11/04/2011 07:31 am ET | Updated Jan 04, 2012

Vernazza Evacuated

In the week since devastating floods and landslides hit Italy's Cinque Terre, I've heard from many friends in the region. They tell me that the communities of Vernazza and Monterosso are in for a bleak, backbreaking winter of digging out and rebuilding, but they are determined to come back.

This evening, Vernazza has been completely evacuated in anticipation of heavy rain in the next few days. Only the military is allowed in the town. An American-based fund for relief and reconstruction is being set up, and I hope to have details in a few days at (where you can also see photos and videos of what's happened). Keep Vernazza in your travel dreams.