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?