Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Snapshots of Riomaggiore, Italy

Hiking in the Cinque Terre from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy

Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Alison Chino, Italy

Here’s something you should know about hiking in the Cinque Terre in 2016.

Once upon a time there was a trail that ran along the coastline all the way through all five towns of the Cinque Terre. It started in Monterosso al Mare and went through Vernazza, Corniglia, and Manarola, all the way to Riomaggiore. This trail is sometimes called the Blue Trail and sometimes called the #2 trail. Of the loads of hikes available to hike in the CInque Terre, this trail is by far the most popular (read: crowded) and you have to pay a daily fee per person to walk on it.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

For two reasons, we never went on the Blue Trail (#2). One was the fee amounted to about 20 euros per day for my family and we are used to hiking for free. The other is that the portions between Corniglia and Manarola and Manarola and Riomaggiore are closed. So we considered doing the #2 one day between Corniglia and Vernazza and then on from Vernazza to Monterosso, but there were so many other free trails to do that we did not get around to it. Also the free trails tended to be more sparsely used which was nice, since lots of the paths on the hills in the Cinque Terre are rather narrow.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

The last part of the #2 from Manarola to Riomaggiore is called the Via del Amore and it is the easiest walk in the Cinque Terre. However since it is closed, the other trail over the mountain, the rather steep #531, was a good bit more crowded than the other trails we walked. Most people were walking it in the opposite direction from us, so we had to step aside a lot to let people pass. I think we went up the steeper side though (from Manarola to the top of the hill) so I was glad to be going the direction we went.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

I would always rather go up a steep section than down. (I’m looking back down towards Manarola in the above photo.)

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

The narrow stairs in the photos above and below kind of illustrate what I mean by steep.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

But hello very lovely views of the vineyards.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And the sea.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

All week in the Cinque Terre, we loved getting high above these villages and watching the towns become little colorful building blocks stacked in the distance.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And when you get higher, the other towns and hills of the region come into view.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

But watch your step!

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Remember that big wooden crucifix from our first hike. You can see it way in the distance now.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Hey MP, can you give me a hand!

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

So high up that you can see the road leaving Manarola and we’re now almost eye level with the hill top village of Volastra.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And the train tracks between the tunnels.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And then up top, we could finally see Riomaggiore on the other side.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Riomaggiore is a bigger town than Manarola. It seemed to be where lots of the folks who work in all the other towns live.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Ben literally hopped down these trails. It was insane.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

I would love to be able to run down uneven rock stairs the way he does.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Down through the vineyards and lemon tree groves we went.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Across the cutest little stone bridge and into the town.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Steep hills and more lemon trees.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Turquoise doors on a shed. Yes please.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Lemons growing.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Stone bridge.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

These are the stairs we came down to enter Riomaggiore.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And looking back at the bridge.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Into the town.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

The trail along the #531 is only about 1 kilometer, but it’s a doozy!

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Here’s the road leading to Manarola from Riomaggiore.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And from above, the tiny platform at Riomaggiore.

Actually the platform is a lot longer, it just goes inside the tunnels. They say if the platform at a station is really crowded, then just walk in the tunnel a little ways because when the train stops, part of it will be in the tunnel and you can get on a less crowded train car. Also, we didn’t go it (traveling with children) but there’s supposed to be a pretty fab spot for drinks just above this train station. If you go, let me know how you enjoy it! 🙂

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

This is my crew at the end of the up and down slog from Manarola to Riomaggiore. These faces are saying: When. Is. Lunch.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Just a minute kids. I have a few photos I want to take first.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Like of these wall murals.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And the walkway into town.

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And of the town of Riomaggiore itself!

Hike from Manarola to Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Whoops, the kids started to get way ahead of me.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

But it’s sooooo pretty.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Right?

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Oh wait, the middle of the road was all torn up. But it will probably be all fixed by summertime.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

And still it was a great walkway lined with gelato and pizza and all things Cinque Terre.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

We had our pizza from the first place we could find.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Ate it right on the street.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Then we hiked up part of the way to the chapel on the hill.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Always following the red and white striped markings.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Up, up, up and down, down, down.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Down through the town and to the little harbor.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

 

It was a gorgeous day.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

We made our way down to the rocks to sit in the sun for a while.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

Then per our usual routine, we made our way to the train station.

Riomaggiore, Italy, Cinque Terre, AlisonChino.com

We hopped on a train and rode the one stop back to Manarola.

PS Here’s a six second video of our day!

Also, more Italy posts!

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