it. We’ve learned to not take our health for granted. And perhaps most importantly, we’ve learned to appreciate more even though we have less.

We still have a long road ahead of us, but with hard work, a bit of luck and a good dose of optimism — and grit — we should make it out the other side all the stronger.

Our very first day out of lockdown, April 27, 2020

“We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitude.” -Charles Swindoll


P.S. You might be wondering what this all means for me and Cinque Terre Insider. I have every intention to continue with the blog and now that I’ve managed to overcome my Covid-19 writer’s block (I felt like I couldn’t write trivial posts until I addressed the much bigger issues at hand) posts should be more forthcoming. I’ve been active on social media this past year so be sure to “like” and follow Cinque Terre Insider on Facebook and Instagram (I’ve been doing lots of live feeds and videos on Facebook so be sure to check those out!).

Once the school year ends in June I will be changing hats and I’ll be back at the helm of Riomaggiore Reservations (our family-run rental agency in Riomaggiore). Due to the pandemic we’ve scaled things back considerably (we’ll be renting just one studio and three private rooms to visitors to our area) but you should still expect warm hospitality with direct access to my insider knowledge, sparkling clean accommodations and budget-friendly pricing. Fingers crossed that the pandemic situation improves so we can all get back to living and traveling again!

Amy Inman, American expat and wearer of many hats

What to expect if you travel to Italy this summer

Italy was among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic in the Western world. After two months of strict lockdown, the Bel Paese is finally starting to reopen. On May 4th we officially entered phase 2, a stage when we must learn to coexist with the virus and take extra safety precautions to prevent its spread.  Starting June 3rd, Italy will reopen its borders to travelers from the EU and Schengen states with no quarantine required.  As for when the rest of the world will be invited in, no date has been currently released (although we do know with certainty that it won’t happen prior to June 15th).


Those willing to travel this summer will see Italy as it hasn’t been seen in decades… with a fraction of its usual tourists.  On the flip side, those coming should expect (and employ) extra safety measures.


If you plan to visit, know that you will need to wear a face mask and socially distance yourself from others. In Italy, the minimum social distance is 1 meter or 3.28 feet (so roughly a yard), with an exception made for those who live in the same household.


Face masks for adults and children aged six years and older are necessary when using public transport, while indoors in public spaces and outdoors when social distancing cannot be observed

In general, when entering businesses, public venues or points of interest expect to find:

  • Multi-language signs posted with safety measures
  • Temperatures being taken, with readings above 37.5° Celsius (99.5° Farenheit) resulting in denied access
  • Readily available and strategically placed hand sanitizing gel, for use by both patrons and staff

Each sector has detailed and specific Covid-19 protocols to follow.  Below you’ll find a brief summary of those measures that will most directly affect travelers this summer.


  • Take-out establishments must not exceed their posted maximum occupancy, patrons must queue outside (1 meter apart) while waiting to enter
  • Advance reservations should be made for restaurants with seating
  • While seated in a restaurant, a safety distance of at least 1 meter should be maintained between patrons (unless physical barriers are used)
  • Buffets are banned
  • Wait staff must wear face masks and disinfect their hands before approaching each table
  • Masks must be worn by patrons except when they are seated at the table
  • Everything that comes into contact with patrons (including menus, salt and pepper shakers, oil & vinegar dispensers, etc.) must be disinfected after each use

Accommodation facilities (hotels, B&Bs, AirBnB-style vacation rentals, etc.):

  • Guests are required to wear face masks
  • Hosts or staff members who come into contact with guests must wear face masks (unless a physical barrier is in place), minimal contact is preferred
  • Rooms must be adequately ventilated before clients arrive and after they depart
  • Specific and detailed disinfectant cleaning of the accommodation must take place post check-out and at regular intervals in communal spaces



  • Patrons are required to wear face masks for the entire duration of their visit
  • Numbers of visitors are limited and strictly enforced, advance reservations should be made
  • Audioguides must be sanitized after each use
  • Cleaning and disinfection, with particular attention to commonly touched surfaces, must take place in frequent intervals



Italy’s beaches will also be subject to social distancing measures.

  • Private beach clubs are required to create a buffer zone of 10 square meters around each beach umbrella and must follow cleaning and sanitizing protocol
  • Local mayors will be responsible for enacting and enforcing safety measures at public beaches
  • Individual beach sports (swimming, surfing, windsurfing, etc.) are permitted but group sports (like beach volleyball, beach soccer, etc.) are not


Monterosso’s Fegina beach on May 20th, 2020 – Photo credit: Christine Mitchell



  • TrenItalia trains are currently allowing 1/3 of their normal capacity on board in order to guarantee adequate social distancing
  • Passengers are required to wear masks and seats are clearly marked to indicate where it’s possible to sit
  • Other safety measures include dedicated doors for entering/exiting the train, electronic tickets with QR codes and social distancing at the stations

Photos courtesy of Chiara Sommovigo

If you are interested in seeing the 18-page safety protocol approved by Italy’s regions, you can check it out here (in italiano).

If you do decide to visit Italy this summer, please be mindful and respectful. Italy’s wounded economy gladly welcomes visitors as it attempts to rebound, but its citizens (and their psyches) are still healing. Please tread lightly.






Italy 2020: To go, or not to go

Considering calling off your 2020 Italian vacation because of the coronavirus? Hold your horses. The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have classified Italy as Level 2 and their advisory is directed at two specific subgroups of travelers: “Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.”

My advice? Unless you fall into one of those two categories (aging adult or infirm) take your finger off the cancel button. Research your existing bookings and their cancellation policies (and know until what date you can opt out without penalty). This is a dynamic situation, unless you are due to depart immediately there’s no need for a rash decision—watch & wait.

Here are the most reliable and credible resources that you should be referencing:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Coronavirus information:

Travel advisories:

World Health Organization

Coronavirus information:

Travel advisories:

Above all, don’t let sensational headlines or panic cloud your judgement. Here in the Cinque Terre “la dolce vita” is still happening, just with extra hand washing thrown in the mix.


Coronavirus in Italy: Keep calm & carry on

Please note: This is an ever-evolving story due to the dynamic nature of contagion. All data was correct at the time it was published. Periodic updates will be posted as footnotes to this post.

Let me start by saying, as of today there have been zero confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Liguria (the region in which the five Cinque Terre villages are located). Because we neighbor regions where there have been confirmed cases, our regional government has enacted special precautions which include closing schools and public venues as well as canceling sporting events until March 1, 2020. On that date the situation will be reevaluated and the ordinance will either be lifted or extended.

The Italian government is taking the coronavirus seriously and they have implemented measures to isolate the outbreak. A coordinated response has also been enacted to quell alarm and the dissemination of fake news.

Despite media hype, the coronavirus is considered only slightly more dangerous than the average flu and mortality rates confirm that. The most challenging aspect of the coronavirus from a logistical standpoint is its rapid transmission.

There are currently 283 confirmed cases in Italy, with the majority in the regions of Lombardy (206 cases) and Veneto (38 cases). Overall, infection rates continue to be very low in Italy, which has a population of 60.48 million people.

What can you do to limit the spread of the coronavirus?

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often
  • Avoid contact with people who have respiratory illnesses
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough
  • Do not take antibiotics unless prescribed by a doctor
  • Clean surfaces with disinfectants
  • Wear a face mask ONLY if you think you are sick or assisting the sick
  • In Italy: Call 112 if you have fever, cough or respiratory difficulties, especially if you have recently been to China or you have traveled to identified areas of contagion

Most importantly, keep calm and don’t panic. It’s currently life as usual in the Cinque Terre, with some extra hand washing thrown in the mix.


UPDATE (25 February 2020, 15:15)

Less than an hour after publishing this post it was made public that a woman in Alassio, Liguria (the westernmost portion of our region, the Cinque Terre is located on the eastern border with Tuscany) tested positive to the coronavirus. She has been hospitalized and is listed as being in good condition.

Cinque Terre on a level orange storm warning starting tonight, October 14

From 10pm tonight until 3pm tomorrow, October 15, a level orange storm warning has been issued for the Cinque Terre and surrounding areas.

The Cinque Terre villages are located where you see the letter C

Meteorologists have forecasted heavy rains, gusty winds, thunderstorms and rough seas.

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). Also, chances are that the few places open will be very busy and with potentially long lines.


Fuori Rotta (bar/café)

Farmacia (pharmacy)

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 (snack bar in the marina)


Aristide (bar/café/restaurant)

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.

What do I recommend? Use this day 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 cautious and prepared for heavy rains (and ready to turn back should conditions worsen). Steer clear of low-lying areas that are prone to flooding. Mostly, just be prudent.

Cinque Terre Insider meets the Discovery Channel

In October of 2017 I helped host an episode of Impossible Engineering (for those in the UK the series is called Impossible Railways) that focused in part on the Cinque Terre’s railway system. The episode was actually first shown on the Discovery Channel in 2018 but as it’s syndicated you can still find it airing. Here’s a preview (if you have a chance, definitely watch the full episode as this is just a snippet):


I hope you enjoy the show and my debut as a presenter!

a.k.a. Cinque Terre Insider

What I learned after spending the day with Rick Steves in the Cinque Terre

When you receive a message from Rick Steves’ assistant telling you that he would like to spend the day with you, there’s just one thing to do: clear your calendar.

It wasn’t going to be my first time meeting Rick (our family-run vacation rental agency has been in his Italy guidebook for years and years) but it was going to be my first time hanging out with him for the day. And I must say, it ended up being a glorious (albeit long, wet and windy) day!

I walked away from my time spent with Rick with a few observations that I thought I’d share with you:

  • The guy walks FAST. I’m pretty tall (5’8″) and I have long legs but even I had to hightail it to maintain his pace! When he’s on the go, he’s definitely like a man on a mission. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be “vertically challenged” and trying to keep up with him.
  • He is a selfie master. Personally, I’m terrible at them, but Rick is absolutely brilliant (I think it has to do with his height and those extra long arms). He explained to me that his stellar selfies with smitten fans are actually a time-saving strategy. Did I mention this guy is smart? Oh, and for the record he abhors selfie sticks (ha!).
  • Fame is overrated. Now, this really has nothing to do with Rick (as he was most gracious when we were stopped for photos and autographs what seemed like every five seconds) but really it was my own observation at the conclusion of our day. There’s definitely something to be said about walking anonymously down the street without being recognized or having people screech and hyperventilate when they see you. Kudos to Rick for not donning a hat and sunglasses and for embracing the people who have put him in his position.
  • Rick is very conscientious. If you follow him on social media I’m sure you already know that he uses his fame (and following) to bring attention to issues that might be out of the usual media limelight (he just finished filming a documentary on world hunger and development in Guatemala and Ethiopia). I love that he views travel as a political act. But on a much, much smaller scale, Rick is a conscientious person even in little gestures. In the case of our day together, every time he was stopped by adoring fans he made a point to introduce me. To be honest, most of these people couldn’t have cared less who I was (to them I was just a +1) but I did recognize and appreciate Rick’s thoughtful gesture.
  • He’s firmly against cronyism. This is something that Rick is diligent about while he’s doing his research. He wants people & places in his guidebooks that merit to be there (and not because they’ve gotten their foot in the door via friends or relatives). In Italy we call this raccomandato and it’s a very, very common practice (so it was quite refreshing to see his obstinate stance against it).
  • While Rick takes his work very seriously, the quirky Rick we know from his TV programs still comes out on occasion. When we visited the church of St. Laurence in Manarola we had the place to ourselves. Rick spontaneously started testing the echoey acoustics (La-la-la-la-laaaaaaaaa) and I couldn’t help but crack up on the inside.

Let it be known that Cinque Terre villagers have a deep sense of gratitude to Rick Steves. He is, after all, the person who put this beautiful slice of the Italian Riviera on the map for Americans decades before it hit the mainstream radar. And now, all these years later, he’s showing his readers and followers that you can still get a slice of Cinque Terre paradise if you get off the beaten path and take a slow travel approach.

Here are some short video clips that Rick took while he was here in the Cinque Terre (and there are even more… you’ll find them on his YouTube channel):

Vernazza After Dark

Sexy Bruschetta (with yours truly)

High Above the Sea– and the Crowds –in the Cinque Terre

You can purchase Rick’s latest guidebooks on Amazon.* I recommend his Best of Italy and also a smaller pocket-size guidebook dedicated exclusively to the Cinque Terre!

*Full disclosure: If you purchase through the Amazon links I will receive a small commission from their Associates program, at no extra cost to you. These commissions help to cover the costs of hosting and upkeep of the blog. Grazie mille!

Why smart travelers book direct, and so should you

We are in an age of instant gratification, where people want answers fast. Actually, faster than fast, they want them instantaneously with the click of a button (or tap of a touchscreen). Hence the success of the huge online travel agencies (or OTAs) like Booking(.com), AirBnB and Expedia, just to name a few. These OTAs are able to offer instant (or nearly so) booking confirmations without lag time.

But convenience has a cost. And that cost, cari amici, is ultimately passed on to you, the consumer. Did you know most of the OTAs charge hosts and hoteliers 15-18% commission? For hosts to achieve their target profit that means prices are being inflated to cover commission costs. Or, in the case of AirBnB, a lower commission (3-5%) is charged to the host but the guest is charged a rather hefty AirBnB service fee (the cost of the service fee is on a sliding scale based on multiple factors including length of stay, price of the accommodation and demand). And unlike accommodation hosts, AirBnB charges its “experience” hosts a whopping 20% commission!

So what do the savvy travelers do to save money on their accommodations or experiences? They book direct. Hosts can offer significant savings to those who contact them directly to reserve.*

You might be wondering, “But how in the heck am I supposed to contact these people or places directly?” Here’s how I approach booking accommodations and experiences, without the costly middlemen:

  • First, research your accommodations online using the OTAs (as they are a great tool to discover rates, availability and reviews… all in one place).
  • Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few different places that suit you and have good reviews (and make sure they have availability for your dates, of course), head on over to Google.
  • The easiest contact details to track down are for hotels, B&Bs, or bonafide businesses where a Google search will usually bring up direct contact details. Just make sure you scroll down past all of the ads (that the big OTAs can afford to sponsor on Google) to find the real search results.

Keep scrolling down past the ads to find the real search results, otherwise you’ll just get lost in an OTA loop

Don’t be fooled by the ad offering to check availability, this is just another way to trick you into booking through an OTA

  • Things get a bit tricky with AirBnB as oftentimes hosts aren’t in the professional sector so it’s harder to know what you should be googling (because “Apartment with beautiful views and central location” just isn’t going to cut it). Try clicking on the host’s profile to read their “about” section to see if you can get any clues as to how to contact them directly.

Tip: I only recommend trying to book directly with an AirBnB host if they have Superhost status or if they’ve got lots of great reviews. Not all AirBnB hosts are created equal and you’re placing a lot of faith in them by booking direct. Make sure you’re booking with a host with an excellent reputation.

That’s actually my profile page on AirBnB and obviously you can see both the name of my family’s vacation rental agency as well as the name of the blog. If that isn’t a lead, I don’t know what is… put on your sleuth hats and get googling!

Some words to the wise

  • If you’re booking direct, there may be some different stipulations regarding the reservation. Make sure the cancellation policy, methods of payment accepted and other details are all very clear to you in advance.
  • Ensure that you have contact details (including phone numbers) and an agreed upon meeting place and time.
  • In the event that you find accommodations or an experience online by googling alone (rather than via an OTA) ask if they can share an AirBnB or other OTA link so you can check their reviews before booking. The nice thing about the OTAs, unlike TripAdvisor, is that they’ve incorporated reviews into the listings and those reviews can only be made by verified past guests.

*When booking direct, do your homework first. Know what rate the host is asking (and on what platform, so that will give you an idea as to what sort of commission they would have to pay if you were to book with the OTA). Ask for their best rate and be willing to pay cash to get it (all the villages have ATMs, just be sure to use the right ones). Keep in mind, AirBnB hosts probably won’t be able to offer much (if any) of a discount on their accommodations (as they are paying just 3-5% in commission) but you will be able to circumvent the AirBnB service fees.

Backstory: Once upon a time (actually, not so many years ago), hosts and hoteliers had to sign contracts when they partnered with OTAs promising that they would offer the same rates across the board (so offering better rates to those who booked directly was a big no-no) . This was called “parity rate” and hosts risked penalties, expulsion from the OTA sites, and even potential lawsuits if they didn’t comply. Luckily for hosts and guests alike, the Italian court deemed the parity rate clause in the contracts illegal (and so did courts in Germany, France and Austria).

If you’ve made it this far, you might be thinking, “Sheesh! That’s a lot of work when I can book in less than a minute online.” Here’s where I’m going to give you a hand here in the Cinque Terre. If you email me ( and write DIRECT BOOKINGS in the subject line, I will reply with contact details for my preferred accommodations and experience providers in the Cinque Terre. These are trusted places where I’d send my family & friends, and I’m happy to send you, too.

Ciao for now,

[Updated for 2022] PARKING: A great alternative for those driving to the Cinque Terre

TIP: Staying in the Cinque Terre?  First, check with your host to see if they offer or if they can help you arrange nearby parking for your stay.  If not, keep reading for details on where to park in nearby La Spezia.  

You may or may not know that arrival by car to the Cinque Terre can be a bit hairy and anything but convenient.  The roads are very narrow and winding, parking is extremely limited and quite expensive, there’s a pretty high risk of getting a ticket (if you accidentally enter the ZTL zones or park where it’s not allowed) and the historical centers of the villages are pedestrian-only.

My advice?  Ditch the car before hitting up the Cinque Terre.  If that’s not feasible, you can do the next best thing and park it at the Park Centro Stazione underground parking garage at the La Spezia Centrale train station.

Current published rates for Park Centro Stazione for 2022 are €1.50 per hour from 8am to 8pm and €1.00 per hour from 8pm to 8am. That means the daily rate (for a full 24 hours) is €30.

This parking garage, thanks to its recent construction, is pretty avant-garde for these parts with an elevator that will take you directly to the station, restrooms, 64 closed-circuit cameras to monitor the garage, PIN code access (to both the restrooms and the garage in nocturnal hours) and full automation. Of course, you’ll still want to follow common sense rules of thumb like locking things up and not leaving valuables in sight.

The underground parking garage actually has two entrances:

  • The -1 level is accessed by Via Paleocapa, 7 or latitude: 44.110633 | longitude: 9.815174
  • The -2 level is accessed by Piazzetta Ancona or latitude: 44.110692 | longitude: 9.814421

There are automated signs near each entrance indicating how many spaces are still available for that level. If one level is full, be sure to check the other entrance to see if that level is full, too.

LA SPEZIA PARKING photo credit: ATC La Spezia

If you’re a planner and don’t like the uncertainty of showing up and hoping to find a space (believe me, I get you) you might want to look into booking a space at a private garage just a few blocks (circa 200 meters) from the station:

Private Parking Le 5 Terre La Spezia

Via Migliari, 15 (La Spezia)

latitude: 44.110141 | longitude: 9.817427

Keep in mind that they have only 10 spaces available and it’s mandatory to book and pay online in advance (don’t just try and turn up). The 2022 daily rates range from €10 to €38 (depening on the season). Do keep in mind that they don’t offer hourly rates. You can arrive any time after 10am (you’ll be provided with an access code after you’ve booked) and you’ll need to retrieve your car no later than 10am on your day of departure. Heads up: If you plan to leave later in the day, you’ll need to book & pay for an extra day.

Wherever you decide to park, afterwards you can hop on the Cinque Terre Express train to the Cinque Terre.  To reach the Cinque Terre villages from the La Spezia Centrale train station, travel time is as little as…

  • Riomaggiore: 7 minutes
  • Manarola: 10 minutes
  • Corniglia: 14 minutes
  • Vernazza: 18 minutes
  • Monterosso: 22 minutes

Download the TrenItalia app in advance so you can purchase train tickets on the fly (like I do!), or if you want to plan things out in advance you can check the timetables and purchase tickets online on the official TrenItalia website here.  If you don’t mind standing in potentially long lines you can also wait and purchase your tickets directly at the station.

Want a Plan B (or C) option in case the garage is full when you turn up? Read my blog post detailing parking for free at the La Spezia Migliarina station here. If you’re not a fan of streetside parking, check out my post on two other public payment parking garages in La Spezia.

Buon viaggio!

Reopening of the Via dell’Amore? Don’t hold your breath

Spring 2021.  That’s the projected reopening date for the Via dell’Amore, the beloved and world-famous Lovers’ Lane connecting the Cinque Terre villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola.  The path has been closed to the public since September of 2012 when a rock slide overtook a portion of the path and injured three Australian tourists.  Since then, only a very small portion (circa 200 meters) of the path reopened in 2015.

It has taken over five years to simply procure the €12 million needed to complete the Via dell’Amore project.  FIVE YEARS.  Just to put things in perspective, with an estimated 2 to 3 million visitors per year to the Cinque Terre and with a ticket price of €5 per person (which was the last price that was charged before the Via dell’Amore was closed, although the current rate is actually €7.50 for the hiking pass), the path could finance its own reopening in one year.  And let’s not even mention the potential mancato guadagno (loss of earnings) in nine years of closure as the figures are staggering.  There really is no excuse for such an extended closure and the situation has been under close scrutiny by the international community.  Had the public sector been unable to finance the project in a timely manner, private investors should have been allowed to enter the scene to finance the project and get the ball rolling.

Where’s the money coming from for the Via dell’Amore project?

€2 million from the Regione di Liguria (the region in which the Cinque Terre villages are located)

+ €3 million from the Ministero dell’Ambiente (Ministry of the Environment)

+ €7 million FSC funds (“Fondo per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione,” funds from the Italian government for underutilized areas of the country)

= €12 million needed to complete the project & reopen the path

In 2021 elections will be held.  Is it a coincidence that the Via dell’Amore is expected to reopen that year?  Probably not.  Let’s just hope that it’s incentive enough to finally get the path back open.

More details on the Via dell’Amore can be found in my previous posts here:

What’s going on with the Via dell’Amore?

The underwhelming partial reopening of the Via dell’Amore