After a five night stay in the middle of Rome and a 5 hour train ride on a Regionale train after waking before dawn in Rome, I arrived at the door of the apartment. I was helped up the steps with my heavy suitcase by a handsome young stranger who happened by. After pounding on the door given to me in an email set of directions for several minutes and getting no response I almost gave up and left to take the offer of a room by a middle aged lady in a housedress who approached me at the train station. Just as I felt tears of frustration and exhaustion welling up in my eyes out poked Mama's head from the shuttered window above me. Not a word of English was spoken by her, but she communicated to me that she did not hear me because her TV was too loud. A few minutes later she appeared at her door with the keys asking my name. She handed me the keys and and in I went. When I opened the balcony doors it was all worth it. The stunning view to the sea made me feel like I was on the sea. There were no sounds but for the seagulls who seemed to be following me from Rome. They were especially loud in Rome this year, but here in Riomaggiore their noise was dampened by the sound of the sea below. I spend four nights in that wonderful apartment rising before dawn, drinking strong expresso I made on the stove before hiking through the vineyards with their empty vines having been harvested in September and through the olive trees heavy with small black olives that fell off and dotted the hiking paths. All I needed was a water bottle, a camera and a couple of Euro for a snack along the way. The trails were surprisingly uncrowded compared to my last visit in June. I really do recommend going in a shoulder season if you want to hike.
There is a coop and several small grocery stores in Riomaggiore and you can get anything you need there. I ate a "fish cone"(two thumbs up) twice and got pasta take out twice (two thumbs up), both in shops in Riomaggiore. There are lovely restaurants there too, but after hiking all day, I just wanted to shower and eat on my balcony which was wonderful.
I felt like I met the whole family during my stay. Boy, did I get goodies too. Limoncela, a tray of home made cream cornettos (pastries) and a bottle of home made red wine. Everything was delicious and I guiltily ate all the pastries before I left. I think there were 12 of them. I saved the wine and drank it in my next stop, Milan. Thank you Paulo. Everything was delicious.
There were several nighttime thunderstorms when I was there. The last one blew out the TV reception in the whole village, but the wifi was fine and fast with no problem.
The kitchen was well equipped. There was all you needed to cook and coffee, tea, olive oil and basic condiments were provided. The bed was large and comfortable. It was spotlessly clean. I had no issues with the bathroom which also shared the same views as the bedroom window, out to sea.
Two years ago I stayed in Vernazza, but it was way too overtouristed and impersonal. i preferred the smallish, more quiet Riomaggiore.
I have a reservation for September of next year hoping to get there before the grape harvest. I am looking forward to days of hiking and coming home to a salty fried fish cone with a cold Moretti beer while sitting on my balcony enjoying the sunset in this most special of places.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The apartment has a small entrance, a bright kitchen with terrace on reef, a double bedroom and bunk bed, bathroom with shower, air-control system for summer/winter, fridge, TV SAT, hair-drier. Rental price includes: linens, utility expenses (light, gas, water) open all year round ... more less
- Also Known As:
- La Scogliera Hotel Riomaggiore
- La Scogliera Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy