On the Italian north-west coast, in the province of La Spezia, Liguria, little towns with colorful houses cling to steep hills along a narrow, rugged strip of land between the Maritime Alps, the Apennine Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The rich vegetation, scenic vineyards, hiking trails with spectacular views distinctively define these five medieval towns of Cinque Terre. Such morphology, while visually pleasing can have fragile land conditions, thus creating instability especially with heavy rains. Such was the case in late October 2011 when Cinque Terre was hit severely by heavy flooding which redefined the natural challenges inherent to the Ligurian region. For the inhabitants, it is essential to maintain an alignment with the traditional ways of life while making provisions to alleviate and lessen the amount of destruction should another flood occur. Better prevention measures are key to properly addressing the threat of flash floods in Cinque Terre as in other areas around the Mediterranean and beyond.
Photography by Arianna Pagani.