“We at Busabout wanted to find a way we could give back to the community so together with TreadRight, our partner in sustainable tourism, we’ve teamed up with Save Vernazza, a non-profit created by three local women who are former backpackers themselves. By working with Save Vernazza, we hope to support the sustainable development of tourism and give back to a region that has given our passengers so much in the past fifteen years.”
Even Paradise Needs a Gardener
On October 25th, 2011 Vernazza was hit by a devastating storm that caused flooding and landslides, burying the village and causing extensive damage in the hillsides. Vernazza’s town center has been rebuilt, but its fragile territory continues to need help.
Maintaining the territory is critical to avoid further erosion and to prevent additional landslides. It is also necessary to preserve a way of life that is centuries old and this is why Save Vernazza was created by three American girls deeply on love with Vernazza. It’s a non-profit organization born to help REBUILD, RESTORE, and PRESERVE Vernazza’s town, territory and culture for future generations.
Among their many project there’s “Turisti nei Cian” (Tourists in the wild), a series of voluntourism excursions to experience everything on your Cinque Terre bucket list:
- Meet a local
- Hike into the hills
- Help save a World Heritage site
- Enjoy a picnic of local specialties
- Drink Cinque Terre DOC wine
Voluntourism Excursions in Vernazza
This is the Fourth Season and Save Vernazza has already welcomed 800 travelers in 88 excursions. All together they/we are making a difference, working with 20 local farmers to restore vineyards and olive groves, build stonewalls and terracing and harvest grapes.
Excursions run twice weekly (alternate Wednesdays or Thursdays and Saturdays or Sundays) from 8.30 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. from May through October (see Save Vernazza Calendar for details). Meeting point is below the Vernazza train station and if an excursion is cancelled due to bad weather, participants can join any other regularly scheduled excursion.
It costs €29 per person (including equipment, gloves, bilingual Italian-English local guide, picnic lunch with Cinque Terre DOC wine) and to book you can send an email to email@example.com or stop by Bottega d’Arte Cinqueterre on Vernazza’s main street.
Save Vernazza guides and landowners are local men and women who are passionate about preserving their town’s fragile, terraced hillsides while sharing their heritage with voluntourist guests.
Beside helping, it’s always a beautiful moment, a once-in-a-lifetime experience shared with locals in the wild, away from the crowds in the village streets below.
Some feedbacks from last season Voluntourism Excursions in Vernazza
“Glad I did it: Loved learning about Vernazza’s history, culture, environment. Food was also delicious. The work was hard, but glad I was able to understand & comprehend how hard it would be to do it as one person.”
“Beautiful experience, wonderful people. Laura was really, really great and told us about Vernazza and its history wonderfully.”
“Seeing something in Vernazza that’s off the beaten track – not just a touristy place”
“I thought it was an overall, perfect day! Will recommend 10/10”