. inCannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to have 12 months of rain in two hours. It would be terrifying. Our landlady Deborah just told us that the main reason the rain a year ago did so much damage to Venazza is that many of the hillside farms have been abandoned as they are just too difficult to work and this has resulted in significant soil erosion. So when they huge rains came there was nothing but rock for them to fall on and the water just came roaring down the mountain in a torrential flood. Finally we saw Monterosso, which has quite a large centre. Saw a funeral service at 5pm at night, which seemed an unusal time for a funeral and a church service. Beautiful sunset tonight over the Mediterranean as you can see from the photo. We haven't yet visited Riomaggore, which we understand is quite large, but all the towns we have seen so far are very picturesque. However, we find ourselves wondering how many locals actually live here. Tonight going to dinner there didn't seem to be many lights on in houses. Perhaps people use houses here as holiday places. Have subsequently discovered that about 400 people live in Manarola township.
Today we caught a train to Corniglia, Venazza and Monterosso, the three northernmost towns of the five towns that comprise Cinque Terre (Five Towns). We walked around Corniglia and found a path that took us close to local houses. we found one house that had been made entirely of stone and appeared to have no access except by a narrow path. Heaven knows how they get even food supplies in and out let alone a new table or bed! We also visited Venazza, which on October 35 last year was destrpyed by a massive flood. Last October 25, almost a year to the day the town had an entire 12 months rain in two hours! The water level reached the second floor of many places. Homes, shops and restaurants were destroyed. Many places are still being worked on to restore them to working condition. We saw workmen on the train tonight who clearly had spent the day in Venazza. One shopkeeper said her son's restaurant is still out of action 12 months later.Venazza has a lovely waterfront which we sat at and had a drink