The colors of the Cinque Terre are unmistakable in the eyes of the world: the intense green of the hills, the gold of the beaches, the mottled blue of the sea and, above all, the rainbow of houses …
History of Riomaggiore
The history of Riomaggiore begins in the VIII century, when, according to legend, a group of Greek refugees took refuge on the hills of the Ligurian coast, creating the first nucleus of the village.
But only after the year 1000, when it was ceded to Genoa, Riomaggiore began to prosper: the inhabitants, without fearing external attacks, moved to the coast, leaving the hills on which they planted vines and olive groves deserted.
Since the Middle Ages, wine and oil are the products that have marked the history of Riomaggiore.
The processing of grapes and olives is so important for the economy of the place that it has conditioned not only the surrounding landscape, dotted with terraces and dry stone walls, but also the architecture of the buildings.
Let’s take a short trip in these small, extraordinary quirks!
Tower houses of Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore is characterized by the typical tower-houses of the Ligurian landscape, but not everyone knows the reason behind this strange shape!
The houses grow in height to leave more space for the land to cultivate; moreover, the lower floor of each dwelling was usually destined for the cellar, equipped with a wine press and barrels. The houses had two entrances: the main one, which through the caruggio led to the sea, and the secondary one, located at the back, from which one passed to reach the hill and facilitate the transport of fruit and vegetables.
Another ancient feature of the village is the area of the trogi, ancient washhouses used by women when there was no running water at home. They are located right by the sea, at the end of the old staircase that connected the hill to the Marina and passed through the Malborghetto district.
Art on the walls
On the facades of the tower-houses it is not uncommon to see some paintings: a cat, a window, even an entire balcony, all strictly fake! In ancient times, in fact, the administration had imposed a fee for each opening facing the street. But in Liguria, where aesthetics cannot be renounced, the inhabitants have decorated the houses with colors, giving life to one of the most beautiful villages in the world!