Riomaggiore trip planner
The Cinque Terre town of Riomaggiore
The port of Riomaggiore (taken form the path leading to the beach).Riomaggiore guide
Planning FAQRiomaggiore is among the best bases for exploring the Cinque Terre—conveniently at the southern end of the famous Cinque Terre trail, with several hotels and a trio of excellent rental agencies representing loads of apartments and rental rooms around town.
It is bustling but compact, with a single main drag lined with shops, grocers, and restaurants, surrounded by the narrow, stair-stepped streets typical of towns in the region.
Exiting the train station (if coming from La Spezia, keep walking in the direction the train was traveling, then head downstairs and and the tracks to get to the station), turn left to head to the Via del Amore and the start of the Cinque Terre trail.
Turn right for the modern new park office headquarters and info center (tickets for the park and trails, maps and guidebooks for sale, a cybercafe upstairs). Keep walking past the park info kiosk and through the tunnel beyond to get to the center of Riomaggiore.
The main drag, Via C. Colombo, is lined with grocery stores, bars, and restaurants (and, halfway up, a convenient laundromat). Partway up on the left—with a semi-interred entrance under a red-white-and-green sign than says "Cinque Terre Antiche"—is the little Museo della Memoria (Museum of Memory). This consists of a single room with a handful of antique oddments and accoutrements accompanied by lengthy plaques (in Italian and English) describing the local history, customs, and environments (land and sea). Frankly, it wouldn't really be worth the bother if it weren't already free (or, rather, included in Cinque Terre Card you need to access the trails anyway). It's open daily 10am–5pm.
At the foot of Via C. Colombo, the tunnel to the right heads back to the train station, while the tunnel to the left turns and heads down and out to the pretty little harborfront marina.
Keep walking along this path and around the headland to get to the town's small beach, a slope of smooth, bowling ball–sized rocks at the base of a high wall (where there are two showerheads for rinsing off—a nice touch, and unusual for Italy).
Riomaggiore rental rooms and apartments
Your best bet for finding a room or flat to rent in the Cinque Terre is in Riomaggiore, where there are several fantastic rental agencies, the first two of which below I have used personally in the past with excellent results. Prices varies widely based on size and location (and view—sea views tend to cost more), but expect a room or apartment for two to run about €60 to €120.
- Cinque Terre Holidays (Via Colombo 94, tel. +39-0187-760-073; www.cinqueterreholidays.it), about halfway down the main street on the left under a pink-and-white striped awning (though one of the Fazioli brothers, Luciano or Roberto, often meet arriving trains to drum up business); they also run a B&B.
- Mar Mar (Via Malborghetto 4; tel. +39-0187-920-932; www.5terre-marmar.com), with an office down at the bottom of the main street.
- Riorooms (Via Colombo 158, tel. +39-0187-920-192; www.riorooms.com), on the main street; reps four apartments.
- There are more rooms to rent listed at www.parconazionale5terre.it.
- Planning your time: Riomaggiore is my favorite base for the Cinque Terre, so I'd go ahead and look for a place to stay and spend the night. However, as far as the sightseeing in town goes, you can be "done" with Riomaggiore in an hour or two: strolling the main street takes all of five minutes; the little museum maybe 20–30 minutes; hitting the park office for intel another 10–15 minutes. You can lounge on the bouldery beach as long as you'd like.
- Admission to the trails: They now have the temerity to charge you to hike the old goat paths between the villages. This ticket is called the Cinque Terre Card, and you can get one valid for 1 day (€5), 2 days (€8), 3 days (€10), or 7 days (€20). It includes admission to the trails, use of the (frankly superfluous) tiny buses in some towns, the occasional elevator, and entry to a few tiny museums (local history here in Riomaggiore, wine in Manarola, and in Monterosso an aquarium and a museum of anchovy salting—no, seriously).
There are also versions of the Cinque Terre Card that include unlimited train rides or unlimited ferry rides. Unless you're planning to take more than two train rides during your visit, don't bother. A standard train ticket between any of the towns costs just €1.60 to €1.80, while the train version of the card costs roughly €3.50 to €16.50 more per day (meaning you'd have to ride the rails at least three times a day or more to make it worthwhile). And, while nifty, you're unlikely to ride the less-frequent ferry more than once as a sort of mini-cruise.
- How to get to Riomaggiore: Riomaggiore is on the regional Cinque Terre rail line, passing Manarola (2–3 min.), Corniglia (6–7 min.), Vernazza (12 min.), and Monterosso al Mare (7–20 min.).
In the other direction, Riomaggiore is 7–9 min. by train from La Spezia, where you can change for trains throughout Italy (sometimes you change at nearby Sarzana), including Pisa (75–95 min. total), Lucca (1:30–2 hr., with another change at Viareggio), Florence (2:15–3:33 hr., sometimes with another change at Pisa), and Rome (4:17–5:38 hr.).
- Take a tour from Florence: Our partners at Viator.com offer a well-regarded Cinque Terre hiking day trip out of Florence. It's a long (13 hours), but comprehensive tour, and leaves from the Florence train station at 7:30am. It includes bus transportation, rail travel between villages, hikes, a box breakfast, and lunch. Don't want to hike it? There's also a bus tour from Florence version that lets you walk the first, easy trail (Via dell'Amore), and also gives you time to wander four of the five villages (all save Monterosso; no great loss).
- Take a tour from Milan: Same as above, only leaving from Milano, the Cinque Terre Day Trip from Milan lasts 12 hours and stops first at Monterosso, from which you take a boat to Manarola, then hike the Via dell'Amore to Riomaggiore.
- Leave your luggage so you can hike the Cinque Terre: If you're just hitting the trail for a day and want to store your bags safely while you hike, there's a deposito bagagli (left luggage) at the train station-adjacent tourist office in Riomaggiore (tel. +39-0187-920-633). It's open 8am to 8pm; bags cost €0.50 per hour each.
- Hiking the Cinque Terre
- How to get around the Cinque Terre
- Hotels in the Cinque Terre (all the towns on one page)
- Other Cinque Terre towns: Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso al Mare
- Cinque Terre homepage
This material was last updated March 2011. All information was accurate at the time.
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