Posted: 2009-09-28

Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the eastern-most village in The Cinque Terre.  We began this year’s visit to the area with a week-long stay in Riomaggiore.  This village gets its fair share of tourists, but it is still charming. There is only one little hotel, but there are plenty of rooms and apartments for rent.  We had a nice little studio apartment above the marina.  From our balcony, we could see the day tourists walking past the harbor out to the look-out point to take a photo or catch the ferry to another village. 


We stayed in the red building - you can see our white patio furniture on the balcony just above the sidewalk


A view of our apartment with the living/dining room in the foreground and the bedroom in the background


Our balcony looked out over the water


Our kitchen was little but it got the job done


Is that the shower right next to the sink in the bathroom?  Why, yes, it is.  Our bathroom was the shower with a drain in the middle of the bathroom floor.  Sounds like a great space-saving idea until you have to mop up water off the floor, the toilet, the sink, after every shower…

Like the other villages in The Cinque Terre, there is one large, main street which connects the small village center with the highway up above.  The only cars allowed on this street are delivery vans for the stores, emergency vehicles, and personal cars for handicap access.  Everyone else with a car has to park up at the top of the hill and walk down into town.  Most of the shops and restaurants/caf├ęs are located on this main street.  The other streets in the village are more like narrow sidewalks that wind around and go up and down the hillsides.  There are lots of steps, too, when the terrain gets too steep.  It seems like no house or building is on the same level as its neighbor.


The view from our apartment


Another view looking towards the sea

The tourists in Riomaggiore tend to stick to the same circuit - they go from the train station to the village center to the marina and then back to the train station.  If you allow yourself to wander off the beaten path, you discover the real heart of the village.  I took photos of the 2 churches in the town.


The main church is on a small square up above the village


The church interior has arches painted black and white, a traditional decoration in this area


The smaller chapel in town has the ambulance parked next to it for some reason


This chapel is so small that I was standing in the front door when I took this photo, but notice the glass chandeliers for lighting

Riomaggiore is the start of the Via dell’Amore (Lover’s Walk) to Manarola.  This is the first leg of the coastal trail which links the five villages of The Cinque Terre.  This is also the easiest (and most popular) leg of the trail because much of it is paved and flat, and it’s only a 20-minute walk between the two villages.  We’ve walked this path several times because it’s often quicker than waiting for the train.  It’s also nice at night to make the walk home after a long, lazy meal.  A little exercise feels good, and it’s oh-so romantic - the sound of the ocean waves crashing on the rocks below, the stars up above…  Just watch out for the mud puddles in the dark!


The Via dell’Amore is crowded during certain times of day


At other times of day, it is empty - by the way, does this photo remind you of the walkways of Parc Guell in Barcelona by Gaudi? (Check out the blogs from March/April)


The Via dell’Amore has this bench where people get their picture taken while they are kissing - no, Chad and I did not get our picture taken because we were fighting off the crowds in the tunnel


It is tradition for people to leave padlocks by the kissing bench - you write your initials on the padlock and then lock it to the fence, and this is supposed to ensure your commitment to each other - we figured that we had already committed ourselves during our wedding, so we could spend our “padlock” money on gelato, delicious!

-Julia Abbott

Comment

Ana
2009-09-30

Very nice... I like this village.

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