Have you ever seen one of those pictures that makes you wonder what heaven really looks like? Or do you want to experience the sunset at its very best? Then look no further than RIOMAGGIORE, a tiny village brilliantly nestled on the mountains of Southern Italy, beautifully echoing the music of the sea as it wrestles for freedom, yet whispering the sweet tales of romance many a people have built on the Italian Riviera.
On today’s post we will be exploring Italy’s most picturesque destination. Cinque Terre. If you are planning a trip to Cinque Terre you have two option, either you take a fight to Milan and then a train to Cinque Terre or you take a flight to Genoa or Florence and a Train to Cinque Terre. I will advise you take the second option as it’s a less onerous route. Although, if you are visiting Pisa then a road trip will be a much better option.
Five almost identical villages of Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia, Monterosso al Mare and Riomaggiore make the story of Cinque Terre a most magical one and by far the best place to visit on the earth.
However, on today’s post we will be focusing on my personal favorite Riomaggiore (I will advise you to visit all five villages as they are connected by rail and easily accessible, about 2-3 minutes between each village). The experience of Riomaggiore begins from the adventurous drive round the narrow roads to the calming walk on the narrow stair lined streets that connects several alleys and nooks to the village center. It is worthy to note that you can’t drive in Riomaggiore, the entire tour of the town itself has to be done by foot.
WHAT TO DO IN RIOMAGGOIRE
First on the list of things to do in Riomaggiore is HIKING, the village itself is fully pedestrian hence you can freely walk its streets without any horns blaring or angry Italian drivers cursing. However, if you want to add a bit of adrenaline to the hike, then head on to Via Dell Amore (it connects Riomaggiore to Manarola) or one of the other numerous hiking trails on the mountains. Guys, this hiking trail is supported by a net, I SAID NET. Anyway, as the name implies it’s a lovers favorite thing to do, as you can see hundreds of padlocks tied to the net as a sign of the eternal love people have for each other.
Secondly, visit the amazing tiny church at the center of the village, this cathedral is perhaps the tiniest you will see in all of Italy but, it is certainly one of the most impressive. It is filled with beautifully carved images of Mary and Baby Jesus, all telling a story. The story line changes during festive seasons like Christmas and Easter to reflect the story of the season.
Thirdly, visit the magnificent castle of Riomaggiore, It intimidatingly sits at the highest point of the village and is said to have protected the villagers from barbarians, pirates and bandits.
If you are in for some art or souvenir shopping the main street of Riomaggiore is the place to be, several little signs all around the village points you to the city center. You will also see several beautiful family owned Italian restaurants on this street, in addition, you can get some really amazing pizzerias and gelaterias here too J it’s still Italy you know.
WHERE TO STAY IN RIOMAGGOIRE
There are approximately 2 million tourist visiting this tiny town annually, therefore, reservations have to be made in advance in other to secure a decent accommodation. Alternatively you could plan your visit during the winter as the numbers are lesser then and more accommodations are available on Airbnb. In addition you could lodge in some little towns closer to Cinque Terre like Levanto and La Spezia. Accommodations are roughly between 40-150 euros in Riomaggoire and 24-120 in Levanto.
If you are on a road trip and choose to visit Riomaggiore then you should be fine, however, note that your car can only take you to the outskirts of the town as you will have to complete the rest of the journey by foot.
Alternatively, you can get a discount transport card which gives you access to several facilities, including an unlimited train ride to and from Levanto and La Spezia. The prices generally range from 12-16 Euros for a few days.
So dear friends, get your bags packed, your shoes tied and head on to Riomaggoire. Remember to send in your pictures and let us know how amazing your trip was.