riomaggioreRiomaggiore is considered to be the first village of the Cinque Terre by locals : in fact, Riomaggiore is the first one when you leave from La Spezia, at about ten miles going north-west. As all of the five villages, Riomaggiore is on the sea, and can also be easily reached by boat, with the ferry leaving from La Spezia sea promenade.

The village is also cut in two by the railway that goes to Genova and that in the Cinque Terre has one of its most stunning stretches, in the steep strip of land between sea and mountains. The train is the easiest, shortest and most beautiful way to get to Riomaggiore.

Originally built in the eighteenth century, the ancient center is situated in the valley of the river Rio Maggiore, the old Rivus Major from which the village takes its name and consists of several parallel orders of Genoese tower-houses that follow the steep course of the stream.

Riomaggiore is also connected to the next village by a path called La Via dell’Amore (the path of Love), a very romantic walk on the steep coast, from which you can see some of the most stunning views of the sea in the area.
If you like trekking, from Riomaggiore you can climb up to Volastra, across the most typical terraced vineyards, where the Sciachetra raisin wine is produced. Volastra is a fascinating ancient village, not visible from the sea, which is the reason why it was probably chosen as a shelter in times of attacks from the sea.
It was only after year 1000 that, thanks to the safer seas due to the expansion of the Republic of Genoa, the inhabitants of the primitive hill settlements could gradually go down to the sea, thus giving rise to the first nucleus of the village of Riomaggiore.