Riomaggiore on the northwestern coast of Italy is the southernmost village of the Cinque Terre, a rugged stretch of coastline on the Italian Riviera which is a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just a short hop from romantic Manarola, Riomaggiore's postcard-perfect streets are defined by its pastel-coloured buildings perched high on the rocks overlooking the ocean, and little fishing boats bobbing on the water in the tiny harbour.
If you're after some picturesque seaside charm, then Riomaggiore is the ultimate destination and there are lots of different ways to enjoy this beautiful place, from exploring monuments, to swimming in the sea, hiking along the shores, and eating amazing local food. The fresh seafood is the star here, and is just as spectacular as the glittering blue water it comes from. Although not the classiest of holiday dining experiences, takeaway cones of fried squid and prawns are one of the best ways to enjoy this local produce; we recommend heading to Il Pescato Cucinato to try it!
Hike the Lover's Way - The hiking trail known locally as Via dell'Amore, or the Lover's Way, is one of the most famous and romantic stretches of the Cinque Terre. This short one-kilometre stretch connects Riomaggiore to Manarola, and legend has it that lovers from the two towns used to meet on this footpath. It's less of a hike and more of a stroll, but a lovely way to travel if you're planning a visit to Manarola nonetheless.
Taste the local wine at Terra di Bargon - Head to the local vineyard Terra di Bargon to learn all about winemaking and sample the local Sciacchetra wine. On a tour of the vineyard you're literally stepping into someone's home and livelihood, and the passion and love of this local product is clear to see. If you're after an authentic experience and the chance to mingle with locals, this is a great activity to go for.
Discover the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero - For a peaceful refuge away from the busy village, head to the Santuario di Nostra Signora di Montenero (Shrine of Our Lady of Montenero), a remote church and monastery perched high above the village overlooking the ocean. The hike to reach it is a little tricky, but this means fewer tourists attempt it so it's a quiet, serene spot with incredible views.
Go snorkelling or diving at Riomaggiore Beach - Because the beach is rocky and the area is a protected national park, the water fronting the village is a crystal-clear stretch of blue that's full of interesting wildlife, making it perfect for a spot of snorkelling or diving (or just swimming, if you'd prefer). The 5Terre Diving Centre offers various diving courses and snorkelling trips, or just bring your own face mask and get stuck in.