Cinque Terre's Comeback: How Vernazza Rebuilt Itself
When a biblical storm rolled across the Cinque Terre, northwest Italy’s string of five historic coastal villages (Porotfino, Monteroso, Vernazza, Corniglia, and Riomaggiore), last October, the floods carried fishing boats all the way to Morocco—and almost wiped the prettiest village, Vernazza, off the map.
Pritzker Prize–winning British architect Richard Rogers, who has vacationed in the town for more than 50 years, is spearheading (with Italian architect Ernesto Bartolini and Roberto Castellani) a master plan for the public areas that is funded by nonprofit organizations such as Save Vernazza.
The Rogers' Plan for the Reconstruction and Requalification of Vernazza has two goals: to maintain Vernazza's unique architectural heritage while improving Vernazza for the future. Some examples include: energy-efficient lighting; burying the electrical wires; creating a cohesive plan for the movement of people through the town; creating architectural seating out of natural materials; planting native trees to create greenery throughout town; hiding the electrical and power boxes on the buildings; creating pavement for the central streets; and building a piazza that is visually pleasing, durable, and that creates a harmonious flow throughout the town.