In early April, 2015, a small inauguration party was held with local politicians and Italian railway representatives for the reopening of circa 200 meters of the Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ Lane).
This tract, considered the first of seven phases of the Via dell’Amore project, includes the beginning of the path from the train station in Manarola to the Bar Via dell’Amore (which is currently closed). For more details on the Via dell’Amore, its history and the current works in progress, check out my previous post here.
As it currently stands, the remainder of the path (from just after the Bar Via dell’Amore to Riomaggiore) is closed while works continue to contain slides and improve safety measures. Statements from the Regione di Liguria pledge continued funding of 1.5 million euro towards the project with promises of reopening another portion of the path before the end of 2015.
I took a little outing to Manarola to check out the reopened portion of the Via dell’Amore myself. I was disappointed (but not surprised) to find that signage at the Manarola train station was lacking regarding the current status of the path. I found myself walking with numerous visitors who were clueless that only a very small portion of the Via dell’Amore is open. Granted, had they inquired at the Tourist Info points they would have received accurate status details but a strategically placed sign or two would save everyone a lot of time and confusion.
The extensive work that has been done to secure the first 200 meters of the path is evident. But the Via dell’Amore, as it currently stands, is anticlimactic. It’s important to remember that this is a massive project and this is just the first of many steps towards the ultimate goal of a complete reopening of the Via dell’Amore.
At the moment, my advice is to skip the Via dell’Amore. In the meantime, you can take a lovely stroll in Manarola out to Punta Bonfiglio. Or, if you’re in Riomaggiore you can take a panoramic walk around the village on via Signorini, which starts at the Riomaggiore train station.
If you’d like to see the behind the scenes work that took place to reopen these first 200 meters of the Via dell’Amore, check this out.