"Life in the Cinque Terre" Top 5 Page for this destination Riomaggiore by toonsarah

Riomaggiore Travel Guide: 291 reviews and 941 photos

Finally we have visited a place that has been on my wish-list for several years, Italy’s beautiful Cinque Terre. We based ourselves in the southernmost of its five villages, Riomaggiore, and spent a happy few days exploring our surroundings and enjoying the local food, wine and ice cream.

Riomaggiore, like all the Cinque Terre villages, is set on the steep hills that line this coast. It is divided into two by one of these hills, at the top of which sits a small castle. The station is in the northern half, while the picturesque harbour, main street and most of the more interesting old buildings, as well as accommodation, are all in the southern one. We found it an excellent base for our stay in the area, and a great one in which to get a feel for the Cinque Terre – the history, culture and way of life of the people who for centuries have carved a difficult living out of this unyielding soil and mountainous terrain.

In fact, one of the things that most fascinated me about Riomaggiore, and the Cinque Terre region in general, was watching how people lived here, which is in many respects just how they must have lived for centuries. This is an unforgiving landscape for human habitation – steep, stony hillsides do not lend themselves easily to cultivation, even of such tolerant crops as olives and vines, and they are little better when it comes to building as it is so hard to find a level surface on which to lay your foundations. Yet people do live here, and the villages thrive despite these challenges.

Visiting the Cinque Terre

We visited all five of the Cinque Terre villages during our stay: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. As Riomaggiore is where we stayed, I will group all of my tips about the region as a whole here, rather than repeat all of them five times.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful scenery, good food and wine - Italy ar its best
  • Cons:A little too crowded in the height of the season
  • Last visit to Riomaggiore: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated Mar 15, 2016
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Reviews (30)

Comments (27)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Dec 9, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    Thanks for the tour Sarah. I have seen this many times on Television, now I know more from you informative page!

    • toonsarah's Profile Photo
      Dec 10, 2013 at 1:12 AM

      Thanks for visiting Dee. The Cinque Terre are somewhat over-hyped but for a reason, as this is a really stunning coastline

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Jun 8, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    The places you visit are like from a perfect picture postcards. Great page!

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2012 at 4:59 AM

    Sarah, I haven't gotten through all your Cinque Terre pages yet but have a feeling I'll be adding many to my trip planner. We'll be there for 3 nights in May (Monterosso, most likely) and I can't wait!! Your photos of this region are just stunning.

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Mar 10, 2011 at 12:14 AM

    Superb page. I have copied a lot of your tips in my trip planner, especially your restaurant tips :-). Thank you for all the good information.

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Dec 20, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    Well-written, interesting, accompanied by great pictures. I'm thinking of visiting CT in summer, so reading your tips was a nice introduction.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Jul 19, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Great page Sarah!

  • foona's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    Great pages on CT! We could have bumped into each other in one of the villages last summer!

  • tpal's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2010 at 1:24 PM

    Hi Sarah, Beautifully written, well crafted, practical, informative and entertaining. This is truly a wonderful page. Carol and I will stay in Riomaggiore this October. Your page is a great resource and an inspiration. Thank you...Tom

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Nov 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM

    Hello, Sarah! You have great stories and pictures! Thanks for your virtual tour! ><><><><><

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2009 at 8:32 AM

    yes, unfortunately, this is one of the areas of Italia that we have not spent time in yet either; we also were disappointed in the food this past Spring in some French countryside restaurants! but even so, it's making me hungry! great efforts and tips!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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