Walking through the streets of the picturesque village of Riomaggiore you will be able to admire the remnants of the ancient past.
If you look carefully at the layout of the buildings you will notice an important feature: all the typical stone houses with beautiful coloured facades, have at least two entrances! The first is on the facade at the level of the alley, the other on back up to the upper road. This structure, in 1500 and before, guaranteed a street escape in case of attack from the sea by the Saracens.
The village of Riomaggiore can be divided into three zones: the ancient village, the small port and the station.
Right from here starts the so called Way of Love (Via dell’Amore), a famous path overlooking the sea that connects the other villages of the Cinque Terre, the way is cut into the rock, just above the surface of the sea. Unfortunately, in 2012 Via dell’Amore suffered a huge landslide that caused damage to the path and many tracks are still closed but you can check the open hiking routes on the official website.
To do in Riomaggiore:
- The Way of Love. Just arrived at the station of Riomaggiore we find a cliff overlooking the sea and the entrance of one of the most famous paths of the Cinque Terre: Via dell’Amore. This path of incredible beauty is built on a rocky wall that plunges straight on the Ligurian Sea. The path offers unique views of the landscape, does not require a workout as it lasts a few kilometers and does not see the presence of climbs or slopes. Being built directly on the rock face and overlooking the sea can be annoying to some visitors who suffer from vertigo, but apart from this small detail, it is really worth walking it. Unique scenery!
- Admire the view from the medieval Castle of Riomaggiore.
Located few minutes walk from the town center at the highest point of the village, the Castle offers one of the most panoramic views. Today is used by the local administration as a conference room and a cultural center.
- Discover the old town.
Stroll along Riomaggiore’s main street Via Colombo so rich in restaurants, enotecas, bars, and artisanal shops. Here I had the best focaccia of my life 😋. The old town of Riomaggiore is a fascinating jumble of narrow streets, staircases, passages and hidden corners.
- Enjoy a cone of fried fish.
All along the Cinque Terre coast you will find different sposts selling cones of mixed fried fish but the one in Riomaggiore called Tutti Fritti deserves to be tasted, absolutely.
- Visit the Port of Riomaggiore.
The Port of Riomaggiore characterized by colored boats docked on the shore, is the most known landscape of the village. Two descents allow you to go down to the sea and take a bath, the beaches of Riomaggiore are also equipped for diving. Not many know that from here you can reach Vernazza or Manarola by kayak, exploring along your way a series of secret caves with stunning colors.
At the port of Riomaggiore it is possible to find some typical souvenir shops, bars and restaurants for a romantic aperitif.
- Visit the 16th century church Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta easily accessible from Via Colombo.
- Visit the Church of San Lorenzo dedicated to the patron saint of the village. The local sandstone façade has a portal with a Gothic arch and a bas-relief depicting the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo; just below there is a carrara white marble rose window of 1375.
- Visit the Parish Church of San Giovanni Battista which is one of the most interesting and historical places in Riomaggiore. The beautiful and imposing church is located in Via Pecunia in the upper part of the historic center of the village. Over the years the Church has undergone several changes although it is still possible to admire its ancient Gothic structure.
- The Sanctuary of Montenero – Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero
The Sanctuary of Riomaggiore is located on a hill above the village, 340 meters above sea level and can only be reached on foot. The uphill walk is amply rewarded by the incredible view and the peace that this place offers: from here you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the coast and the neighboring villages.
The sanctuary dates back to 1335, although popular legend tells of a much older place of worship that was hidden to protect it from the invasions of the Lombards.
Discover the other villages of Cinque Terre: