Monterosso is one of the 5 villages that make up Cinque Terre, Italy, and it was one of the two villages devastated by floods and landslides in October 2011. We were there in January 2012, and the towns had not recovered. The day we were in Monterosso was the first day neighboring Vernazza had been re-opened to visitors - Vernazza was the hardest hit. However, after seeing the condition Monterosso was in, we didn't even stop in Vernazza. In Monterosso, it felt really strange to walk as tourists among all the closed down buildings, construction workers and evidence of the tragedy.
After leaving Monterosso, we took the train back towards Manarola, stopping in Corniglia to try to find the elusive Guvano Beach. This is the only sandy beach in Cinque Terre, and even though it was in the middle of winter and probably 55 degrees, we still wanted to find it. Our research led us the wrong way hiking in these huge rocks along a seawall...
And then we made our way back and found the tunnel:
However, once we got to the tunnel, the lights and doorbell and everything else we had been told about weren't working. It was darker than dark in that tunnel and we decided to just skip it and turn around. Looking back, I totally regret not just pushing through into the dark...or bringing a headlamp. But that's what return trips are for.
The city map in Corniglia really entertained me. Not quite as informative as Google, eh?