As Rick Steves says in his Italy 2007 Travel Guide, Riomaggiore is a “fascinating tangle of pastel homes leaning on each other like drunken sailors.” An apt description. Starting from the south, this non-resort town is considered the first of the 5 hamlets that make up Cinque Terre. Perched precariously on a hillside leading down to the rock edge of the sea, this little town has a magic all its own.
There once was a major river that ran through the valley that is Riomaggiore - thus the name: local dialect river is “rio” and major is... you guessed it, “maggiore”. Today, this river ravine is paved over (same as all the rivers that once ran through these five towns). When the river was in existence, the town sported romantic arched bridges that connected the two sides of the community.
Now, those bridges are replaced with more modern roads. But, don't think that ends the quaintness of the first stop in Cinque Terre. It has many delights that you can only find while on foot, or taking a bus up into the hills, or an elevator ride that takes you to the top of the town.
Making the trek to the top of the town is well worth it. You'll be treated to spectacular views of the ocean and you can visit the church, perched high above or take some time to look at the murals of heroic fisherman and grape growers of the region on the walls of the city hall, painted by an Argentinian artist named, Silvio Benedetto. It'll be the part of your trip to Italy that you'll remember as the place you could take a break and not feel like you were missing anything.
Enjoy browsing through this Website. Look up some of the history of Cinque Terre, find out about hotels, rooms for rent (affitta camera) and quaint pensiones. And if you have a desire to learn Italian, you can find out more about that too. But whatever you do, go to this beautiful place, respect the locals and enjoy all that these “five lands” by the sea have to offer.
Return from Riomaggiore to My Cinque Terre home page.