The Charm of Riomaggiore, Italy

One of the dreamiest places to visit is the lovely town of Riomaggiore, Italy. What makes it so?

Well, for one it is part of the Cinque Terre, a well-known section of in the coasts of Italy famous for its history and quaint and charming appeal. The Cinque Terre is one of the most touristy areas of Italy, and is thus bustling with people – both locals and foreigners – who flock to the various tourist spots, cafes and restaurants of the place.

Riomaggiore was believed to have been first inhabited by people in the 13th century, before becoming a recognized municipality a century later. Accordingly, the first people who lived in the area were grape and olive farmers who were looking for a better place to grow their produce. After being nomadic for some time, they finally found Riomaggiore and decided that the climate was perfect for such a trade.

Slowly, these folks built their houses near the coast, and as more and more of them arrived, more and more houses were built, the construction going higher and higher to the hilly parts of the coast. These stone houses, some colourful and some not, with the turquoise sea below, started toform one of the most picturesque scene ever painted or photographed. The small fishing boats docked in the rocky shores of the sea adds to the quaintness and charm of the whole scene.

There are many things to do in Riomaggiore aside from admiring the fantastic views.

The coastal area of Riomaggiore is a great place for a swim and some skin diving. The waters are warm for most parts of the year, and there are some coral systems that thrive in the place. They may not rival the famous Barrier Reef, but they are still worth noticing. The waters aren’t that deep as well, so the sea bed is pretty much flooded by the sun’s rays which add to the loveliness of the place. What makes the sea special is that it is part of the Cinque Terre National Park, making the coastal area a marine preservation – so you get to see some rare and special fish species swimming about, and a few dolphins and some whales if you’re lucky.

Another favorite activity of visitors is walking in the streets. Here you’ll get to pass by some of the historic houses that were built centuries ago. These houses are usually made from stones and have one or two floors to them, giving them that simple and rustic appeal. Some of these old houses have been turned in to cafes that offer a view of the sea, so you get to sip coffee or tea or the great local wines while enjoying the sunset.

There is also a walk path that is famous not only among tourists but locals as well called the Via Del Amore or the Love Way. This developed walk way takes you on a tour through the cliffs and rocky areas of the coast, and ultimately leads to Manarola, another town of the Cinque Terre which is best left to be discussed in another post in another time.

Photo by ben_newcomer on Flickr