Cinque Terre Insider

American expat insight into Italy's fabulous "Five Lands"

UPDATE July 27, 2017: As of this morning, the Beccara trail is currently closed to hikers until further notice. See more details on my blog post here.

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The Beccara trail is rugged and intense but offers spectacular views

Since the closure of the Via dell’Amore (see my previous posts about it here and here), the ancient Beccara trail (number 531) that connects the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola has been marked as an alternate route.  This rugged trail has existed for centuries, well before the Via dell’Amore was carved out of the rock in the early 1900s.  The difference being, the Beccara is an intense hike whereas the Via dell’Amore was an easy walk.  For an alternative to the Via dell’Amore similar in length and difficulty, check out my previous post about the panoramic stroll around the village of Riomaggiore.

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Looking towards Riomaggiore from the top of the ridge on the Beccara trail

I’d like to stress that the Beccara trail is a vigorous hike, not a walk, and therefore not for the faint of heart.  The villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola are very close to one another but have a steep mountain separating them.  The Beccara trail goes straight up over the top of that mountain and down the other side (so essentially all stairs up one side and all stairs down the other).  The trail climbs through the vineyards and offers panoramic views.  The estimated time required to hike this trail is 1 hour.

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Looking down towards the Via dell’Amore from the Beccara trail (note the landslide zone on the Via dell’Amore)


To find the trailhead for the Beccara trail (number 531) in Riomaggiore:

  • Make your way to the Riomaggiore train station (if you’re in the historic center, take the pedestrian tunnel to quickly connect to the train station).
  • Once you’re at the Riomaggiore train station you’ll see a bar called BAR STAZIONE on the far end of the piazza.  Just to the right of this bar you’ll see a road (wide enough for a car to drive on) going up.  The name of this street is via Signorini.

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  • Walk up via Signorini and you’ll reach a hairpin turn (where there will be a stream and some benches). Continue walking up.

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  • Not long after the large, multi-story red house on the left, you’ll see a very steep road branching off to the left.  At this point, on the stone wall you’ll see a sign indicating MANAROLA and pointing to the left.

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  • Go left and up this steep and narrow road.  Just before reaching the gate (which may be up or down, depending on the time of day) and the start of the parking area, you’ll see the trailhead markers and signs on your left.

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  • You’ve arrived to the start of the trail!  Go down the stairs here, cross the bridge and start your ascent through the vineyards.

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My recommendations


  1. Proper footwear (either athletic shoes or hiking books) are required.
  2. Pack water and snacks with you.
  3. Don’t forget the sunscreen!  A hat and sunglasses would be nice, too.
  4. It’s not recommended to hike in inclement weather (as the stone steps become slippery when wet).
  5. Be respectful of the vineyards and the locals that tend to them by not trespassing or picking the fruit.
  6. Please don’t litter.  Pack it in/pack it out.
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13 thoughts on “The Beccara trail (#531) connecting Riomaggiore and Manarola

  1. BeardedGlass says:

    Thank you for this! I’ve been researching for alternate paths ever since the closure of the popular trails. Have you tried the trails 587-586-506 that connects Manarola and Corniglia thru Volastra? I do hope you could cover that route as well, it’s not much popular and it’s hard to find any reliable information about the paths.

    Also, how about doing a piece about ‘Swimming Spots’ in Cinque Terre? I know they’re just there in the harbor, but each town has it’s own flavor of ‘beach’ and some of them beautiful coves between towns that are quite hidden I believe. Sorry for imposing, but I do hope you’d consider! Oh, and food munching spots too! That’d be fun, you could eat at different restos and shops…. and say it’s for research haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ciao Roland!

      The alternate trail between Manarola and Corniglia (via Volastra) is one of my favorite hikes and I actually recommend it even when that section of the coastal trail is open! It’s absolutely beautiful. Starting in Manarola, you make your way up through the vineyards to Volastra (which is a tiny but beautiful village), then you continue through the olive groves and descend into Corniglia (all the while with panoramic views). You’ll love it.

      Thanks for your suggestions! I actually have plans to post a side-by-side comparison of beach/sea access in each of the five villages (great minds think alike, eh?). The blog is a labor of love so I have to allot time for it after I’ve fulfilled work and family commitments. 🙂 It’s all worthwhile when I see that people are enjoying the blog!

      Take care!
      Amy

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  2. Laura says:

    I did this hike….on a very hot day. We started early to try to avoid the heat but the trail is super hard. I would compare it to climbing a gravel ladder.

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    1. Ciao Laura!

      I call it a StairMaster x100 (or 1000!). It’s the most intense of the trails because it’s straight up then straight down.

      Amy

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  3. Annelies Didden says:

    Are there hikes doable with two little children (3 and 5 years old)?
    Thanks

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    1. Ciao Annelies!

      I have two boys, one is nearly six and the other is one and a half. I hike with them all the time (check out my Instagram) with the youngest in a baby carrier. Granted, it will depend on your kids and how attentive and sure footed they are. You could hike from Riomaggiore to its sanctuary (Madonna di Montenero) in a little less than an hour (on the “Via Grande”). If you pack a picnic, the sanctuary is a good place to sit and let the kids play!

      Hope that helps!
      Amy

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  4. Lenisa Blair says:

    I’m disappointed that the Beccara trail is closed. My friend and I will be there in a couple of weeks and we’re looking forward to that hike. I’m trying to look at trails and maps… but I can’t figure out what trails we would need to take now to get from Manarola to Riomaggiore? Thanks!

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    1. Ciao Lenisa!

      I understand your disappointment. Let’s hope that the time of closure will allow for necessary repairs and maintenance on the trail.

      Read my reply to one of the comments above to see alternatives for the Beccara.

      Best,
      Amy

      Like

      1. Lenisa Blair says:

        Thanks! I hope it’s open when we get there, that would be fantastic!
        I went back through the comments again and only found the Manarola to Corniglia, not to Riomaggiore. I must be missing something.

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