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Riomaggiore – The way of love

In the railway station of Riomaggiore there is the beginning of the path 592-1 (SVA2), which is known to most people as “way of love”.

The way of love, which connects Manarola to Riomaggiore, is one of the most famous paths in Italy. This path was initially baptized Strada Nuova and this would have remained its name if it had not been for a curious circumstance. The journalist and writer Paolo Monelli, walking along the path, noticed on the door of a disused warehouse an inscription written in whitewash: “way of love”. It was probably the work of a young man in love who used to meet his lover here. Monelli told the story on the pages of the Corriere della Sera and since then that became the official name of the street.

Along the path it is possible to admire the zoned sandstones of Riomaggiore with their folded, knee and hinge layers, the imprints of load and current and the signs of marine erosion. The exotic vegetation consisting of agaves, pittosporum, prickly pears and South African Hottentots has adapted well to the brackish climate. And it has found a safe home here. At the same time, the sea fennel, the sea dauco, the violacea, the rue and the rare Brassica robertiana (relative of the more common cabbage) vegetate among the cliffs more exposed to the winds, while upstream the Mediterranean maquis covers the rocks with the arboreal euphorbia, the lentisk and the Aleppo pine. All along the way, the flight of seagulls and bald eagles usually accompanies the walks of young couples in love, making them unforgettable.

Unfortunately, today the Way of Love is not viable due to a collapse that occurred in 2012, which has “paused” this wonder. The restoration works should take twenty-eight months and the path will reopen in 2023.
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