Riomaggiore is the south gate of Cinque Terre. Most people start their tour from here. But I believe that it would be much better to start the tour from the north like we did. This is a village right by the sea instead of up on a cliff. So it probably was more vulnerable to pirate attack in the past. We had a bit hard time finding the route from the street on top to the water front down below. But that probably only give the villagers a bit lead time to escape if and when there is an attack.