Riomaggiore is the Cinque Terre village that makes little concession to the modern world: it was only recently that new houses and apartment blocks have been built, while the fishing sector has expanded. From this perspective, considering the fact that every night tourists can see fishermen on the sea, enticing fish using lights, one might say that Riomaggiore is quite a busy little place sunken in its centuries-old traditions.

During the day, all the action takes place on Via Colombo, the main street. On this thoroughfare, tourists can spot bars, restaurants, coffee shops and all sorts of venues where they can gear up for hiking, or for a simple walk on Via dell’Amore.

However, that’s about all that the modern world comes down to in Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore is quite an old village. The first historical document mentioning about the village dates from the beginning of the 13th century. Until the 16th century, quite a few tall, vertical houses were built on the village’s cliffs. All of them have two entrances – one in the front, on the street side, and one in the back. They were built this way in order to provide an escape route for the inhabitants in case of an enemy attack from the sea.

However, these houses are not the oldest architectural testimonies in the village. Here tourists can also spot an ancient stone castle. This castle was first mentioned in the 13th century, describing it as already being ancient. In the 19th century, the castle was transformed into a cemetery, whole parts of it being destroyed in order to adapt it to its new destination.

Even more, there have been found historical evidences that the entire Cinque Terre region has been inhabited since 1800 BC.

Besides the sheer beauty of reuniting with ancient history, tourists can visit the church of San Giovanni Batista, built in 1335, the Shrine of Our Lady of Montenerro (a church built in the 19th century, which attracts thousands of followers each year). Other places to visit are the Oratory of Santa Maria Assunta (built in the 16th century), the Oratory of Saint Rocco and the San Antonio Abbey.

From Riomaggiore, tourists can reach any of the other four villages in Cinque Terre, by following the hiking route of their choice.

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