Having been to Italy before, I knew I would likely enjoy my maiden visit to Cinque Terre; I had no idea however, just how much. Riomaggiore is one of five picturesque villages that sit perched high above the Lingurain sea and make up what is simply known as Cinque Terre. The town is the first one you approach arriving from the South. One could easily make a day trip here from Pisa, but I would suggest staying longer. As an avid kayaker and hiking enthusiast, I never felt a minute of boredom while visiting the region for three full days. We rented kayaks for five dollars a day and were able to kayak to the nearby town, pulling ashore when we wanted to take a dip in the clear blue water. When we weren't kayaking, we were hiking through vineyards that line the cliffs overseeing the coast. Depending on one's ability, it takes about 5 to 6 hours to hike all five towns in a day. After a tough hike or long kayak, or leisurely swim, we would often find ourselves back in Riomaggiore enjoying a nice glass of the local white wine along with freshly made pasta and anchioves. Sitting atop our balcony every evening, I could watch the old Italian couple across the street from us hanging their laundry out to dry, or listen to the little children playing soccer down below. Even in the middle of July, Riomaggiore felt like a small Italian town that still remained undiscovered.
Riomaggiore is just one of the five charming villages that make up the area of Cinque Terre, or in English, the "five lands."
My mom and I stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Cinque Terre, and after missing the morning bus to take us into the first village of Riomaggiore, we decided to walk the two mile distance.
As we came around a bend of the winding road, we had our first glimpse of Riomaggiore. The view from above was breathtaking - it was the perfect distance to see all the details of the colorful houses, patios, and churches, but also to take in the larger, magnificent view of the Italian Riviera coastline.
We continued into town to grab a cappuccino and find the trailhead of the Via Dell'Amore, or the "Walk of Love," and believe me, it was love alright. Cinque Terre was surely love at first sight!