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Riomaggiore was first mentioned in 1251. Riomaggiore, with its typical house-towers in pastel colors, boasts monuments of great interest, among which Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, a church built in 1340, and l’Oratorio di Santa Maria Assunta, which houses a Trittico dating back to the fourteenth century and a wooden statue of the Virgin (1300). A Castle in a panoramic elevated position dominates the historical centre. Manarola, hamlet of Riomaggiore, is a town planning jewel, rich as it is in typical tower houses of Genoese style. Founded during the XII century, the village probably derives its name from an antique "magna roea", a large mill wheel still viewable in the village. The first evidence of the village dates back to the year 1200. The most important monument of the hamlet is the church of San Lorenzo, built in 1338. Also important is the bell tower, detached from the main body of the church, probably because of its original defensive role. The villages of Cinque Terre can be reached by train or by ferry from La Spezia, Portovenere, or other Italian Riviera villages. There are popular hiking trails between the villages as well as in the scenic hills above them.