Riomaggiore is a small village in the pretty province of La Spezia, a province otherwise known as the “Italian Riviera”. Riomaggiore is the first village you meet when travelling north up the coast to the Cinque Terre from La Spezia. We spent a sunny day exploring and taking in the breathtaking views.
The Cinque Terre is a collection of five postcard-worthy, pastel villages. Over centuries the five villages have been home to local families that have built pastel coloured townhouses up the rugged hills that overlook the sea. Each of the five villages and surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cinque Terre area is a popular tourist destination, as we discovered.
Travelling to Riomaggiore
Rather refreshingly, theCinque Terre villages are pedestrianised so you cannot drive to them. You can reach the villages by train, boat or on foot. The train comes in from neighbouring towns, such as La Spezia (where we travelled from) The train ride is beautiful as it snakes along the coastline.
To this day the shops, restaurants and businesses in the Cinque Terre are family run and local. However the area is very popular with tourists. As we approached the centre of Riomaggiore, it was pretty busy, which made for a bit of a hot and frustrating walk at times. We visited in June in the middle of the day, so perhaps off-season or later in the evening may have been a better idea?
We walked the coastal path from the train station to the centre of Riomaggiore. The scenery along the way was incredible. The pathway that connects the five villages of the Cinque Terre is quite the adventure. There are steep steps, narrow walkways and views that will take your breath away. Every so often you’ll be walking down a narrow shaded alley between the townhouses. At the end of the alley you’ll come to a clearing and be met by the bright blue expanse of the Mediterranean sea.
Tip* I would recommend packing water. Also be sure to wear comfy shoes. You should also be prepared to climb some steep steps. You also need to remember the sunscreen. I used the Aloe Pura Aloe Vera Sun Lotion which worked a treat.
Despite the hustle and bustle of tourism a day visiting Riomaggiore is a real pleasure.