Storm warning for Cinque Terre: August 13 & 14, 2018

Starting at 9pm today and carrying through until 3pm on August 14th, a level orange storm warning has been issued for the Cinque Terre and surrounding areas in Liguria. On the map below, the Cinque Terre falls in section C.

What does this mean? In Italy, there are four distinct colors regarding weather forecasts:

GREEN (0) is no danger whatsoever, YELLOW (1) is slight danger, ORANGE (2) is moderate danger and RED (3) is the highest level of alert for predicted extreme storm conditions.

Given the 2011 flood that affected Vernazza & Monterosso, these storm warnings are not taken lightly by local city officials.

In the case of the Comune di Riomaggiore (which includes the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Groppo and Volastra) level orange and red storm warnings mean that local businesses and schools located within potential flood zones are required to remain closed. Also, cars parked in potential flood areas must be moved to other locations. Tour groups will not be allowed to disembark in Riomaggiore or Manarola, whether by train or bus. Lastly, all hiking trails will be officially closed until the storm warning has been reduced. The other two city halls in the Cinque Terre (Comune di Vernazza and Comune di Monterosso) take similar measures during level orange (or red) storm warnings.

If you are in the Cinque Terre now, exercise caution in the event of heavy rains (in which case, stay indoors and away from flood susceptible areas). Businesses outside of designated flood zones should be unaffected and open for business as usual.

Silver lining: Maybe it will be a good day to catch up writing in your travel journal?


The Giro d’Italia in the Cinque Terre

photo credit: Imperia Post

For those of you that don’t know, the Giro d’Italia is Italy’s premier cycling race (comparable to the Tour de France).  It’s a pretty big deal.  And for the first time since 2009, it’s heading through the Cinque Terre. You can see the route map and expected passing times here.


This is great news for sports & cycling enthusiasts but not such great news for those planning to arrive by car to the Cinque Terre on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015.  The cyclists will be starting in Chiavari, making their way through the Cinque Terre, and finishing up in La Spezia.

In the Comune di Riomaggiore the Litoranea delle Cinque Terre (a.k.a. SP370) will be closed to traffic from 2pm to approx. 6:30pm.  Other comuni (La Spezia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto) will be having road closures for presumably different times (depending on when the cyclists are expected to pass by).


The notice of road closure times signed by Riomaggiore’s mayor

If you are planning to drive to the Cinque Terre that day, speak with your host in advance to see what recommendations they might have (whether that be to park elsewhere and train in or to arrive before/after road closure times).