Riomaggiore and its Madonna di Montenero
Riomaggiore is «a vertical village» that develops along the main street built by covering the Rivus Maior, which gave the village its name.
Its colorful houses, stairs, vaults and the murals on the facades can only fascinate. As in other villages of the Cinque Terre, here too houses have two entrances: one on the front and the other on the back, up the road, and this to ensure an escape way in case of attack by the Saracens, which happened quite often in the sixteenth century …
The three speakers of the village are worth a visit: Santa Maria Assunta, of St. Anthony Abbot and St. Rocco.
In the upper part of the village you will also find the church of San Giovanni Battista, built in 1340, on a basilica plan, with beautiful pillars in different styles and a magnificent fifteenth-century rose window.
Madonna di Montenero
Just in front of the church you’ll find the ATC bus stop that connects Riomaggiore to its hamlets and to a spot not far from the Shrine of the Madonna di Montenero, so that even non-walkers can reach it with minimal effort 😉
If you plan in taking it, you might consider buying a Cinque Terre Card.
From the bus stop, climb the stairs that lead to the shrine terrace in only ten minutes, passing through beautiful vineyards.
The view from the top of 354 meters above sea level is breathtaking! The sweep over the whole of Liguria, from the Maritime Alps to the islands Gorgona and Capraia and if the sky is clear Corsica seems very close too… an actual show.
The church of Madonna di Montenero was built around the XI century to venerate an image of the Madonna, which a century before the inhabitants of Riomaggiore had hidden underground to protect it from the barbarians. It seems that upon its extraction from the earth a fountain gushed…
After admiring the view for a long time and having taken advantage of the silence and stillness that here dominate, we walked along the path «Verde Azzurro SVA» (former No. 3a), which, starting from the front porch of the church falls in the country through stairways with an amazing sea view, stretches of paved road and parts of the old mule route and that in little more than half an hour leads to the old part of the village.
Evening in Riomaggiore
Once in town we treated ourselves to a shopping break in a tiny fantastic shop whose owners are working copper and minerals, and after a suffered choice, I picked for a beautiful violet pendant 🙂
From there we moved to a small frying shop on the left side of the street looking the sea. Run by two local fishermen offering fresh anchovies fried upon request… how can one resist!? With our filled cones we walked to the Marina for a very special dinner, sitting on a wall overlooking the sea and a stunning sunset. I recommend it!
We spent a wonderful afternoon and a perfect romantic evening in lovely Riomaggiore.