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Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore and Manarola

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Cinque Terre |Riomaggiore

The village of Riomaggiore sits at the most southern point of the five villages and she’s splendid in her own way as well.  Riomaggiore straddles the cliffside, and the ravine that leads down to the water.  She comes into her own as the sun fades, and the light casts glistens over the buildings.  If you are an avid photographer, it is this time of day that you will wait for as the results will be so worthwhile.

Riomaggiore is also the start of the easiest, most unadventurous walk and therefore it rates lower on the reward scale.  Via Dell’Amore, is only a kilometre long and due to a rockfall that injured walkers in 2012 only a small amount has been repaired and is therefore open for the public to walk on.  But what it lacks in challenge, it makes up for in views across the water, such is it’s proximity to the Mediterranean.

Riomaggiore is the town that you can watch from a distance for hours on end.  Waiting as we did for the cloud to let the sun peep through, if only for a moment so that we could catch the shine on the coloured buildings.  Whilst she looks mighty fine anyway you look at her, when the sun is shining, she is truly something special.

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Riomaggiore
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Church of St Giovanni Battista

We caught the train here following our walks from Corniglia to Monterosso, and arrived at the train station which is down at sea level.  To get up to the town, you can catch a lift for 80 euro cents, but this doesn’t take you to the centre.  It does however assist in getting you up higher, without having to walk uphill.  We walked via a pedestrian tunnel and uphill through the town instead.

In Riomaggiore, like the other villages of the Cinque Terre, there is not a huge amount to do, other than what the natural resources offer up.  So, we just spent more time waking through the laneways and up and down the very steep stairs.  This way we get to see a little more into how the locals live, watching them carry their market shopping up the stairs, and struggle with their bags as they try to navigate the steps and the door at the same time.  We also watch them hang out their washing in the only way they know how (or have access to) – outside their windows, hovering hundreds of metres about the sea.

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The steep stairs of Riomaggiore

These villages are all about the views and where else can you get a better one (without having to walk the trails) than the “La Conchiglia” bar right at the top of Riomaggiore.

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La Conchiglia – bar with a view
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Moretti beers all round
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Sitting right on top of Riomaggiore

After drinks we head out to a viewing spot, hoping that the sun might peep out from behind the cloud so as to shine some light on this ever so gorgeous town.  Either way, I’ll be happy just looking back at her.

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Fishing boats of Riomaggiore

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Cinque Terre | Manarola

Back on the train once more so that we could visit Manarola, our final village of the Cinque Terre.  Again, this town was so beautiful, particularly looking back at it from across the water.  However, I refuse to shake Vernazza from its lofty place at the top of my list.

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Looking back at Manarola – unfiltered photos!
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Manarola village

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The Cinque Terre has earned it’s right to be one of the most unique and fascinating destinations in the world.  I will forever remember our time here and hope that others will add it to their list of places to see.

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