Riomaggiore ( Rimazùu [rimaˈzuː] ) is a Italian municipality of 1 485 inhabitants of the province of La Spezia Liguria. Ancient village of the Riviera of the east, it is the easternmost and most southern of the so-called Five Lands.
Riomaggiore, as well as the other Cinque Terre , is sandwiched between the Ligurian Sea and the steep mountain range that is detached from the Apennines at the mountain Zatta and descends in a south-east direction acting as a watershed between the Vara valley and the coastal area. The historic center, whose original nucleus dates back to the 13th century, is located in the valley of the Rio Maggiore torrent, the ancient Rivus Major from which the village takes its name.
The built-up area is composed of several parallel orders of houses Genoese towers that follow the steep course of the stream. The new Station district, so called because it developed from the second half of the nineteenth century following the arrival of the Genoa-Pisa railway , is instead located in the adjacent valley of the Rio Finale stream (Rufinàu), so called because it once marked the border between the lands of Riomaggiore and those of Manarola ( Manaèa ).
The two valleys on which the inhabited area extends are separated by the steep coast of Campiòne ( Canpiòn ), on the lower part of which rises the castle of the village. The Rio Maggiore valley is surmounted by Mount Verugola ( Verügua ), whose three peaks, depicted in the municipal coat of arms, have always represented the symbol of the village.
The territory is part of the Cinque Terre National Park and of the UNESCO site, Porto Venere , Cinque Terre E Isole ( Palmaria , Tino and Tinetto ) .
Riomaggiore, protected by the Ligurian Apennines , is at the same time bathed by the Ligurian Sea . Therefore it enjoys a particularly mild climate. Summer temperatures are not too high and winter ones are not at all rigid.
The origin of the village of Riomaggiore, according to an ancient legend handed down orally but not validated by historical sources, dates back to the 8th century. It is said that a group of Greek refugees, to escape the persecutions of the iconoclastic emperor Leone III Isaurico , after various adventures landed at the tip of Montenero and formed settlements in the ridge area. These settlements, which included Cacinagora, Sericò, Montenero, Limen and Casale, were later annexed to the brand obertenga.
It was only after the year 1000 that, thanks to the greater security of the Ligurian Sea brought by the growing expansion of the Republic of Genoa ,
the inhabitants of the primitives hilly settlements were gradually able to descend towards the sea, thus giving rise to the first nucleus of the village of Riomaggiore, located in the current quarter of the Marina .
The first historical information on the territory of Riomaggiore dates back to 1251 when the inhabitants of the district of Carpena gathered to swear allegiance to the Genoese Republic in its war against Pisa. The villages were however then still fief of the Marquis Turcotti, lord of Ripalta , near Borghetto di Vara, which around 1260 built the local castle and others fortifications.
The territory of Riomaggiore passed later among the domains of Nicolò Fieschi, from which it was sold to Genoa in 1276 together with the other villages of the Cinque Terre and much of the eastern Liguria.
The Genoese domination guaranteed the Cinque Terre a period of political tranquility and economic and commercial expansion: in this period the viticulture was enhanced through the work of terracing of the hills and the wine that was produced there became famous throughout Europe . In all the Cinque Terre this flowering was expressed in the construction of new churches, larger and more beautiful than the original ones. In Riomaggiore the construction of the parish church of San Giovanni Battista began in 1340 at the behest of the bishop of Luni Antonio Fieschi .
The history of Riomaggiore then followed the ups and downs of the Genoese republic, which included the territory in the Podesteria of Vernazza , until its decline.
With the new French domination of Napoleon Bonaparte he returned from 2 December 1797 in the Department of the Gulf of Venus, with the capital of La Spezia, within the Ligurian Republic . From April 28, 1798 with the new French legal systems, Riomaggiore returned to the 8th canton, the capital Vernazza , of the jurisdiction of the Gulf of Venus. From 1803 it was the main center of the III canton of the Gulf of Venus in the jurisdiction of the Gulf of Venus. Annexed to the First French Empire from 13 June 1805 to 1814 it was included in the Department of the Apennines.
In 1815 it was included in the Kingdom of Sardinia, as established by the Congress of Vienna in 1814, and later in the Kingdom of Italy from 1861. From 1859 to 1927 the territory was included in the first mandate of La Spezia in the district of Levante forming part of the province of Genoa and, with the establishment in 1923, of the province of La Spezia.
At the end of the 19th century, thanks to the construction of the Genoa-La Spezia railway line, Riomaggiore and the Cinque Terre emerged from their historic isolation. A carriage road will come only in the sixties of the following century.
The last adjustments to the municipal territory date back to 1871 with the detachment of the fraction of Corniglia and its unification in the territory of Vernazza .
From 1973 to 31 December 2008 he was part of the Mountain Community of the Spezzina Riviera . From 2015 to 2017 it was part of the Union of Municipalities of the Vertical Lands.