Riomaggiore is the most southern village of the five Cinque Terre, all connected by trail. The water and mountainside have been declared national parks.
The village, dating from the early thirteenth century, is known for its historic character and its wine, produced by the town's vineyards. Riomaggiore is in the Riviera di Levante region and has a shoreline on the Mediterranean's Gulf of Genoa, with a small beach and a wharf framed by tower houses. Riomaggiore's main street is Via Colombo, where numerous restaurants, bars, and shops can be found.
The Via dell'Amore is a path connecting Riomaggiore to its frazione Manarola, also part of the Cinque Terre.
Riomaggiore inspired paintings by Telemaco Signorini (1835–1901), one of the artists of the Macchiaioli group.
The main religious sights are the church of San Giovanni Battista (built in 1340 in gothic style), and the church of San Lorenzo (1338) with its beautiful rose window dating back to the 14th century. From the castle (built in 1260) you can enjoy a wonderful sight over the sea.
About 350 metres from the sea, along the coast road connecting the Cinque Terre with La Spezia, you can find the Sanctuary of Madonna di Montenero; enjoy the breathtaking panoramic view of the whole coastal line of the Cinque Terre.References:
German crusaders known as the Livonian Brothers of the Sword began construction of the Cēsis castle (Wenden) near the hill fort in 1209. When the castle was enlarged and fortified, it served as the residence for the Order's Master from 1237 till 1561, with periodic interruptions. Its ruins are some of the most majestic castle ruins in the Baltic states. Once the most important castle of the Livonian Order, it was the official residence for the masters of the order.
In 1577, during the Livonian War, the garrison destroyed the castle to prevent it from falling into the control of Ivan the Terrible, who was decisively defeated in the Battle of Wenden (1578).
In 1598 it was incorporated into the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Wenden Voivodship was created here. In 1620 Wenden was conquered by Sweden. It was rebuilt afterwards, but was destroyed again in 1703 during the Great Northern War by the Russian army and left in a ruined state. Already from the end of the 16th century, the premises of the Order's castle were adjusted to the requirements of the Cēsis Castle estate. When in 1777 the Cēsis Castle estate was obtained by Count Carl Sievers, he had his new residence house built on the site of the eastern block of the castle, joining its end wall with the fortification tower.
Since 1949, the Cēsis History Museum has been located in this New Castle of the Cēsis Castle estate. The front yard of the New Castle is enclosed by a granary and a stable-coach house, which now houses the Exhibition Hall of the Museum. Beside the granary there is the oldest brewery in Latvia, Cēsu alus darītava, which was built in 1878 during the later Count Sievers' time, but its origins date back to the period of the Livonian Order. Further on, the Cēsis Castle park is situated, which was laid out in 1812. The park has the romantic characteristic of that time, with its winding footpaths, exotic plants, and the waters of the pond reflecting the castle's ruins. Nowadays also one of the towers is open for tourists.