First, they are not kidding about the stairs. Pack light and bring a small bag! We took the train from Rome, changed to the local train in La Spezia and then it was a short (5-8 min) journey to Riomaggiore. We walked through the tunnel and UP the main road to Edi’s office. The lady there was very helpful and spoke enough English for us to communicate. She took us back down the hill, up a short flight of steps to a small door in an alley. At that time, I am thinking, “this is not so bad, I can manage those stairs.” She opened the door and we were in an apartment building. She informed us that our room was on the fourth floor. It was a long way up with a heavy bag and the granite stairs got steeper and steeper. We got to our room, and she opened the door only to be confronted by another steep staircase. Once we got into the room and she opened the doors to the balcony, the stairs were quickly forgotten. Wow – what a fantastic view of the town and the sea. The room was basic, large and clean but oh that view! Contact Edi by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. I understand she has quite a few rooms and apartments available in Riomaggiore.
Unfortunately, due to the large storm in Nov 2011, only the Via dell’Amore path was open on the Blue (#2) trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola. We walked along this and then took the train to the rest of the villages. We bought a 1 day Cinque Terre card from the railway station (E10 to use the walking path and unlimited train rides to all the villages.) Manarola was our favorite village as it is a little larger and has more restaurants but easily accessible from Riomaggiore. We went to a great wine bar in Corniglia - Enoteca “Il Pirun”. Stop by, get a glass of wine and a plate of anchovies and chat with Mario. Vernazza was a disaster area. Serverely damaged from the storm and flooding. It was like a ghost town with major construction going on and the only place open was a pizza place (which had great pizza) down by the harbor. We did not visit Monterosso as another couple told us it had also been badly damaged and had lots of construction going on.
We bought wine from the little market opposite and enjoyed it on our balcony. We also got some decent food for breakfast , lunch, snacks or dinner at the take out place just up the hill on the right. One night we ate in Riomaggiore at La Grotta (opposite) and the food was good (order any of the fresh seafood with the Cinque Terre local white wine) and reasonable. Another night we walked in the dark along the path to Manarola. A little creepy but fun. Bring a flashlight!
The balcony and view from our room in Riomaggiore were definitely a highlight of our vacation in Italy and a nice change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Rome. We would love to go back when all of the hiking paths are open and spend some more time exploring the Cinque Terre area and sitting on that balcony!
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- Also Known As:
- Affittacamere Edi Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy