Riomaggiore

The largest of the coastal villages of the Cinque Terre, rich in history, tradition and splendidly colourful.

 

Lungomare di Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore is the first of the five villages the visitor reaches from La Spezia. The welcome it offers is immediately spectacular: two parallel rows of houses that almost appear huddled one on top of the other stretch down towards the sea, their pastel hues bringing a brushstroke of colour that contrasts with the crystal-clear blue of the waves, while narrow little alleyways snake their way through the village.

 

This truly unique scenery has inspired countless artists and painters throughout the centuries, with two beaches gracing the village area: one at the mouth of the Rio Finale stream, formed by the debris that gathered there when the railway tunnel was built, and the other beyond the cliffs, in an inlet after the Rio Maggiore stream.

 

As well as the delightful views, the ancient neighbourhood of Riomaggiore is also steeped in history, with the very first human settlements here believed to date back to the end of the 8th century AD with the arrival of Greek migrants. The village as we know it today and which came to be called Riomaggiore was formed at the beginning of the 13th century.

 

 

 

The coastal village of Riomaggiore became famous centuries later thanks to the Florentine painter Telemaco Signorini, who  – together with other artists such as Vincenzo Cabianca and Cristiano Banti – discovered the neighbourhood around the mid-19th century and decided to immortalise it in his works, now on display in a number of prestigious art galleries and collections in Europe and in America. Signorini subsequently became a frequent visitor to the area, where he spent the summer every year.

 

There are a wealth of sightseeing opportunities for the visitor in Riomaggiore, thanks to the village’s rich history. In addition to the typical houses built in stone and slate, there are numerous churches and sanctuaries, as well as the 15th-century Castle of Riomaggiore, which today hosts many events and cultural encounters. Some of the local monuments, such as the Sanctuaries and the Torre Guardiola watchtower, also offer the opportunity to take a walk along the hiking paths of Riomaggiore, delving right into the natural landscape of the Cinque Terre.

Scorcio di Riomaggiore

 

 

 

Borgo di Riomaggiore Cinque Terre

The churches and sanctuaries include the Church of San Giovanni Battista, the Oratory of Nostra Signora Assunta, the Oratory of San Rocco and the Sanctuary of Montenero. Built for the most part between the 14th and 15th centuries, these places of worship are home to objects of considerable artistic value, such as wooden statues, paintings and sculptures.

 

Last but not least, visitors should not miss the splendid Grotta dell'Eremita, or Hermit’s Cave, where Don Andrea Fresco retreated from the outside world at the end of the 19th century. The cave offers marvellous views along the whole coastline, while inside you can still admire the niches and sculptures carved out into the rock.

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