According to legend, Riomaggiore's story dates back to the eighth century, when a group of persecuted Greeks arrived on this coastal spot and built the area's first villages. Riomaggiore's Old Town was later built in the 13th century and was named after the stream that runs through the area, Rio Maggiore.

Colorful buildings are built along the Rio Maggiore and up to the sloping hills surrounded by vineyards. The most modern part of town, the Stazione neighborhood, was built in the 19th century after the opening of the train station, near the stream Rio Finale.

On the eastern end of Cinque Terre, Riomaggiore is easily accessible by train from La Spezia and has a relatively large parking lot where visitors can park before taking the train that connects all five villages.

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