Riomaggiore is not only the most eastern village of the Cinque Terre (and the first that you will reach coming from La Spezia) but probably also the most antique one.
A legend narrates that the village's origins date back to the 8th century, when it was founded by a group of Greek refugees, escaped from the iconoclastic persecution by Leo III.
The first written evidences concern the village's passage from the Fieschi to the Republic of Genoa in 1276. With its most antique houses, the village is able to give a first impression of the typical architecture of the Cinque Terre which has to be adapted to the lack of place.
The antique houses are towerhouses with 3-4 floors with two rooms on every floor which are connected by stairs.
The main street is a covered brook, the Rivus Maior, which gave the village its name. From the main street depart a lot of small side streets that wind in the middle of stairs, tunnels and arches.
Recent restorations have given back the splendor of former times to the arches, taking down the superstructures of the 1950s.
It seems that the houses have been constructed without system - with their fronts in yellow, pink, ochre, and blue they will fascinate you immediately.
Riomaggiore owes its fame to the painter Telemaco Signorini from Florence, who from 1860 onwards stayed several times in Riomaggiore, and who painted in several pictures the village's characteristics.
- The parish Church San Giovanni Battista - The parish church S. Giovanni Battista was constructed in 1340, and can be found in the village's higher part.
In 1870 the front seemed to break down, and was therefor reconstructed in neo-gothic style.
Only the rose-window has not been changed. You should have a look at the ogival arches that divide the inside in three ships, the wooden crucifix by Maragliano, and the Baptist's Preaching by Fiasella.
- The medieval castle - In the village's north-west, on the hill Cerricò, there are remarkable rests of the Castle (centuries XV-XVI); here you can also find the old cemetery; from the castle you can see Monterosso, and a big piece of the sea.
In the surroundings there is the oratorio of S. Rocco, of 1480 (the year is written on the door).
- The Sanctuary of the Madonna of Montenero (have a look at "Excursions") - The legend narrows that the building is found by Greek refugees in the 8th century, but the first historical account dates back to the year 1335; at the end of the 19th century a reconstruction was carried out, which constitutes the actual structure..
- To the Madonna di Montenero - 341 m - path N. 3 a - 1 hour At the village's south-east starts a path which will bring you to the Sanctuary.
Almost the whole path is in the shadow, however, it is quite hard to arrive, as from the sea level you will reach a height of 300 m from where you will have a fantastic view along the whole coast.
Until the 11th century, the sanctuary was the parish church of Riomaggiore.
From here you can follow the path N. 3 as far as Telegrafo, where you can take on your right the path N. 1.
- To Manarola - spath N. 2 - have a look at the "blue path".