PART ONE: A MINI TRAVEL GUIDE TO RIOMAGGIORE IN ITALY
A reader recently got in touch on Instagram, asking me when I was going to write my travel guide to Cinque Terre. In part, I had been avoiding writing about the places we visited on our honeymoon because I didn’t want the experience to feel like another travel blogging job. Which is a bg reason why I didn’t blog much whilst I was pregnant in 2017; I had fallen out of love with travelling (shock horror!) and needed a break from the blogging. Because of this, I genuinely wanted our honeymoon to be for us, and therefore not feel any pressure to write about it.
But I can’t say no to a reader.
My readers, you guys, inspire me to keep exploring and sharing my adventures, so because of this, I am going to share with you a five-part blog post series about Cinque Terre.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing mini travel guides about four of the five towns, and then I’ll share one big travel guide dedicated to Cinque Terre. I hope you enjoy reading each blog post as much as I enjoyed writing them. It felt like a happy trip down memory lane, and I love seeing how much Dusty has grown and changed since our honeymoon.
Cinque Terre consists of five picturesque towns that are nestled along the Ligurian coastline. Life along the Cinque Terre is all about slow living; you wake up late, enjoy an espresso for breakfast, choose a town to spend a day by the beach, and enjoy a meal of local fresh fish, pasta and wine at sunset. On repeat.
My mother had told me that if we are going to travel all the way to Italy from Australia, we had to stay in Riomaggiore to get an authentic Italian experience. And she wasn’t wrong. There aren’t a lot of places to stay in Riomaggiore because it’s quite small in comparison to the other towns, which is great because when the tourists leave for the day, it’s just you and the locals. We stayed here for the entire time we were in Cinque Terre and by the first day, we felt like we are living le dolce vita!
If you want to find out how to get to Riomaggiore and the other towns in the Cinque Terre, keep an eye out for my full travel guide to Cinque Terre, which will be posted on my blog in a few weeks! I’ll share a link here when it goes live.
We booked the BEST Airbnb ever – you can find it here. It’s a couple of levels up from the main street and comes with some serious steps, but the owner helped us carry our luggage up to the apartment, and the advantage here is the view of the main street and its excellent proximity to the beach, and train. The apartment was one bedroom, one bathroom and had a separate living area and kitchen. It also has a huge outdoor balcony, which offers incredible views of the Main Street. And no, it’s not noisy! We loved the outdoor area as it was very safe for Dusty to crawl around. I’ve added some photos directly below so you can see how great the location is! Whilst the steps felt like a bit of a mission to begin with, it was totally fine. And if we can manage with a pram, two suitcases and a baby, anyone can! Whilst it might not be the best place for elderly people, I highly recommend staying here for everyone else!
Each day we would grab a coffee from Il Maggiore, a cute little café across the street from our Airbnb. Be warned, coffee in Italy isn’t hot – it’s served to drink straight away.
There is a bakery situated underneath our Airbnb (a few floors down on the main street) and we would grab a bite to eat in the morning here. Seriously, this bakery made the best bread ever! I can’t remember the name of the bakery, but just follow the intoxicating bakery aroma.
We loved the simplicity of shopping for fresh octopus, burrata, heirloom tomatoes, meats, fruit and wine from Alimentari Franca, which is down the hill from our Airbnb on the main street. We would grab a picnic spread worth of food, then head down to the water to enjoy lunch or dinner. If you’re on a budget, this is a great way to eat every day and enjoy proper Italian food. Saluté!
Seafood is a big thing here in Cinque Terre and especially in Riomaggiore. We loved the seafood cones (yes, a paper cone filled with a variety of daily caught seafood) from Il Pescato Cucinato.
If you feel like enjoying a fancy meal, make sure you book a table at the Michelin awarded Dau Cilo. I chose not to bring my camera to dinner at Dau Cilo; instead I lived in the moment and enjoyed life to its fullest. We ended up having the best meal of our life, and Dusty got post-pasta coma and fell asleep at the table. Bless.
See & Do
There isn’t a huge number of things to see and do in Riomaggiore, and once you get acquainted with the tiny town, it’s all about living daily life like a local.
Swimming at the bay is popular, although we didn’t because it was always so busy with people and small boats.
Exploring the main street is lots of fun and stopping into the many cafes, tourist shops and boutiques along the way.
If you walk to the top of the main street, walk up some stairs and more stairs to the left and happen to stumble upon a hillside elevator, take it up to the top and explore some more. The views from up here were stunning.
Down near the water, there are some Michelin awarded restaurants, but the real hive of activity is when the small boats come in every morning with their catch of the day. Seeing the local fisherman sell to these restaurants is something else.
We loved exploring the rocks by the water and here you’ll find many people take that iconic Riomaggiore photo.