Riomaggiore is the first of the five villages, coming from La Spezia. It has about 2000 inhabitants, which makes it, together with Monterosso, the biggest village of the Cinque Terre. The first references to the village date back to the twelfth century.
Riomaggiore is spread over two valleys. At sea level, the two parts of the village are connected to each other through a tunnel (approx. 200 meters long). Higher up, there is also a road. The houses have the typical Ligurian colors (red, pink, ocher) and lean against the slope.
If you arrive by train (1), you're in the smallest part of Riomaggiore. In front of the station, to the left, is a restaurant. You have three options:
In front of the station, there is a room where you can drop your luggage.
church dating from the 15th century, located on the main street in the upper part of the town. Above the altar, there is a triptych, representing the Virgin Mary with child, flanked by Saint Francis and Saint John. To the left of the altar is a wooden statue of Mary with child, dating from the 14th Century. It is called the Madonna delle Catene (Madonna in chains). The chains refer to the period where the Muslims invaded the region, putting the local population in chains and asking for ransoms to free them.
Small church in the upper part of town, dating from the 14th century, which was rebuilt in neogothic style in the 19th century. The rosas of the church, which is in typical ligurian style, is flanked by the four evangelists. From the square in front of the church, you can enjoy a beautiful view on the roofs of the houses or Riomaggiore.
The first sources about a fortification date from the middle of the 5th century, but the first castle itself was probably from the 2nd century. The castle is square, with a round tower at the corners. It had to serve first and foremost to protect the population during raids from the outside. In the 8th century, the Castle fell into disrepair and it served as a burial ground. The restoration was only started in the last years and it is now being developed for small exhibitions, concerts and cultural events. Take your time and enjoy the wonderful views of the coast from the benches on the small square behind the Castle.
Sanctuary built in the 14th century, high in the hills above Riomaggiore. From the square in front of the Promontory, you enjoy a magnificent view on the Cinque Terre coast up to Punto Mesco. You can see the 5 villages in one view. To reach the Santuario, take the Sentiero N° 3 from the center of Riomaggiore.
The Santuario is part of the “Sanctuarii dei Cinque Terre", together with the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero in Riomaggiore, the Santuario di Nostra Signora della Salute in Manarola (Volastra), the Santuario di Nostra Signora delle Grazie in Corniglia (San Bernardino), the Santuario di Reggio in Vernazza and the Santuario della Madonna di Soviore in Monterosso.
Unfortunately, the most famous hike, between Riomaggiore and Manarola, has been closed since 2012, when a rock came down and wounded several Australian tourists.
There is an alternative, the Sentiero 531, as short, but much steeper.
The Telegrafo is located on the Sentiero N°1 (AV5T) in the hills behind Riomaggiore.
You can make great (and even easy) hikes and above all, you will have no problem to park the car and you will escape the crowds in the village.
This is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in the area, though not the easiest one.
To get back to the Riomaggiore, you can take the boat or a combination of bus and train.
Mor info on trains and boat schedules in our e-book.
In Riomaggiore, we joined forces with “A Pié de Mà’. The wine bar, with a big terrace, was built in 2007 by father and son Celano, respectfully integrated between the sea and the rocks.
The location is unique : at the beginning of the Via dell’Amore, at a distance of hardly 50 meter from the train station of Riomaggiore. The view on the coast is fantastic, especially when the sun sets in the west.
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From mid March till November 2nd, you can get a snack in the bar. In summer, they also open the restaurant (from 19.30 till 23.00 h)
Address : Via dell Amore 55
Reservations : 0187.921037 of +39.338.2220088 (Yvonne)
More info : www.apiedema.com
You can taste the following Cinque Terre DOC wines with a expert opinion from Yvonne Riccobaldi (only after reservation), who was elected best sommelier of Liguria in 2012.