This verse from Eugenio Montale’s poem Low Tide was carved into a wall in Monterossa, one of the five villages that comprise Cinque Terra. Kate, our contact at Firebird Tours, kindly found for me the entire poem in translation. The verse in bold is the one in the photograph.
rocks in the summerhouse of other days
and a dark vapor barely veils
the sea’s stillness.
Those days, no more. Now swift slanting
flights pass across the wall, the downward plunge
of everything goes on and on, the sheer coast
swallows even the reef that first lifted
you above the waves.
a mournful undertow of lives
engulfed and in the evening,
black bindweed, your memory only
writhes and resists.
where the train, entering, slowly crawls.
Then, unseen, a lunar flock shows up
and browses on the hills.