honeymoon: first stop, riomaggiore
I’ve wanted to visit Cinque Terre since my good friend Rachel went there at the conclusion of our Spain Summer abroad program in 2000. The photos of her time there with her sister looked like post cards. Magical. And T was kind enough to let our honeymoon be the time for us to finally plan to visit.
Finding hotels in Cinque Terre was different from any other international destination I’ve visited. The options are not large hotels. Instead, they’re smaller, locally-owned guest houses. Having fewer rooms that are available meant options by the time we booked (even months in advance) were limited.
I ended up booking our round trip airfare and Genoa hotels on one site and booking the hotels we moved around to during the trip separately on a different site. As we were trying to book, options continued to disappear!
Connecting Travel Plans
When planning out our itinerary, we very strategically chose to stay the first night in Genoa and wait until the morning to begin our journey to Cinque Terre. We didn’t want to begin what should be a somewhat relaxing trip on a stressful note, stranded with nowhere to stay during peak season!
When we arrived in Riomaggiore, I saw that much I’d read in advance of our trip was spot on. The train schedules aren’t super precise, with trains often arriving 5–15 minutes late. The streets in the village are windy and can be steep (Corniglia, as we’d read, was the worst — with Riomaggiore coming in a few notches behind them). Comfy tennis shoes for some serious walking are a must!
While in Riomaggiore, we stayed at the Colombo Guesthouse. As we read in many reviews prior to booking, the couple who runs this property (Amy & Francesco) are fabulous. They have several options for booking, with information on their Riomaggiore Reservations site. Their office closes at 5pm though, so we had to plan everything around that deadline for our arrival.
Once we arrived, the office was super helpful with booking restaurants and making reservations for outings. All we had to do was email them while we were out and about and they took care of the arrangements for us. No need for us to come back to coordinate. It made such a difference in allowing us to fully enjoy all of each day we had there. (Spoiler alert: our accommodations paired with the village itself made Riomaggiore our favorite out of the five.)
The first night we were there we had reservations at Dau Cila. The earliest time we could book was 9PM, but we didn’t mind. It was our big plan for the evening anyhow. The villages aren’t known for crazy nightlife (not our style anyhow, but worth noting in case it’s yours that only Monterosso has nightclubs).
The meal was naturally focused on fresh fish, including this slightly seared tuna and thinly spiraled zucchini. Their menu includes a great seafood assortment ranging from octopus carpaccio to anchovies with lemon (a very popular local dish that sounds awful but is amazing) to non-seafood options like focaccia with pesto, ruccola salad and a mixed caprese salad. Go at night and enjoy the lovely live music!
On our second and final night, we made reservations at La Lampara. Situated overlooking the main street in town, it was a nice way to finish off our stay in Riomaggiore. We were able to watch all of the action right from our table. It was like the city came to us!
We decided to split one of their multi-seafood platters, which included massively large prawns that came with no cracker too aid in the eating process. It was an adventure!
We didn’t want to leave when it came time to move to our next stop, Monterosso! Overall, we loved the low key vibe of the town, great food and top-notch rooms offered by Colombo Guesthouse.
This is the first in a series of posts about our honeymoon to Cinque Terre and some surrounding areas back in 2015. Check back soon for additional posts on the amazing 10 days we spent visiting this area of Italy!
La Lampara – Via S. Antonio, 10, 19017 Riomaggiore – Tel: 39 0187 920120
Dau Cila – Via S. Giacomo, 65, 19017 Riomaggiore – Tel: 39 0187 760032
Colombo Guesthouse – via Colombo 181, 19017 Riomaggiore – Tel: 39 0187 760575