Riomaggiore, Italy: complete guide
Located on the Italian Riviera, Riomaggiore, Italy is a charming village perched on a terraced hillside high above the Ligurian coastline. Riomaggiore is known for its colorful stone houses that seem to be stacked on top of each other and its harbor filled with traditional fishing boats is part of the chain of five villages that make up Cinque Terre, a UNESCO heritage site. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in all of Italy.
The village was originally founded in the 8th century by Greek refugees seeking to take advantage of the naturally rich soil and abundant sea life surrounding it. However, the Riomaggiore we see today actually dates back to the 13th century. It is located in a valley between two steep hills and was named after the stream that flows beneath it.
Once under the Republic of Genoa, Riomaggiore relied heavily on the production of wine and olive oil from the surrounding vineyards and orchards. Today, its main industry is tourism, and more than two million people come to the city every year.
What to do in Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore is a great place to enjoy the fabulous views and downgrade to the pace of Italian village life. Stroll down the main street of the village leading to the sea, where a small marina framed by beautiful pastel houses is filled with brightly colored fishing boats. It’s the perfect place to sit and breathe the fresh sea air.
Here are some things to do and see when visiting Riomaggiore:
Hike through Dell’Amore (The Way of Love): The Via dell’Amore is a hiking trail that begins in Riomaggiore and leads to the village of Manarola. It is laid out along the cliffs above the magnificent coastline and is the shortest of all the Cinque Terre trails (an easy 15-30 minute hike). The trail is decorated with nets hanging from the rocks – lovers write their names on the locks, hang the locks on the nets and throw the keys into the sea as a sign of eternal devotion. At the end of the trail, it meets the Sentiero Azzurro (Blue Trail), a 7.5-mile network of paths that stretches between the towns of Cinque Terre.
Note. As of this writing (April 2019), the trail is closed for repairs, but is expected to open in spring 2021. Until then, you can reach the other villages of Cinque Terre, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterossa. Al Mare, by train.
Admire the view from the medieval castle of Riomaggiore: the Castello di Riomaggiore is located at the highest point of the village and is open to the public – the terrace offers spectacular views. The castle was built in 1260 to protect the town from attacks by barbarians and pirates.
Visit the church of San Giovanni Battista: This Gothic church was built in 1340 and was reconstructed at the end of the 19th century after a small collapse. Among its masterpieces are Domenico Fiasella’s painting “The Sermon of John the Baptist,” a wooden crucifix by Maragliano and a mechanical organ built in 1851.
See the Precious Relics in the Oratory di Santa Maria Assunta: Next to the castle is the 16th century Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta. (also known by locals as the Chiesa dalla Compagnia). Located in the center of the city on the main street Via Colombo, it was built between the 15th and 16th centuries. The church contains a triptych (a relief painting carved into three panels) of Jesus, the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist and, of course, a wooden statue of the Madonna.
Walk along Via Colombo: From the oratory of Santa Maria Assunta, walk along Via Colombo. , the main street of the village. Full of restaurants, bars and craft stores, it connects the upper part of Riomaggiore with Piazza Vignaoli. From this square you can easily reach the picturesque harbor.
What to eat and drink in Riomaggiore
The traditional dishes of Liguria are dominated by natural ingredients from the surrounding terraced fields and the sea. Below are some typical foods and drinks you will find in the local Riomaggiore. trattorias and bars.
Anchovies ( acciughe ) are a delicacy in these places, caught from these waters at least since Roman times. Lampare (anchovy fisherman) at night use lamps to lure fish into their nets. You’ll find restaurants serving anchovies fried with a coating of eggs, parmesan cheese and herbs, as well as dried, salted and canned in oil ( sott’olio ).
Pasta alla Genovese pasta with a classic, bright green sauce of basil from Genoa, pine nuts, Parmigiano-Reggiano and Pecorino cheese, along with garlic, salt and olive oil. Most often used to dress penne pasta, it is designated E.U. as D.O.P. (Protected Designation of Origin).
Focaccia is a Ligurian flatbread that can be seasoned or baked simply by adding a little olive oil and salt sprinkled on top. Served everywhere, it is even eaten for breakfast along with a cappuccino.
The white wines made in this part of the Ligurian coast are dry with herbal notes, ideal for pairing with seafood. There are usually more than 26 local producers from the grapes of Bosca, Albarola or Vermentino, so you are sure to find many varieties from the area.
Sciacchetrà is a local dessert wine made by the ancient method by which grapes are sun-dried to get the highest possible concentration of sugar. You’ll find a sweet wine served on special occasions with cheese or cake. There is even a Sciacchetrá museum in nearby Manarola.
Where to stay in Riomaggiore
If you are thinking of staying in Riomaggiore, you need to make reservations in advance. The number of hotels and guesthouses is limited, and in the summer, when crowds are at their peak, it’s almost impossible to find a room. If you want to avoid the crowds and sweltering heat during high season, consider visiting from early to late fall, when temperatures are mild and crowds are somewhat thinner. Winter can also be a great time to visit Riomaggiore, especially if you’re the type of traveler who doesn’t let a little rain dampen your enjoyment.
Some of the top-rated hotels in Riomaggiore include La Scogliera and Hotel del Sole.
How to get to Riomaggiore
By train: Located at the southernmost point of Cinque Terre, you can reach Riomaggiore by train from La Spezia or Levanto. From La Spezia, take the suburban train ( regional region) in the direction of Sestri Levante and get off at the first stop. From Levanto, take the regional train in the direction of La Spezia Central. After five stops you arrive at your destination.
If you want to save time and money, buy the Cinque Terre (Treno) card train, which includes the use of eco park buses, access to all trails and Wi-Fi, and unlimited train travel on the Levanto – Cinque Terre. – Spezia Line (second-class regional trains only). Prices for adult 1-day passes vary depending on the time of year, but currently (as of April 2019) range from €13 to €16; 2- and 3-day passes, discounted child passes and family passes are also available.
By car: Riomaggiore, like all Cinque Terre villages, is closed to traffic. If you plan to drive, you will find some small parking spaces outside of Riomaggiore and Manarola with commuter buses into town.Keep in mind that lots fill up quickly, so we recommend you use the parking on the waterfront in Monterosso al Mare or the parking in Levanto.
By plane: The nearest airports are in Genoa Cristoforo Colombo (GOA), in Pisa Galileo Galilei (PSA) and in Florence Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR). The nearest and largest international airport, Malpensa International (MXP), is in Milan.
Testimonial: Tour of Riomaggiore (Italy, Liguria) – Not a step on the flat plane.
It’s a great place to visit and it’s a great place to stay.
Our trip to Liguria in May included a visit to the municipality of Cinque Terre and the fairy-tale-colored village of Riomaggiore, nestled in the mountains between the rocks.
Once upon a time sailors painted their houses on the rocks so brightly that they, in a sense, replaced the lighthouse.
All noteworthy objects are indicated on the scheme still at the station.
Here it is practically impossible to take a single step on a flat plane: you either go up or down, and often quite steeply. So the movement itself on Riomaggiore is already exotic. Here’s the “grand entrance” and the stairs to our room
There are stairs that do not want to walk up).
We stayed here for two nights, although to get around all of Riomaggiore, with all the observation decks, should be enough for a few hours.
So many people do, coming here by train for half a day. However, we had planned the trip well in advance and hoped, among other things, for leisurely walks along the famous trail of love (connecting Riomaggiore and Manarola, length – 12 km) with picturesque views.
Unfortunately, it is still closed.
The very sight of the trail already tickles the nerves.
In the style of Riomaggiore was also an unusual hotel called Affittacamere Ca’ Dei Lisci
On the main street Colombo there are countless bars, restaurants, pizzerias for all tastes and wallets. The price level did not seem very high, lower than, for example, in Rapallo.
A bag of Italian “vobla”.
But there are some authentic trattorias with good food. For example, this fish “soup” (Zuppa di mare) will replace both 1st and 2nd in volume and will please you with the taste of various seafood.
Wine in all establishments is expensive – 3-4 times more than you can buy the same bottle in the store.
There are a lot of tourists leaving and arriving every day, it seems that it is comparable with the number of locals (population – one and a half to two thousand people). The platform is very short, half of the train will be in the tunnels.
Despite the abundance of objects for photos, a queue of tourists piled up to take pictures.)
As always amazed the Russian-speakers – from the harsh language (no one understands!) To the loud maxims like “Where we go to eat there and go to the toilet!
But even without the closed Via Amore there are plenty of hiking trails to take you on fascinating views.
Each turn of the serpentine trail reveals something unique in front of your eyes.
It was warm, but the excitement prevented us from continuing the swimming season that started successfully in Rapallo and Zoagli.
In different weather conditions, the sea and the rocks look different take on unique hues
But even in such a seemingly storm, the cruise ships were doing their job.
So, Riomaggiore is.
Exotic mountains ♦ nerve-racking hiking trails to travel in the mountains of Cinque Terre National Park. Exorbitant prices and a wide choice of dining out places that work almost around the clock (and usually it’s hard to get a good meal in Italy between 1 and 7 pm) Very good level of service in rented apartments.
Not enough room? Parking on the roof! ). According to the ads, parking costs 50€ per day!
Actually here it is all Riomaggiore squeezed along Via Colombo:
A number of viewing platforms will allow you to enjoy the views of Riomaggiore from all sides).