Riomaggiore Things to Do

  • View from our balcony.
    View from our balcony.
    by Henrik_rrb
  • Newly married couple in the streets.
    Newly married couple in the streets.
    by Henrik_rrb
  • View from waterfront of Manorola
    View from waterfront of Manorola
    by TooTallFinn24

Most Recent Things to Do in Riomaggiore

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    Saint Giovanni Batista

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Oct 4, 2013
    Exterior of Saint Giovanni Batista Church
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    Walk the upper part of the village and you will no doubt run into the church of Saint Giovanni Batista. The church which is located on the side of a hill was constructed in 1340. It was built under the direction Antonio Fieschi, bishop of Luni. A major reconstruction of the church was undertaken in the late 19th century. A commerative sign outside the church summarizes its history as well as talks about plans for some reconstruction activity. Ironically, there is also a much larger and ornate church of St. John the Baptist just a few kilometers north in Monterosso.

    The church is somewhat unusual in that it has three aisles rather than two. The aisles are separated by large arches. The church is open to the public and there is no fee to enter. Donations are gratefully accepted.

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    Hike or Take the Train Over to Manorola

    by TooTallFinn24 Updated Oct 2, 2013

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    View from waterfront of Manorola
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    Located just a few kilometers north of Riomaggiore is one of the most picture perfect small towns I have ever seen. It can be reached by a three minute train ride or currently taking the high trail from Riomaggiore to Manorola. Once there Manorola is an absolute pleasure to walk around especially by the waterfront. It is smaller than Riomaggiore and that is particularly noticeable from the more limited number of casual restaurants.

    However the views from the waterfront are spectacular providing a pastel rainbow of wonderful colors. Just walk down the main street of town out to the water. From the edge of the concrete where the boats are tied up look back at the town. Fabulous! Then look towards the south and start out on the trail to Corniglia. Even more outstanding views of Manorola await. It's a mysterious wonder how all the colors of homes and businesses blend so well together as they lay along the steep hills of the town. Something that is indeed unforgettable and as a bonus it is free to all.

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    An Alternative to Trail # 2 May 2013

    by TooTallFinn24 Written Sep 30, 2013

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    Alternative Trail From Riomaggiore to Manarola
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    One of the more popular trails in the Cinque Terre, Trail # 2 between Riomaggiore and Manarola was still closed as of May, 2013. However the information booth in Riomaggiore had another alternative that begun above the station. It was a steeper trail than the one that traces along the water. There was also no on the trail to see that you had made the proper payment so we assumed that this trail was not part of the national park. Some areas of the trail are relatively narrow and steep. So steep in some cases and busy with other walkers that it was very difficult to get the camera out to snap a picture or two. We stopped several times and believe that the overall journey was under two hours.

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    Via dell’Amore: Tourist Trap?

    by riorich55 Updated Jul 9, 2013
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    If anything would come close to a "Tourist Trap" in this lovely little area of Italy it could possibly be the Via dell'Amore the walk of love. But like a lot of other frequently visited sites if you are there you will probably do it.

    Sue and I had walked above the city earlier in the day on another path that started right outside our bed and breakfast. After that hike, we walked back into town taking pictures every other minute. Nearing the end of the afternoon, and since we purchased a pass for the park earlier in the day we finally made it over to the easy walk for our trek to the only other Cinque Terre town we were able to visit that day, Manarola.

    Again, we took a number of pictures along the walk and since it was toward the end of the day and a bit of an overcast day in early May, we ran into only a handful of other people walking the path.

    Our daughter and son-in-law had honeymooned in Italy 7 months prior to our first Italy visit and we had seen some pictures that they had taken on their walk. We were actually looking for their "lock of love" and signature on a bench on the walk, but obviously with the thousands of locks, signatures and "other things" (see one of my pictures) we never did find theirs.

    In conclusion, I wouldn't really consider this a true tourist trap since the view is very nice and it really doesn't cost all that much

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    The post office

    by Henrik_rrb Written May 1, 2013

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    As I'm one of those who still like to send postcards when I'm out travelling one of the reasons for most irritation is the lack of stamps. Most places sell postcards on masse, but very few of them also sell stamps… And if they do it's only for national postage.
    Riomaggiore was great though, as not only was there a few souvenir shops that sold stamps, but also the post office was situated very central and easy to reach.
    Walk through the village, and just after the souvenir shops starts to end one will see a sign for post office on the left. Then just around the corner is the office. Open 8.20 to 13.45 monday to friday. The man behind the counter was very nice and service minded, and had of course all sorts of postage, as well as the local souvenir postcard for stamp collectors.
    Postage from Italy to Europe (april 2013) is 0,85 euro, while for sending a postcard further it's getting pretty expensive. Sent a postcard to Canada for 2 euro in stamps.

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    The fortress and the view

    by Henrik_rrb Written May 1, 2013

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    Il Castello, with a tower and the wall.
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    High above most of the village is the old fortress, il Castello. Two towers with a small wall between them, which nowadays is used more for exhibitions and meetings. And to get a great view over the Riomaggiore. The first tower was built in the 200s, to protect the villages down the coast from pirates. A few hundred years later the second tower was built up next to it. In the 800s the need for a fortress wasn't as huge anymore, and the place was changed into a cemetery. In modern time it has more been used for exhibitions, a restaurant and from what I can imagine also for weddings.
    The walk up to Il Castello is pretty steep, but once there the view is great. It's open from 9 to 20 every day, but apart from the view there is nothing else to do.

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    Walking around

    by Henrik_rrb Written May 1, 2013

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    Overview of the Riomaggiore
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    Riomaggiore and the rest of the villages in Cinque Terre is flooded with tourists. We were hoping to avoid the worst rush by being there early in the season, but apparently we weren't the only one with that idea…
    In any case it's wonderful to just walk around in the small village, visit the small shops, buy some local food and just sit down and relax. Or why don't walk up in one of the small paths and see how long time it takes before you get lost.
    When we were in Riomaggiore the Via del Amore were still closes, which was a bit sad. It's the easiest walking path between the five villages, but due to the flooding the year before it was shut down for security reasons. For those in really good shape one can walk up to the church on the very top. Either through the stairs, straight up, or via the road which goes around the whole mountain.
    We decided we wanted to survive this trip, so we skipped it. But apparently the view from the top should be great and you can see all the five villages from up there.

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    Hang out at the harbor

    by goodfish Updated Feb 11, 2013

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    The lower end of main street (Via Colombo) leads to the ferry dock, a tiny swimming beach, and serves as launch/storage/repair area for little fishing dinghies. This is one of the best spots for photos of the “case torri” that tumble down the steep hillsides, and there’s a bar with a nice terrace for cooling your heels before working your way back uphill or catching the boat to another village.

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    Around and about

    by goodfish Updated Feb 11, 2013

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    By the time we’d reached our last of the five villages we were pretty much burnt out on churches (some of which seemed to be closed anyway) and whatnot so our few hours in Riomaggiore were spent just pottering through narrow carruggi (alleys), up and down shadowy stairways, around to expansive overlooks and generally giving the camera a workout.

    The upper end of Via Colombo is where you’ll find most of the shops, bars and ristorante, and the "case torri” (tower houses) which line both sides all the way to the harbor once fronted the river - now paved over - from which the town is named. In medieval times, building houses tall enough on the hillsides for an entrance on a lower street and another on the street above provided a means of escape from raiding pirates.

    Via Colombo is also where you’re going to find the bulk of the crowds so if looking for some sanity, expending some sweat to escape to the loftier, less-visited districts is highly recommended.

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    Castello di Cerricò

    by goodfish Written Feb 10, 2013

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    High up on the righthand of the two hills (as you’re facing the water) that separate the town is the restored ruin of a 13th-century fortification whose curtain walls and double towers once kept citizens safe from pirate raids. Sea-going hooligans being a continual source of aggravation along the Ligurian coast, virtually all of the Cinque Terre villages had a fortress and watchtower of one sort or another. These "forts" sometimes also marked the sites of earlier settlements before migration into the valleys below.

    Called "Castello sul colle di Cerricò” or “Castle on Cerricò hill,” the crumbling structure was repurposed as an enclosure for the local cemetery in the 19th century but now serves as a center for environmental education. This is a great spot for overviews of town: you’ll see it perched up there from different locations near the train station or Chiesa San Giovanni so head uphill and you’ll run into it.

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    Via dell’Amore: the Freeway of Love

    by goodfish Updated Feb 10, 2013
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    (Lifted from my Manarola pages)

    Everyone else has written about this silly thing but what’s one more review, eh?

    The section of the Blue Trail (Sentiero Azzurro, #2 on a CT trail map) that runs between Riomaggiore and Manarola is more pedestrian highway than hiking path. It is flat; it is paved; it is short (about 1/2 mile); all of which makes it attractive to any tourist who can put one foot in front of the other.

    The “Way of Love” has less-than-romantic origins as the route to a shed used to store gunpowder. When the Genoa-LaSpezia railway line was constructed around the early part of the century, explosives were needed to blast a tunnel between between the two towns. The locals not being keen on keeping large amounts of volatile material in their already avalanche-imperiled villages, a trail was carved on the outside of the seaside cliffs and a warehouse strategically positioned in the middle for access to the powder from either direction.

    After the railway was completed, the locals decided that the path was a useful route for other purposes so they kept it shoveled of debris from frequent landslides and gave it name: Strada Nuova or “New Road.” The young men of one village found it especially convenient for canoodling with young ladies from the other, and their declarations of affection - scrawled or carved upon the rocky walls - eventually earned it the Italian equivalent of “Lovers' Lane.” Tourists have, as tourists do, run wild with this story and added their own graffiti as well as thousands of those little padlocks that are rusting away in spooning spots all over the world.

    Before 8:00 or so in the evening you will need a Cinque Terre park pass to walk it even if you don’t intend to do any of the other trails. Pick one of those up at the park office in the train station, near where the path begins, for (currently) about €5: be sure to fill out the back. There is also a small hut on the path itself where passes may be purchased. If you go on from Manarola to visit Corniglia on the same day, you may also use it to ride the little green bus that travels between the train station and the village.

    One warning: the path may occasionally be closed to landslides or maintenance - as it is at the time of this writing.

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    San Giovanni Battista

    by riorich55 Written Dec 4, 2012

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    152 years before Columbus discovered Americas the original San Giovanni Battista was built on the hillside in what now is the upper part of Riomaggiore. The current facade of the church that you see today was widened in 1870 and partially rebuilt in Neogothic style.

    Although our inside pictures did not take, except for the ones I took of the children's drawings, if you are in Riomaggiore stop in for a peak.

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    Take a Hike - Part 2

    by riorich55 Written Aug 10, 2012

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    The Bridge Above
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    As we continued are hike above Riomaggiore we finally came upon a road probably about 2/3 of the way to the very top. The original intent of the hike had been to go up to see a small chapel high above Riomaggiore, but upon seeing the steepness of the final 1/3 up to the very top we decided that the chapel wasn't all the important to see, so we opted to walk down the road a bit as it was a nice flat walk.

    From the first picture you could get a sense of the potentially dangerous plight of torrential rainstorms in the area that knocked out the region the previous October. In fact Riomaggiore, means major river and in fact the actual river runs right underground on the main street that we had used to hike up to the bed and breakfast. I thought it would be interesting to take a hitchhike picture up here even though I have never ever hitch hiked in my life.

    As we kept walking along the road we would periodically take pictures of the sea way down below us and the winding curving road and various wild flowers that we saw along the way. Then as we rounded a curve we saw one of the 5 villages below. I knew we hadn't walked all that far, but did we walk far enough down the road to have reached the second of the Cinque Terre villages, Manarola? I suggested we venture down a path less taken and continue our exploration.

    Continued in Part 3

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    Take A Hike - Part 1

    by riorich55 Written Jun 18, 2012

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    The Pathway Starts
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    After we had arrived at our Bed and Breakfast after the long trek up the main street hill, checked in and had a chance to cool down a bit we thought we should get out right away and check out the area since we had less then 24 hours in town.

    Immediately outside the entrance to our Bed and Breakfast was a path leading up into the hills above Riomaggiore and since we were by now somewhat accustomed to walking up hill we figured let's go up some more.

    It was a cloudy, overcast day which was actually the kind of day for hiking uphill. Although the pictures are not full of sun, you do get some interesting photos of the surrounding areas and still get enough color from the buildings themselves.

    As we climbed the little path getting higher and higher above the town we passed by a number of small lemon trees and obviously plenty of vineyards. I think we may have passed some Olive groves also but I'm not 100% sure. The path was basically built with stone and we were obviously glad we had some good walking shoes with us on the trip to Europe (I had the same hiking shoes as last trip, but I finally convinced Sue that she did not need to be fashionable all the time and she had some better shoes to hike in this time.)

    On our path we only had one young couple pass us on the road and nobody coming down, so it was like we had the entire route to ourselves.

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    Manarola

    by croisbeauty Updated Jun 9, 2012

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    Manarola
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    There are five places which making Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre and my travel agent managed to skip three of them, Manarola, Corniglia and Riomaggiore. Would you believe it?
    We arrived at the small square above Manarola, which streched before us bathed in a sunshine. Everybody from the group eagerly waited to descend to the town and explore it. But then we were shocked again by our guide who said that we wont visit Manarola at all coz its not planned!!!

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