Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore Travel Blog

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Riomaggiore is just such a relaxing place to stay in, after my flight was delayed and a lot of pottering about on trains and platforms for 13 hours, arriving in the little town was like suddenly taking a load off my back. The houses are all brightly coloured, and it really has a holiday feel to it. Getting off the train, the first thing you are greeted by is a sight of the fantastically blue sea, sparkling and clear waters framed by dramatic rocky cliffs.

I knew I was going to like it here.

Excellent food, especially the cheap carbonara pasta and pesto pizza to be had from the little takeaway shop opposite our apartment, which was roasting hot inside but well worth the few sweaty seconds to grab a bite to eat. Besides, you always know you can jump into the crystal clear waters of the bay in just under 5 minutes of leaving the place, so it's not a big deal!

There was a gorgeous seaside bar set up on the cliffside that we frequented as often as we could, the sunset views were absolutely amazing.

If you're walking down to the bay in Riomaggiore, there is a staircase leading up to the left of the boat ramp and then a flat courtyard-like area, with the bar set at the far side of this next to the steps leading down to the beach. To the left of the bar is another set of steps leading up to the rooftop terrace, which is the best spot to sit for those last golden rays of the day.

Everyone in Riomaggiore seemed happy to be there, including the souvenir stall owners (usually a surly bunch), which made the atmosphere even more idyllic. Of course, there is the infamour Cinque Terre hike, which takes about 5 hours and runs through 5 towns along the Italian coast from Riomaggiore to Monterosso. Do NOT believe well-meaning friends who tell you it's a "casual stroll", it is a hike, and the part between Vernazza and Monterosso is especially difficult.

Start out early to avoid the baking midday heat, and wear sensible shoes so you don't get blisters. Also, the hike is definitely not suited to people who have a fear of heights, as there are some very narrow places and often no railing between the sheer drop down to the ocean and the path. The views along the walk are spectacular though, and well worth the pain (well, looking back on it well worth the pain, at the time I was willing to pay a large sum of money if a helicopter came down and took me straight to the beach to cool off).

Did I mention that there are a LOT of cats here? They're really cool, and with usual catty aloofness will deign to let you pet them...maybe.

clairerich81 says:
I just LOVED Riomaggiore - been twice! So beautiful!
Posted on: Aug 12, 2008
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photo by: Grpablo