Reopening of the Via dell’Amore? Don’t hold your breath

Spring 2021.  That’s the projected reopening date for the Via dell’Amore, the beloved and world-famous Lovers’ Lane connecting the Cinque Terre villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola.  The path has been closed to the public since September of 2012 when a rock slide overtook a portion of the path and injured three Australian tourists.  Since then, only a very small portion (circa 200 meters) of the path reopened in 2015.

It has taken over five years to simply procure the €12 million needed to complete the Via dell’Amore project.  FIVE YEARS.  Just to put things in perspective, with an estimated 2 to 3 million visitors per year to the Cinque Terre and with a ticket price of €5 per person (which was the last price that was charged before the Via dell’Amore was closed, although the current rate is actually €7.50 for the hiking pass), the path could finance its own reopening in one year.  And let’s not even mention the potential mancato guadagno (loss of earnings) in nine years of closure as the figures are staggering.  There really is no excuse for such an extended closure and the situation has been under close scrutiny by the international community.  Had the public sector been unable to finance the project in a timely manner, private investors should have been allowed to enter the scene to finance the project and get the ball rolling.

Where’s the money coming from for the Via dell’Amore project?

€2 million from the Regione di Liguria (the region in which the Cinque Terre villages are located)

+ €3 million from the Ministero dell’Ambiente (Ministry of the Environment)

+ €7 million FSC funds (“Fondo per lo Sviluppo e la Coesione,” funds from the Italian government for underutilized areas of the country)

= €12 million needed to complete the project & reopen the path

In 2021 elections will be held.  Is it a coincidence that the Via dell’Amore is expected to reopen that year?  Probably not.  Let’s just hope that it’s incentive enough to finally get the path back open.

More details on the Via dell’Amore can be found in my previous posts here:

What’s going on with the Via dell’Amore?

The underwhelming partial reopening of the Via dell’Amore

Take a detour on the “Terzo Binario” in Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore’s Sentiero del Terzo Binario was recently reopened to the public after years of closure due to landslide, sparking pleasure and nostalgia amongst locals.  This path, which is best for those able to climb steep stairs (definitely don’t attempt it with your luggage), clings to the cliffs above the sparkling Ligurian sea and offers glorious views.  img_0578The path, which is free of charge and starts at the Riomaggiore train station, ends up forking towards the end, allowing you to connect to either via Signorini (the street which is part of the panoramic stroll around the village that I detailed here) or to Salita Castello (a super steep lane comprised entirely of stairs which will either take you up towards the castle or down towards the marina).

Why is it called the Sentiero del Terzo BinarioRiomaggiore’s train station used to have three railway lines, with a middle track dedicated to freight trains and other fast trains passing through without stopping.  This middle track has since been removed and the platforms have been renumbered (what was once the third platform is now the second). Even though there is no longer a third (terzo) platform or track (binario), the name has stuck with locals and the name of the sentiero (path or trail) remains unvaried.

From start to finish it will take you circa 10-15 minutes to complete the Sentiero del Terzo Binario but that all depends on how quickly you walk and climb stairs (and if you want to stop and admire the views).  Really, there is no rush.

Here’s the easiest way to get started on the path:

  • At Riomaggiore’s train station, make your way to the second platform (binario 2); you’ll have to use the underpass.
  • Once you are on the second platform, walk south towards the end of the platform. 
  • Just before entering the tunnel, you’ll see a metal gate on the right (this should be open unless there are rough seas). 
  • Go down the stairs and follow the path as it meanders around the point. img_0596
  • I know you’ll be looking out to sea, but don’t forget to look up! See how much work was required to contain the cliff in order to reopen the path? To put things in perspective, this is just a tiny fraction of the work that the beloved Via dell’Amore (which is just across the way) will require in order to reopen. *sigh* 
  • As you round the corner you’ll see a gap in the railing with horizontal boards barring it.  You’ll see a city hall notice posted that declares the rocks as dangerous.  It goes without saying that if you jump the fence to bask on the rocks below you will be doing so at your own risk. 
  • Continue walking along the path and you’ll encounter the start of the stairs.  Once you’re towards the top you can look back and admire this view: 
  • Mind your footing, the steps are quite steep and some are also super narrow. 
  • When you reach the fork in the path you’ll see signs posted indicating the two different options. If you’d like to head back to the Riomaggiore train station or complete the panoramic loop around the village (that I described here), head to the left.  This will connect you to Via Signorini.img_0559 If instead you head to the right at the fork in the path, you will be bound for Salita Castello. This is a route to reach the marina but be warned, there are LOTS of steep stone stairs to navigate. FYI: there are easier ways to get to the marina besides Salita Castello, like taking the stairs at the end of the village’s main street in the historical center.img_0580

Buona passeggiata!

Amy

 

 

Hear, hear: You can finally purchase your Cinque Terre passes online 

You read that right, the promises have finally become a reality! You can *finally* purchase your Cinque Terre National Park passes online. 

To purchase your passes (directly from the Cinque Terre National Park, this isn’t a third party platform) go to: https://card.parconazionale5terre.it/en


You can purchase the hiking pass (called the Trekking Card) or the all-inclusive Cinque Terre Card (at the moment they are calling it the Train Card*) online. 

*I really wish the park could streamline their marketing efforts and call the passes the same thing on all of their platforms, making it a little less confusing for visitors.

It’s pretty straightforward to purchase your passes, just follow the prompts.

Some of the translating gaffes on this site are downright funny! 

In case you were wondering (don’t worry, I was, too), “aggregate” is a supplement for groups larger than 25 persons and “guys” is a translating blunder and should be “youth” (for kids age 4-11 years).

You will have to create a login and password for the site (ugh, don’t they realize we already have nine zillion passwords and logins to remember?).

Payment can be made by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Maestro), no PayPal. 

After you’ve made your purchase you should receive an email with a PDF file to download.  You can do one of two things:  1) Print this file and keep a hard copy with you, or 2) save the file (or simply screenshot) on your phone or device to display to the controller when requested (make sure that the QR code is visible).

Ta-dah! You’re all set.

FAQs

  • Do I have to purchase passes in advance? Absolutely not. But you’ll save yourself quite a bit of time if you do.
  • If I decide to purchase my passes when I’m there instead, where can I do so? You can purchase passes in person at any of the Cinque Terre National Park Info Points. You’ll find them in all five villages + at the La Spezia Centrale and Levanto train stations. If you are wanting the hiking pass, you can actually just start walking the coastal trail and buy the Trekking Card when you reach a checkpoint.
  • Help! I’m confused as to which passes I’ll need. Check out my previous post here that details all of the different options and their relative prices.
  • Do I have to print something?  Not necessarily.  If you prefer not to print (or you just simply don’t have the possibility to print) you can save the PDF file on your phone or device (or simply take screenshots of it).  You’ll need to show the QR code so that it can be scanned by the controller.  With that said, we all know that technology has its disadvantages (namely, batteries that don’t stay charged forever), so a paper copy is always great to have.

If you have any other questions just let me know.

Amy

Just in: Closure of the Beccara trail #531

As of this morning, the ancient trail connecting Riomaggiore and Manarola (called the Beccara and identified on maps as trail #531) has been closed due to safety concerns. The village’s mayor, Fabrizia Pecunia, signed an ordinance on July 24th officially closing the trail (although the actual closure took place this morning) with no mention of a potential reopening date. 

Today’s trail closure comes just days after a local villager and grape grower, Giovanni Marcotti, filed a lawsuit claiming irreparable damage to the trail (which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage) due to an unsustainable number of hikers and lack of proper trail maintenance by local public entities. The Beccara trail was practically unknown by anyone except locals until the closure of the Via dell’Amore in 2012, at which point it became an alternative route between Riomaggiore and Manarola for hikers. 

Marcotti, who is well known in Riomaggiore, has been sounding the alarm regarding the deterioration of the Beccara trail for as long as I can remember (post-closure of the Via dell’Amore). Until the lawsuit was filed his complaints seemed to fall on deaf ears. 

The Beccara trail remains open only for locals tending their crops and vineyards in the vicinity of the trail.

I will post updates as they become available. 

Amy

8 things you need to hike the Cinque Terre

View over Vernazza from the Sentiero Azzurro

I love to hike. It’s ironic that I live in hikers’ paradise yet I don’t get out trekking nearly as much as I’d like. Luckily for me, my collaboration with Randonnée has pushed me to get back out on the trails to rediscover this place I love.

I’ve oftentimes been asked what I recommend people take hiking with them here in the Cinque Terre. Here are the 8 things I always have with me:

  1. Proper footwear. Look, it’s not necessary to have hiking boots (though some people prefer them). Trainers are just fine so long as they have decent tread on them.
  2. A daypack. You’ll want a small, lightweight backpack to hold all of your necessities. I personally prefer one with lots of pockets and zippered compartments. When I’m hiking with someone else we bring one daypack between the two of us and trade off wearing it. 
  3. Water.  I love me some ice cold water while out on the trail. One of my must-have items is a double walled, stainless steel insulated water bottle. This thing can keep things ice cold for hours (the manufacturer says mine keeps things hot for 12 hours or cold for 24 hours, I can personally attest that I’ve had my water stay ice cold for 8+ hours!). I love that there’s no condensation and everything else in my pack stays nice and dry. I bought mine here in Italy from Amazon but it’s a brand currently available only in Europe. I found this one on Amazon.com that looks just like mine and it has amazing reviews. Of course, you can just buy a bottle of water if you prefer but this is a green, reusable option that you can use throughout your Italian travels (not to mention when you get back home).
  4. Something to eat. Depending on where I plan to hike, I pack either a snack (my go-to is fruit) or a sack lunch (I usually have a panino made at a local alimentari before I head off). 
  5. Comfortable clothing. On a recent hike I saw some people wearing some pretty unconventional hiking attire (think: sundresses and trench coats *gasp*).  You’ll find me wearing comfortable leggings (or shorts in the warmer season) and either a t-shirt or tank top.  Your best bet is to layer as there are parts of the trails that are fully exposed to the sun (and hot) and others that are in the shade (and quite chilly). I wear a lightweight The North Face jacket made with Gore-Tex (which is perfect for protecting me from wind & rain) just like this one. I love that I can wear this and skip a sweatshirt because even though it’s thin & breathable it actually keeps me quite warm! And unlike bulkier jackets or heavy sweatshirts, I can easily tie it at my waist when I don’t need it.
  6. Photo ID. By law in Italy, you are required to always have valid ID on you. If you are a non-EU citizen this means you are always required to have your passport with you; EU citizens can get away with carrying a government issued identity card or drivers license.  For those feeling iffy about carrying your passport with you (which I totally understand given the prevalence of pickpockets on the trains), at the very least take a decent quality photocopy of the main page of your passport with you. 
  7. Cash. Carry enough cash with you to cover the costs you’ll incur (for example, for the hiking pass if you’re planning to hike the coastal trail, transport tickets, a little pocket money for gelato or focaccia, etc.). I usually take €20 with me. I don’t see any reason to take more than €50 (unless you have grand plans for lunch or shopping along the way).  If you feel nervous having only cash with you, bring along one credit card, just in case. 
  8. Your phone. Optional: A fancy-schmancy camera. Unless you’re a photog or a shutterbug, there’s really no reason to bring a camera and your phone (as the latest smart phones can take some pretty great pictures).

    All of my photos are taken with my iPhone.  Not too shabby, eh?

    I won’t lie though, the GoPro Hero 5 is on my wish list and I’d totally hike with it if I had one. While having a camera (and fancy equipment) is optional, your mobile phone is essential in case of emergency on the trails or elsewhere (dial 118 for medical emergencies or 115 for the fire department).

That’s it! If you’ve checked these 8 things off of your list then you’re ready to get out and conquer the Cinque Terre trails. 

Here are some more tips for you:

  • Lather on the sunscreen before hitting the trails. If you’re extra fair, bring the sunscreen with you so you can reapply as needed (you might want to bring a hat & sunglasses, too).
  • Wear your daypack backwards (on your chest rather than on your back) while on public transport to discourage thieves. Keep your valuables (cash, ID, phone and/or camera) in a deep (ideally zipped) inner pocket. Because, pickpockets. Being vigilant on the trains and at the stations is key. 
  • Walking sticks (a.k.a. trekking poles) are by no means a necessity, though you’ll notice certain nationalities adore them (Germans in particular). If you do decide to use them, be kind and put rubber tips on the points (as the sharp metal points dig in and deteriorate the trails).
  • Do not, I repeat, do not hike with your luggage (even if you’re traveling with a backpack).  Doing so will surely suck any pleasure out of your hiking experience. Seriously, the Cinque Terre trails will get your heart thumping without the extra 20 kilos strapped to your back! Backtracking to pick up your luggage after you’ve finished hiking will be totally worthwhile.
  • In the warmer months, pop your bathing suit in your daypack. There’s no better reward after a tough day of hiking than a dip in the Mediterranean. 

Happy trails,

Amy

*This post includes affiliate links.  If you make any Amazon purchases by clicking through the product links above you’ll help support the hosting and upkeep of the blog. Grazie mille!

A panoramic stroll around Riomaggiore

As you probably already know from my previous posts (here and here), the Via dell’Amore connecting Riomaggiore and Manarola is currently closed due to a landslide and at the moment the works to repair it are at a standstill.  The Via dell’Amore was a walk (not a hike) and many visitors are looking for an alternative stroll that would be similar in difficulty (or should I say lack thereof?).

Below you’ll find my recommendation for a panoramic walk around Riomaggiore, which will take approximately 20-25 minutes to complete (of course, you can shorten/lengthen this time based on your pace).  This stroll has no stairs involved (unless you take optional ones) so it’s stroller-friendly and could be wheelchair-friendly, too (so long as there’s someone to assist with the steep descent towards the end of the walk).  I recommend taking this stroll in the direction mentioned below, but if you prefer you can do it in the opposite direction, too.


PANORAMIC LOOP AROUND RIOMAGGIORE


This walk starts at the Riomaggiore train station.   When you exit the train station you’ll see a bar on the left hand side of the piazza called Bar Stazione.  Just to the right of this bar you’ll see a road (wide enough for a car to drive on) going up.  This street is called via Signorini.  Walk up this lane.

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Via Signorini will make a hairpin turn (you’ll see there’s a little creek and benches here) and continue up.  Keep walking.

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You’ll pass by the public ascensore (elevator) on your right, which is currently closed (*sigh*).

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Just after the elevator you’ll see beautiful sweeping views over the Mediterranean (or Ligurian Sea, as this section of the Mediterranean is also called) and you will be able to see the start of the Via dell’Amore.

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Continue walking and you will come to a straightaway lined with benches known to locals as the Lissa.  This is a great spot to watch the sunset.

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In the cooler months, the Lissa is a favorite place for locals to bring their children to catch some sun.  Looking south, you’ll see glimpses of the marina of Riomaggiore as well as the Punta di Montenero (the point past Riomaggiore’s beach).

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Continue walking and you’ll pass beneath Riomaggiore’s Comune (city hall) with its Italian and European Union flags waving above a painted facade.

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As you proceed, the historic center of Riomaggiore will be on display with its colorful (and very vertical) buildings clinging to one another.

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Continuing on via Signorini, you’ll run into a piazza that locals call the piazzale (the large piazza).  You’ll see Riomaggiore’s main church dedicated to the village’s patron saint, San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist).  This church dates back to the year 1340.

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Continue walking past the big church and down the little medieval lane (which is now called via Pecunia).  You’ll pass by Riomaggiore’s tiny post office on your right (blink and you’ll miss it!).  Walk under the archway and you’ll come out to another church (called the Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta, which dates back to the 16th century).

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Make a right and walk down via Colombo (which is Riomaggiore’s main street in the historic center).  This descent is quite steep, so if you prefer you can take the shallow steps on the right.

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You’ll make your way through the historic center of Riomaggiore with its shops, cafés, restaurants & take-away places.

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When the main street (via Colombo) comes to a dead-end you’ll see a pedestrian tunnel on your right.  This will connect you back to the Riomaggiore train station in just one or two minutes walking and the panoramic loop is complete!

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Optional add-ons


If you’d like to make things even more panoramic, you might want to consider these (however, keep in mind these are not stroller or wheelchair-friendly options as there are stairs involved):

  • Detour to visit Riomaggiore’s castle for a beautiful vista point

When you’re on the piazzale where the big church is located, you’ll see a lane with long, shallow stairs going up on the opposite side of the square from the church.  This medieval lane is called via Pecunia.  Walk up these stairs and you’ll reach the castle and some beautiful vista points.  After visiting the castle you’ll want to backtrack to the piazzale to continue the loop.

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  • Venture down to Riomaggiore’s marina at the end of the loop

Riomaggiore's marina, Cinque Terre

Instead of heading through the tunnel back to the Riomaggiore train station, take the stairs on the left at the end of via Colombo.  After descending three flights of stairs you’ll find yourself in the marina.  If you’re wanting that “postcard picture” of Riomaggiore, stay to your left until you reach a little piazza where the ticket booth for the ferries and Bar La Conchiglia are located.  This is also a breathtaking place to watch the sunset!

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Buona passeggiata!

The underwhelming partial reopening of the Via dell’Amore

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).

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photo credit: Città della Spezia News

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.

I couldn’t help but cringe when I read the English translation. I’d happily offer my translation services for free!

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.

SciaccheTrail: The success of a grass roots vision

On March 29, 2015, emotions ran high while 200 ultra trail runners raced through the Cinque Terre for the first ever SciaccheTrail marathon (which I talked about here).  The weather was absolutely perfect that Sunday;  after days of variable weather, the sun shining down on the runners seemed to denote Mother Nature’s approval.

SciaccheTrail was a grass roots success.  Complimenti to those who had the vision, dedication and desire to turn a dream into a reality.   It’s always heartwarming to see a community band together for a mutual cause, and the SciaccheTrail was no exception.  It is our hope that the marathon will become a proud annual tradition in the Cinque Terre.

And it wasn’t just locals that were inspired by the race.

“The spirit of the Cinque Terre humbled me and it became clear that this event wasn’t just another line on my race schedule, it was an arrow through the very heart of why I run.”  –Sally McRae

I don’t think a more flattering compliment could have been paid.

Bravi, ragazzi! 

The new extreme sport in the Cinque Terre: Trail running

The hiking trails in the Cinque Terre are world-famous and on just about every traveler’s bucket list that visits this area.  The trails throughout our territory vary in difficulty but the average Joe will find most to be a bit challenging.  Not so for the Cinque Terre trail runners, who take things to a whole ‘nother level.  This isn’t your everyday cross country running, it’s extreme trail running.

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Trail runner with Vernazza in the background, photo credit: SchiaccheTrail

On March 28 & 29 the Cinque Terre will host its first ever SciaccheTrail marathon & festivites.  The name of the event is a play on words, combining that of the famous and prized local dessert wine Sciacchetrà (pronounced Shock-eh-trah) and the English word trail.

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Trail runners training in the Cinque Terre, photo credit: SchiaccheTrail

The race, which will take place on Sunday, March 29, is 47 kilometers long (29.2 miles) and with 3000+ meters (9,843+ feet) of level changes.  Two hundred trail runners will make their way through the Cinque Terre vineyards on the cliffs above the Ligurian Sea; to call it picturesque is an understatement. 

For those not up for the extreme challenge, festivities are planned in Monterosso on both Saturday and Sunday (March 28 & 29, 2015).  Local products will be on showcase and there will be the possibility to taste Cinque Terre D.O.C. wines (both white and Sciacchetrà).

For more information on the event, here are some great resources:

Cinque Terre Trekking (follow them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook)

SciaccheTrail (keep up on Facebook or Instagram)

Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre (Cinque Terre National Park)

What’s going on with the Via dell’Amore?

Update 2017:  The works on the Via dell’Amore are at a complete standstill.  The local city  hall is waiting on national public funds to be released to pay for the extensive repair costs.  It sounds like it could be a very, very long wait.  *sigh*

The Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ Lane) connects the villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola and is the most famous portion of the Sentiero Azzurro (the path along the coast that connects all five villages of the Cinque Terre).  The Via dell’Amore has become a world-famous landmark in its own right, and is especially popular with visitors to the area (as it’s an easy 20 minute stroll along the waterfront rather than a vigorous hike like the remainder of the Sentiero Azzurro).  For locals, it has played an integral role in unifying the two villages and their residents.

A wedding party traveling from Riomaggiore to Manarola on the Via dell'Amore.   photo credit: M. Ravecca, Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

A wedding party traveling from Riomaggiore to Manarola on the Via dell’Amore.
photo credit: M. Ravecca, Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

Since its creation in the early 1900s, the Via dell’Amore has faced numerous periods of closure due to rock slides. Eventually, a tunnel was constructed for a portion of the path that was particularly prone to slides and steel netting was pinned to the mountainside in other areas at risk.  Obviously, the unique geography of this land with its steeps cliffs and rocky terrain makes for a constant struggle to keep slides at bay despite safety measures.  In September of 2012 an extensive slide closed the Via dell’Amore until present day.

The Via dell'Amore in the 60s/70s, before safety measures were instated. photo credit:  Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

The Via dell’Amore in the 60s/70s, before safety measures were instated.
photo credit: Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

Regarding the Via dell’Amore’s most recent closure, here are the facts:

  • September 24, 2012:  A rockslide on the Via dell’Amore injures four Australian tourists, two of which are hospitalized.
photo credit: Pistelli

photo credit: Pistelli

  • From that moment, the Via dell’Amore is officially closed by local ordinance and is sequestered by the Italian Procura (prosecutor’s office) while the slide and its cause are under investigation.
  • February 25, 2013:  The Italian Procura releases the Via dell’Amore back to the Comune di Riomaggiore, under explicit directions that the path is not to be reopened to the public until it is messa in sicurezza (deemed safe).
  • March 14, 2013:  The Regione Liguria proffers €800,000 euro to help with costs for the messa in sicurezza of the Via dell’Amore.  These funds were originally earmarked for a different project in our territory.
  • April 18, 2013:  Riomaggiore’s mayor as well as numerous experts in geological hazards perform their first official inspection of the Via dell’Amore.
  • April 22, 2013:  After the inspection, the Comune di Riomaggiore proposes that an extensive study be conducted by geologists and other professionals in the sector, detailing the current state of the path (and the terrain both above and below it) and what operations will be required in order to make the Via dell’Amore safe.  This is the beginning of a long and arduous process (and paper trail).
  • September 26, 2014:  An accord is signed between the Comune di Riomaggiore, Regione Liguria and the Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (the Italian railway) to authorize work on the portion of the Via dell’Amore directly above the Manarola railway station.
  • January 13, 2015:  Work on the portion of the Via dell’Amore above the railway station in Manarola begins.  Works for this phase will extend from the railway station in Manarola to the Bar Via dell’Amore (circa 200 meters).

UPDATE:

  • April 3, 2015:  Inauguration for the reopening of the first 200 meters of the Via dell’Amore (from the Manarola railway station to the Bar Via dell’Amore).
  • April 3, 2015:  The Regione di Liguria issues a press release pledging 1.5 million euro towards the Via dell’Amore project and promises another portion of the path will reopen before the end of 2015.
photo credit:  Comune di Riomaggiore

photo credit: Comune di Riomaggiore

Due to miles and miles of bureaucratic red tape and the slow motion grindings of Italy, the future of the Via dell’Amore at the moment looks grim.  The best case scenario for 2015 is that the portion of the Via dell’Amore between the Manarola railway station and the Bar Via dell’Amore will reopen.  As this is just one portion of the path (experts have divided the work into a total of seven sections based on geological surveys), you can probably imagine just how long the works on the Via dell’Amore will take to conclude.

photo credit: G. Pecunia, Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

photo credit: G. Pecunia, Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

For locals, the Via dell’Amore is more than just a touristic attraction; it’s the lifeline between two medieval villages.  It’s a place for elderly residents to sit in the sun and reminisce with one another.  It’s a place for young families to take their little ones on their first walks.  The closure of the Via dell’Amore is much more than just an inconvenience to visitors to our area, it’s the denial of a legacy to locals.  As can be imagined, villagers are feeling very disheartened and upset.  It’s in everyone’s interest to reopen the historic path as soon as possible.  The question remains, will it happen?  

photo credit:  Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

photo credit: Riomaggioresi Nel Mondo archives

Want to know a little more about the history of the Via dell’Amore?  Check out this article published on the Smithsonian website, penned by Rick Steves.

Want to follow the progress of the Via dell’Amore on the official Comune di Riomaggiore website?  Brushing up on your Italian beforehand is recommended: Situazione Via Dell’Amore

Want to see my most recent post on the Via dell’Amore?  Click here.