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History and description of the Via dell’Amore (Lovers’ street)

The “Via dell’Amore” is the tourist pathway connecting Riomaggiore to Manarola.

The landscape beauties characterising the path and the wonderful spots are some of the reason of its reputation but, without any doubt, also its history reveals very interesting aspects.
The main reason which brought to the realization of the “Via dell’Amore” is strictly connected to the modernization works of the railway line Genoa-La Spezia started at the beginning of the 20th Century, when it was necessary to build a tunnel between Manarola and Riomaggiore.
For that reason it was necessary to carve two paths overlooking the sea, one from Manarola and one from Riomaggiore, with the aim to reach a safe and not easily reachable space where to place the powder-magazine where the mines for the works were prepared.
After the end of the works the powder-magazine was destroyed but the two paths didn’t follow the same destiny and the inhabitants of the two villages understood soon the usefulness to connect with a short and accessible the two villages.

Two inhabitants of the area took it upon themselves to modify the two paths in order to make them more accessible.
The project involved a great number of difficulties, especially for what concerns straight and smooth rocks. However, the result was very satisfying , and for a lot of years other renovation works were not necessary.
After few years from the creation of the “Strada Nuova” the first tourists were fascinated by the romantic note of this place, so it took the name of “Via dell’Amore”, because it sounded more suggestive.
The location of the street from the environmental point of view, make it very subject to a high risk of degradation (first of all the erosive action of the sea). At the end of the 80ies the path was closed because of a lot of landslides.

Thanks to the financing of the European Union in 1995 some renovation works were begun and finally the “Via dell’Amore” was reopened.

The beauty of the landscape and the mildness of the climate make this itinerary one of the most visited both in summer and in winter season, it is easy to reach from Riomaggiore Railway station and it has lots of banks along the way from where you can enjoy the magnificent panorama.

Starting Point of Via dell’Amore: GPS N 44°06.053’ E 009°44.163’