Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

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I’ve had the pleasure of visiting the enchanting Cinque Terre region twice, and on my second trip, I chose to stay overnight in the charming cliffside village of Riomaggiore. Even though Northern Italy experienced one of its worst floods during my visit (you can’t control the weather and a lesson on going with the flow), limiting my time in the sunshine, the captivating allure of this colorful town still shone through. After exploring all five of the famous Cinque Terre villages, I can confidently say that Riomaggiore, along with Vernazza, is the ideal base for your Italian Riviera adventure.

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Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

In this comprehensive travel guide, I’ll share my personal experiences and insider tips to help you make the most of your stay in Riomaggiore. From the best accommodations and must-try local dishes to the top activities and hidden gems, I’ve got you covered. Get ready to fall in love with this picture-perfect slice of Italian paradise and discover why Riomaggiore should be at the top of your Cinque Terre bucket list.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/riomaggiore-cinque-terre-italy/

How To Get To Riomaggiore 

Riomaggiore is the southernmost of the five Cinque Terre villages. The easiest way to arrive is by train:

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  • From the south (Pisa, Florence, Rome): Change trains in La Spezia, then it’s a quick 8 minute ride to Riomaggiore
  • From the north (Genoa, Milan): Transfer in Levanto, then a 20 minute local train
  • Between the five villages: Frequent 5-10 min trains connect Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso

Helpful Tip: Always validate your ticket in the machines before boarding and watch for pickpockets on the trains.

While driving is possible, parking is very limited and expensive (around €35/day). It’s best to park in La Spezia or Levanto and take the train in.

Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

Where To Stay in Riomaggiore Hotels ,Guesthouses & Airbnbs in Riomaggiore

For the full local experience, rent a charming apartment with a view. There aren’t any hotels.
Orto al Mare | Small affordable studio close to everything Oltre | Stylish 1-bed, quiet with stunning sea views

Best Things To Do in Riomaggiore Cinque Terra

All the things to do in Riomaggiore below

Explore the Old Town Riomaggiore

 Wander the narrow alleys and climb the stairs up to the Church of San Giovanni Battista and Castello, taking in the pastel buildings and sea views. Don’t miss Via Colombo, the tunnel leading to the harbor, and Bar e Vini a Piè de Mà for a drink with a view away from the crowds.

Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

Visit the Famous Via dell’Amore 

While currently closed for repairs, you can still admire the “Lover’s Lane” trailhead gate covered with locks left by amorous visitors.

WHAT TO DO IN Riomaggiore

Hike the Cinque Terre Trails

The Riomaggiore-Manarola and Riomaggiore-Corniglia sections of the famous Blue Trail are closed, but you can still hike:

  • The higher trails connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola, Corniglia, Volastra, and Telegrafo
  • The open coastal section from Corniglia to Vernazza to Monterosso
  • The €7.50 1-day Cinque Terre Card covers hiking & train travel between the villages
Ultimate Travel Guide To Visiting Riomaggiore In Cinque Terre italy

Swimming in Riomaggiore Italy

 Take a dip in the crystal clear waters or rent a kayak/boat to explore the rocky coast. The best swimming is from the rocks near the harbor and the pebbly beach just beyond.

Riomaggiore boat tour

Boat rentals and tours leave from the marina. You can also book the most popular thing to do in Riomaggiore–– this sunset boat tour.

Sunset Drinks & Dinner 

 Grab a bottle of local white wine and stake out a spot on the harbor rocks or trail above for a breathtaking sunset. Follow it up with an alfresco seafood dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants.

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/riomaggiore-cinque-terre-italy/

Food Experiences in Riomaggiore

Eat & Drink Like a Local   Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre are a food-lover’s paradise. Must-tries include:

  • Trofie pasta tossed with fresh basil pesto, a regional specialty
  • Cone of frittura mista (fried mixed seafood) from Tutti Fritti
  • Focaccia, farinata (chickpea pancake), and other Ligurian classics
  • Locally-produced dry white wine Cinque Terre DOC and sweet sciacchetrà
  • Anything with the iconic Ligurian anchovies (acciughe), especially fried
  • Gelato in flavors like honey, lemon, basil, pine nut, and olive oil

Riomaggiore Bars &  riomaggiore restaurants Bars:

  • Enoteca Dau Cila | Beautiful sea-view terrace, excellent seafood and pasta
  • Rio Bistrot | Delicious food, amazing view from the upstairs
  • patio La Lampara | Classic dishes, close to train station, handsome staff
  • Trattoria La Grotta | Hidden gem, small menu of traditional dishes
  • Il Grottino | Romantic atmosphere, regional wine and specialties Bar
  • O’Netto | Local hangout, good wine and cocktails, lively vibe La
  • Conchiglia | Aperitivo with a view, right above the harbor
  • Vertical Bar | Trendy spot for a night out, DJ sets in summer

Helpful Tips:

  • Make dinner reservations to secure a table at popular spots
  • Avoid restaurants with picture menus and aggressive touts
  • Look for “dal mare al piatto” signs for the freshest seafood
  • Remember coperto (cover charge, €2-3pp) and servizio (10-15%) on bills

Getting Around in Riomaggiore and Cinque Terra

 Riomaggiore is small and walkable, but hilly. Comfortable shoes are a must for the many stairs and cobblestone streets. 

tip: keep this in mind when you are booking a place to stay as most of them don’t have elevators and you’ll have to lug your luggage upstairs

Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/riomaggiore-cinque-terre-italy/

When to Visit Riomaggiore Best time to visit

 Spring (Apr-Jun) and fall (Sep-Oct) have mild weather and fewer crowds. Summer (Jul-Aug) is peak season – expect heat, higher prices, and more tourists.

Budgeting Cinque Terre riomaggiore

 The Cinque Terre is not a cheap destination, especially in summer. Expect to pay premium for accommodations and food with a view.

  • Budget at least €100-150/night for a basic double room, €150-300 for something nice with a terrace or balcony
  • Sit-down meals €25-40pp, a cone of fried seafood €5-8, gelato €2-4
  • Aperol Spritz €5-8, glass of wine €4-10, cocktails €8-15
Coco Tran — Curated Aesthetic Travel Blog By Film Photographer Coco Tran https://cocotran.com/riomaggiore-cinque-terre-italy/

what to Pack and bring to riomaggiore Cinque Terre

Besides the usual Italian summer essentials (sun hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle) bring:

  • Picnic supplies (corkscrew, plastic cups, knife, napkins) for sunset aperitivo
  • Quick-dry towel, water shoes/sandals, and a waterproof phone case for swimming
  • Cash (many small businesses have a minimum or charge for cards)
  • Flashlight or phone light for navigating the dimly-lit streets after dark

Useful Italian Phrases to know

 A little Italian goes a long way in Riomaggiore. Some key words:

  • Ciao (informal hello/goodbye), Buongiorno/Buonasera (formal, morning/evening)
  • Per favore (please), Grazie (thank you), Prego (you’re welcome)
  • Permesso (excuse me, for passing), Scusi (excuse me, to get attention)
  • Il conto (the bill), Bagno (bathroom), Acqua (water), Vino (wine)

FAQs

Are the Cinque Terre villages wheelchair accessible?

Unfortunately the Cinque Terre’s very hilly terrain and countless stairs make it very challenging for wheelchairs and people with limited mobility. Only Monterosso has a (small) section that is wheelchair accessible.

Is Riomaggiore expensive?

Like all of the Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is not a budget destination, especially in peak summer season. That said, by staying in an apartment rental and shopping at the local alimentari (grocery store) you can keep costs down.

Can I swim in Riomaggiore?

Yes! While Riomaggiore doesn’t have true beaches, there are rocky areas along the harbor coastline perfect for a dip in the clear blue water. For an easier entry point, head to the pebbly cove just past the ferry dock or rent a boat to find your own private swimming spot.

How many days should I spend in Cinque Terre?

While you can see the highlights of all five villages in 2 days, I recommend at least 3-4 full days (4-5 nights) to really soak up the magic of the Cinque Terre without feeling too rushed. Hike, swim, boat, eat and drink your way through the region at a slower pace to get a true taste of la dolce vita.

Parting Thoughts about Cinque Terre Riomaggiore italy

Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre are the definition of picture-perfect Italy. By making this charming village your base, you’ll get to experience the true essence of this captivating corner of the Italian Riviera. Breathtaking scenery, mouthwatering cuisine, friendly locals, and that laid-back coastal lifestyle – it’s the recipe for an unforgettable Italian adventure.

Despite its popularity and the crowds of day-trippers in peak season, Riomaggiore has retained its authentic charm. Stay a night or two, venture off the beaten path, and you’ll quickly fall under its spell. Trust me, this is just the beginning of your love affair with Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre.

I hope this guide has given you a taste of what makes Riomaggiore so special and inspired you to plan your own escape to this Mediterranean paradise. Go on then – find yourself a room with a view, raise a glass of local white, and watch the sun melt into the shimmering sea from your perch above the pastel harbor. Salute!

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