Skip to Content

La Via dell’amore: The Story Of The Path of Love | Cinque Terre, Italy

La Via dell’amore: The Story Of The Path of Love | Cinque Terre, Italy

Last Updated on April 30, 2024

The Story of the Via Dell’Amore, Italy’s Path Of Love

Until the 20th century, there were no roads connecting the villages of Cinque Terre and most people spent their entire lives strolling through the same winding streets, trekking up and down the same steep staircases of their own village, few daring to cross the rugged mountain cliffs that separate them.

Only olive farmers or those who tended to the cliff side vineyards were less secluded, but most villagers were destined to experience all of life’s affairs in one small town – including affairs of the heart. Although the Mediterranean diet and physical exertion of living in such a mountainous regions most likely kept villagers fit, even then the selection of preferable partners was very slim.Manarola from via dell'amoreThen, in the early 1920’s, improved engineering made the construction of a stone path possible along the sheer cliffs between Riomaggiore and Manarola (a feat previously thought impossible) to trade fruits, vegetables and other goods.
Cinque Terre vineyard & Mediterranean sea
While this was beneficial to the farmers, the new passage quickly became a dream come true for the boys of Manarola to meet the girls of Riomaggiore and vice-versa. Inter-village relationships sprung up, and the path connecting the two hamlets quickly became a meeting spot for young lovers. At dusk, as the sun set over the Mediterranean Sea, couples met here to spend romantic time together along the picturesque cliffs.

If you are walking this trail solo and wish you’d be walking with a significant other: why not give international dating apps a chance? One of my favorite dating experiences while traveling was going on a date in Milan a few years ago – let’s just say Italians know how to woo someone they’re into 😉

via dell'amore dani & jess

La Via dell’amore: The Path of Love

Today, the path draws lovers at sunset, sunrise and all times of day, only now the love is shared by couples from around the world, many of whom seal their love with a lock.Padlocks along the Via dell'amore

Thousands of padlocks line every inch of available space along the chain link fences, railings and posts on the Via, a tradition which has developed over time by couples who flock to the path and seal their love in order to stay together forever.Lockpads along the via dell'amore

Locks with Manarola in the background
The passion extends beyond the padlock, with declarations of love written on walls, boulders, benches and even scratched in to the cactus plants which grow out of the cliffs.Agave cactus via dell'amore

Locks & messages via dell'amore

Via dell’amore – not just for lovers

The Path of Love is set at the beginning of the chain of five towns of Cinque Terre National Park, which means that not only love-birds flock to this northern Italian destination. Most of this path had to be closed in 2012 after a landslide, and is finally reopening! The first hikers were able to enjoy the trail again in 2023, after being closed for over a decade, and the entire trail is set to reopen in the summer of 2024.
path of love hearts
Hikers can trek the exhausting dirt paths which connect all five towns (check out our full article about hiking the Cinque Terre Trail), foodies can hop between villages on the efficient, convenient train to test the many mouth-watering restaurants. There is swimming to be done on the beach, historical sites to be visited, beer to gulped, wine to be tasted.

Cinque Terre coast

The Path Of Love – Practical Information

Currently, you have to reserve tickets for the trail online, and can only hike it as part of a guided tour. Tickets are 5 Euros, and hikes can be booked between 9am and 5pm every day. Find detailed information on how to hike the Via dell’ amore and book your tickets here.

The trail is only around 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) long – it’s an easy stroll on a well maintained foot path. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from Riomaggiore to Manarola. We’d rate this hike as easy, however, we’d still recommend sturdy footwear. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen and carry water with you.

Manarola from the path of love

Love lockdown on the Brooklyn Bridge | GlobetrotterGirls Travel

Tuesday 26th of November 2013

[…] came across them for the first time when we hiked in Cinque Terre in northern Italy, where ‘The Path Of Love’ is covered in love padlocks from couples from all around the globe. Interestingly, Wikipedia […]

Pierpaolo Paradisi

Friday 7th of December 2012

The next time don't forget to visit us:



Saturday 8th of December 2012

Pierpaolo - thanks for letting us know about your place, we'd love to stay with you next time we're in Cinque Terre. We are hoping to return soon :)

Genova, la bella « Daniel Agnew

Sunday 14th of October 2012

[...] it is lucky in that respect as Genoa is classically Italian unlike the five sea shells along the Via dell’Amore, which were bought and sold for Australian gold a long time ago. Universally beautiful Cinque Terre [...]


Sunday 11th of September 2011

My wife and I will be there in 2 weeks. We will have a rent a car and wanted to know if parking can be found as we are not able to make the longer hikes but do want to experience La Via dell’amore?


Sunday 11th of September 2011

Hi Dan, we parked our car in Riomaggiore, the first of the villages when driving into Cinque Terre from La Spezia. There's a big parking garage, but it fills up quickly, so come early, and it's pretty expensive (20 Euros for the day). From there, you can purchase your Cinque Terre pass (5 Euros) which allows you to take the train all day long between the villages, and also includes the hike. I'd recommend doing the first bit of the path - Riomaggiore to Manarola - it's only 25 minutes, beautiful scenery, and you're right at the train station in Manarola. The cheaper option is parking the car in La Spezia near the train station there - the price for the train ticket is the same (5 Euros) and it's only about 20 minutes by train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore. Enjoy Cinque Terre!

Linda Rogerson

Monday 29th of August 2011

Oh, how I loved my trips to Cinque Terra!!!! I have been several times and am headed that way again Sept of 2012, hopefully to walk the Via with my new husband. It is one of the most special places in all of Italy and I can't wait to go back! I have thousands of photos of it and will take thousands more! Great website! Ciao, bellas! Leenda


Thursday 1st of September 2011

Linda - make sure to hike the Via, it's such a fantastic path. And September is a great time, not too hot anymore and not as many tourists as during the summer months.