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Cinque Terra Area in Late October

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What is the experience of travel/train/walking in the Cinque Terra area during mid to late October? Is La Spezia the best place to base yourself? We have three or four days to tour the area if conditions are good during that time. Thanks for input.

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    I suspect it varies. I was there in mid-Oct. a few years for 2 nights. One day, morning drizzles turned to hard rain; the park service closed the trails during the afternoon. That evening and the other parts of days I was there (an afternoon and evening and a morning through mid-afternoon) were gorgeous.

    I based in Manarola, but then my focus was on the Cinque Terre, not the rest of the area.


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    Last year, on October 25, le Cinque Terre suffered catastrophic flooding due to torrential rains over 48 hours that caused horrific mudslides. Several people died in the affected villages.

    Although it was a freak weather event in some respects, I will point out that:

    (a) freak weather events have become more common in recent years


    (b) it is quite common for the Riviera to experience to experience torrential rains in late October/first weeks of November. Heavy rain can also occur any time after the turn of summer to autumn (Sept 22).


    (c) the condition of the hillsides will remain fragile for the foreseeable future, meaning it will take less rain in the coming rainy season to induce mudslides.

    Even under "normal" circumstances, it is never advisable to lock yourself into hotel reservation in the Riviera off-season (and late October is off-season). Even just a few days of moderately heavy rain will eliminate views and all possibility of hiking.

    You can always book last minute at that time of year, but you should only come to the area if you have seen short-term forecasts (24 hours or less) that predict solidly sunny days for several days in a row. Last year, the 24-hour forecast for Oct 25 was morning showers. Instead, 13 inches of rain fell.

    The Riviera Levante was abandoned by both the Greeks and the Romans because they lost so many ships to lousy weather. Those who remained became some of the world's strongest boat-builders and world's greatest seaman (one of them was hired by the Spanish and "discovered" America). Unpredictable violently stormy weather is the norm for October.

    Two days after much of le Cinque Terre was destroyed last year, beautiful sunny weather returned and a scheduled surfing competition in a nearby town went on as planned. The devastated towns are still rebuilding.

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