From Monterosso, it takes about 15 minutes to arrive in Riomaggiore. We skipped the three beautiful villages in the middle. Because, Riomaggiore is the 2nd largest village of Cinqueterre. Also, it holds the Crown for having the best point of view of the colorful villages, as well the outdoor activities such as trekking and hiking with a view.
It is possible to buy a all day train pass to go to each villages. Which would cost about 16 euro. Or by foot via the coastline path. However, that would be long and physical. But totally worth doing so, if you want a good hiking experience. Unfortunately, one of the highlights of Riomaggorie which is the beautiful coastline walk called Via Dell’Amore was closed. It’s a path that take you to next village Manarola. The train ride takes about 5 minutes in between the villages.
From the train station, we had to take a long tunnel reach the City centre. The Design of the tunnel was exquisite in terms of the design. There were art works of mosics. Such as octopus, fishes, waves of Sea and many more. Once we were out of the tunnel, there was the city centre of Riomaggiore. Beautiful old colorful stone houses similar to Monterosso. However, everything was higher. Looks like the whole town was built on the hills. Therefore, the local needs to climb up and down every day for rest of their lives.
Our Apartment was upper side of the city as well. Next to a church. So, of course we didn’t have a choice but climbing with our backpacks. Luckily, we managed to have our check in time at 2 pm,. instead of 3pm. To spend our one hour extra time before the check in, we had some lunch with fried fish, seafood pasta and Bruschetta. Our apartment had a big balcony with one of the best point of view of Riomaggorie. The top of the colorful houses, green walls of mountain and a small portion of the Mediterranean Sea.
In the afternoon we went up near the near the Church of San Giovanni. Boy oh boy! The view from the church compound was a pure joy. It was such a treat for the eyes. color, mountain, ocean all in one. The church was built in 12th century. From there we walked even further up to the castle of Rio Maggiore which is locally known as Castellazzo of Cerrico. from where we enjoyed a classic scenic view of ocean with cliffs. It was first built to defend. Then it turned in to a cemetery. There was a little stair that took us downstairs till the main train station.
On the edge of the hill between the castle and the station, there were many trees full of orange and lemons. Beautiful trees. Of course there is a reason why this village is the headquarter of the Ciqueterre National Park. From the station, we took the tunnel to The famous marina. From where we saw a façades of colorful vertical buildings and the unique shaped mountain cliffs in the background. Our Final stop was to the famous stone beach. Which almost look like a private beach. We were the olny people there at that moment. However, one could only imagine the amount of people during holiday season.
It was a pleasant to experience to visit thia beautiful Italian villages of Liguria on the coast of Mediterranean sea. No busy city crowd. No screaming. No traffics. Sound of ocean. Would visit again in future. But I would certainly avoid the summer season.
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