The hiking trail Via dell' Amore (Lovers’ lane) is the most famous and romantic stretch of the Cinque Terre coastline. It connects the picturesque villages of Riomaggiore and Manarola and is only about 1 km long. Via dell'Amore is the easiest section of the Sentiero Azzurro (blue trail) which takes the hikers from Riomaggiore to Monterosso.
The trail has a magical atmosphere as is excavated through hard rock and is winding along the rock-face overhanging the sea. The history of the Via dell'Amore path dates at the beginning of the 20th century during the modernisation of the Genoa - La Spezia railway line. A footpath was needed by the railroad workers to move between Riomaggiore and Manarola during the construction of the tunnel between the two villages. The legend holds that this footpath became a meeting place for lovers from the two towns.
Via dell'Amore is today the most famous site for tourists visiting the Cinque Terre. Due to landslides the trail has been closed for renovation works and is now reopened. Today it’s a paved flat walking path, not so much a hike but rather a pleasant stroll affording spectacular views of the cliffs, vineyards and the sea. It’s equipped with handrails and benches along the way making it ideal for inexperienced hikers.
You have to pay an entrance fee to walk the trail and there are Control Points at both ends of the path where you’ll be asked to show your ticket. The best way is to buy a Cinque Terre Card which covers the entrance to all walking trails and includes unlimited train travel on the Levanto - Cinque Terre - La Spezia line.