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.
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.