Exploring Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore, last of the Cinque Terre hamlets for us and where we spent our last afternoon. Having been well and truly blown away by the four other villages, I feared complacency would have set in by Riomaggiore, so used were we to amazing views and stunning scenery. Perhaps this fifth little hamlet would not stand a fair chance, we might have become blase. Not so. Breath well and truly taken away, we all agreed this place is maybe even just a bit more gorgeous than the rest.

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Riomaggiore is probably the most characteristic of the Cinque Terre. It sits at the head of a valley and is a vertical village. All steps, there is not a bit of it that is flat. We steeled ourselves to spend a lot of time out of puff. I read somewhere that the people who live in this region develop certain physical characteristics to equip them for this tough terrain – we did see a lot of very fit grannies with strong leg muscles striding around, perhaps there is some truth in this rumour.

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Coming out of the railway station we turned right and found ourselves in a long tunnel leading to the harbour. No steps yet though, this was just a mild incline.

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I loved the harbour, beautiful and somewhere you could sit for hours and never get bored of the view or the comings and goings. The harbour itself is tiny and the jumble of colourful fishing boats piled up on the streets and the steep rainbow tower houses are picture postcard perfect.

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Husband found a little alleyway leading off the harbour with (yes) steps, so despite Son’s groaning we took it, climbed up forever but got the most incredible view of the sea and the harbour from on high. Well worth all the effort in my opinion.

05.27.053 - Riomaggiore

We found a fantastic ice-cream shop just by the harbour – the perfect thing after all those steps. Refreshed by gelato we carried on walking along a flat path by the sea. Black spiky rocks everywhere and those crashing waves again pounding onto the rocks.

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We retraced our steps through the first tunnel and found the other part of the village. More colourful houses plus an assortment of cafes, bars, restaurants and ice-cream shops. Another steep hill, much perspiring and we found ourselves by the castle and the church.

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Tier upon tier of stone stairways is my lasting memory of Riomaggiore and a labyrinth of gorgeous little streets. There were plenty of tourists by the harbour, but up here on high was where we saw most locals and an odd child who, though loathe to do all this climbing was full of beans when he spotted these steps – ones that we didn’t have to climb! 05.27.065 - Riomaggiore

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We all loved Riomaggiore and dare I say it, this was possibly my favourite Cinque Terre village. Sorry Vernazza, but Riomaggiore just inches into the top spot. With competition so stiff as here, that is really saying something.

05.27.066 - Riomaggiore

35 thoughts on “Exploring Riomaggiore

    • We came here in June and then in August spent a week in Belgium. Hadn’t thought about it at the time but you are so right – Flanders was very flat with not a hill or mountain in sight!! Maybe something inside telling us we had enough of hills and steps for a summer!!

  1. Just wonderful Joy! I think is the little village I associate with the Cinque Terre – I’m sure I’ve seen pictures of the little harbour before. You’ve done some wonderful posts on your trip and I think this surpasses the lot just superb photos (love the cat!) and a wonderful account of your visit thanks! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

    • I think most pictures I’ve seen also have been of Riomaggiore too Rosemary – so it was this place that really first tempted me to come here, I was definitely not disappointed! That cat was great – a real cheeky expression I think. Thanks for coming by and hope you have a great weekend too!!

  2. What a pretty place! Buildings remind me of Rovinj, Croatia and that photo of daunting steps looks like the alley I climbed to a guesthouse in Dubrovnik. I could feel your breathlessness!

    • It definitely does look a bit like Rovinj – never thought about that but I totally agree after reading your comment. Steps were bad, but sounds like you had it worse dragging a bag up to the guesthouse!! We were out of breath just dragging ourselves up.

    • We loved it too – definitely one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited – but then Florence is pretty special too!! We had a few days there at the end of this trip and enjoyed that gorgeous city as well.

  3. Such beautiful pics…..love Riomaggiore…sad we didn’t get to see all the cinque terre last time I was there….but that makes for a great reason to go back! Buona domenica!

  4. I’ve been to Riomaggiore twice, so this post brings back good memories. I’ve actually never seen the rest of Cinque Terre, because I spent all my time there eating and people watching (the pesto focaccia from a bakery there is the best I’ve ever had); I really must remedy that one of these days!

  5. Dear JLT, Thanks for liking my post on Montes Spluga. Please follow my posts as well.
    Cinque Terre is awesome!! this is on my to do list but I would rate northern Italy places bordering swiss/Germany are more scenic and serene. Places such as lake garda, lake como etc., right above Bresica/Milan are good.

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