Riomaggiore was the first of the 5 villages of Cinque Terre that I visited since it is the closest to La Spezia, the town where my hotel was. The village -with less than 2.000 residents- dates back to the 13th century and is everything you imagine Cinque Terre to be: colorful houses built along the rocks, narrow streets, laundry hanging outside the windows, a small port with fisher boats and little cafes and restaurants waiting for the tourists (of which there are plenty).
All five towns are connected through hiking paths and the one leading from Riomaggiore to Manarola is probably the most popular one. The so called “Via dell’Amore” (you can read the reason for the name here) is a 1 km long path along the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Gates and fences along the way are full of love locks.
Unfortunately the path is closed at the moment due to landslides.
The day I visited the boat service between the southern villages of Cinque Terre was suspended due to the stormy sea, so the only option to get to and from Riomaggiore was by train. A day ticket for the trains in Cinque Terre costs 10€ and is available at the Cinque Terre information points at all train stations.