Riomaggiore is the closest town to La Spezia of the Cinque Terre area and its name derives from Rio Maior, a mountain river that wedged its way between the hills of this area. The town has been built on artificial terraces cut into the cliffs overlooking the sea, the ancient river bed has become the main road and its mouth is now the main square with its taverns and the picturesque marina and port. The characteristic "terrace houses" grow in height on three or four floors and add a touch of color to the mountain side. Caught between the mountains and the sea, a step away from the main town of the province, Riomaggiore is a perfect destination for those who love the variety of nature, long walks on the paths carved into the rock, simplicity, tranquility and the color of the typical Ligurian centers.
The area, in the VIII, was inhabited by a group of Greek refugees, who left their homelands to escape persecution by the Byzantine Emperor Leo III. Riomaggiore was a feudal possession of Turcotti at first, Fieschi then, and became part of the Genoa dominion in 1276.
The Parish Church of St. John, founded in 1340 and enlarged in 1870 and distinguished by the valuable portals ('300).
The castle, built in 1260, in a quadrilateral shpae a with four corner towers, in the last century it was turned into a graveyard.
The "Via dell'Amore" , a romantic pedestrian pathway, carved into the rock and open onto the sea. The starting point is Riomaggiore from Punta Mesco and it winds along a charming landscape to for a mile, till it reaches the promontory of Montenero of Manarola. It was originally a service road for the building of the second line of the railway, built between 1926 and 1928 and today is popular walk for tourists and couples.