According to stories, were Greek refugees who fled from the ruler Leone of Byzantium in the 8th century and settled the hill at Montenero. In the 11th century, the settlement shifted to the sea, where the small port is today.
The village of Riomaggiore was founded in the 13th century in the valley of the Rio Maggiore. Today about 1700 inhabitants live in Riomaggiore.
In 1251, the inhabitants of the individual settlements united and joined the Republic of Genoa in the war against Pisa.
In 1260 the construction of the Castello and other fortifications began.
Under the rule of Genoa, the economic boom began with wine growing on the steep terraced vineyards and trade, so that the Cinque Terre wine became famous in Europe.
The isolation of the five villages of the Cinque Terre only ended with the construction of the railway in the middle of the 19th century. When the railway line was built, a second district was built on the Rio Finale stream, where the Riomaggiore train station is today. The two districts are separated by the steep Campiòne rock. At the bottom of the rock is the Castello.
The access from the country with the serpentine roads was only built in the middle of the 19th century and this cleared the way for unrestricted trade and tourism.