Colourful houses, beautiful cafes, restaurants, tourist shops create a lively atmosphere. The view of the harbour is magical, that’s why you will meet many visitors there trying to capture it in their photos.
Together with Manarola they are the most touristic of the five villages. The first thing one encounters is the emphasis on outdoor art, spread over the large walls and inside the tunnel that connects the station to the main artery of the village, Via Colombo. At the end of the street is the Riomaggiore marina, from where all the spectacular photographs of the case torri, or “tower-houses”, are taken.
In the restaurants you will taste the famous wine from the vineyards of the area, while from the edge of the village, following the signs, you will reach the gate of the path called Via dell’Amore that connects Riomaggiore to Manarola.
It is the most “photogenic” of the five villages, thanks to its beautiful marina and its colourful houses. The adventurous can dive into the crystal clear waters from the edge of the harbour and the adventurous can discover the area by climbing up to the church of Agios Lavrentios, with its breathtaking views.
An even more beautiful view can be found by climbing up to the centuries-old church of St. Lawrence and the square in front of it, at the “upper end” of Via Discovolo, where you will find more peace and quiet, since most of the crowds don’t dare to climb up here. The dives continue about halfway to the next village, under the train station.
It is a picturesque village with authentic character and beautiful alleys. It offers unique experiences for those who want to relax, enjoy their aperitivo in peace and quiet and discover its “secrets” by strolling through the alleys.
This is the only non-coastal village, but that hardly takes away from its charm. More authentic, more “human”, more economical than the other four, this village is more like a mountain village on a Greek island.
It has pretty little cafes, bars in flowering courtyards, craft shops and narrow cobbled streets with charming old people in a state of permanent siesta, which end in glades such as Santa Maria Belvedere and St Caterina, with wonderful views of the vineyards of the green hillside.
The village is fortified behind the Doria Castle with the imposing Belforte, the cylindrical tower that has overseen the port for six centuries. The Marconi Square is a trademark of the area and a meeting point for locals and visitors alike. Beautiful cafes and restaurants offer traditional Italian recipes for those who want to enjoy the local cuisine.
If you still prefer the simple and beautiful to the ‘dramatic’ and impressive, take Via Roma to discover the charming photogenic alleys of Vernazza. Halfway along the route, near the station, you’ll also find a rocky gateway that looks like a cave, but actually ends in a lovely beach.
The last village, the “Red Mountain by the Sea”, rewards the visitor before he or she even arrives, thanks to the strenuous but enchanting hiking trail that connects it to Vernazza. In the heart of Monterosso you will find the Borgo Antico, the “ancient” side of the town, the castle and the Aurora Tower that separates the ancient from the new town. You will admire the statues honoring famous Italian personalities and the relief of the “Giant” on the rocks.
Here you will also find the most organized beach of Cinque Terre, the Spiaggia di Fegina. This village offers easy access to the popular Italian fishing village of Portofino.