Riomaggiore is one of the five villages of the Cinque Terre located on the Ligurian coast of Italy. It is one of the most colorful and beautiful villages in all of Italy. Bright houses teeter on the side of a hill overlooking the blue-green waters of the Gulf of Genova.
Riomaggiore is the last village as you approach from the north. If you are coming from La Spezia it will be the first village you come to. The five villages of the Cinque Terre are linked by a hiking trail of varying degrees of difficulty. The trail linking Riomaggiore and Manarola is by far the easiest of the five trails.
Hiking Via dell’Amore Trial of Love’s Way
In fact, the trail between Riomaggiore and Manarola is not a trail at all but a wide cobblestone walkway known as the Via dell’Amore (Love’s Way). There are benches along the Via dell’Amore where you can sit and enjoy the view, this is not the case on the trails linking the other villages. Via dell’Amore is a little over .5 mi (approximately 1 km) long.
Riomaggiore dates from the early 13th century which probably explains the network of alleyways and staircases. If you plan to stay in Riomaggiore plan to walk up some steps. When you are making a reservation most apartments will let you know the number of steps you have to walk up to get to your unit. If they don’t, be sure to ask, they can number in the hundreds.
What You Will See
Small stores, pizzeria’s and restaurants are located on the main tourist street in Riomaggiore. Many of the stores sell the sweet white wine that is produced in the vineyards that run up and down the hills and cliffs of the surrounding area. Be sure to wander off the main street and get a feel for local life.
The Cinque Terre is part of the Parco Nazionale Delle Cinque Terre, a Unesco world heritage site. There is a Park store and Internet Cafe located near the train station. There is also a dive center in the village. Riomaggiore has a pretty pebble beach where you can pick up a few stones as keepsakes from your trip.
The ferry that takes tourists between the villages stops near the village boat ramp. Since the ferry runs on a schedule known only to the captain you will have time to buy a gelato, sit and relax and watch the locals maneuver their boats in the choppy water near the boat ramp while you wait to catch the ferry.
Although the train runs frequently from La Spezia it is possible to take a taxi if you prefer. You will have to negotiate a rate. When you arrive by train you walk through a small tunnel from the Riomaggiore train station to get to the main part of town.
YouTube Video with Rick Steves sharing about Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare
Riomaggiore Village is one of the best cities in Italy to visit. You won’t be disappointed if you travel to this destination.