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Cinque Terra - Italy

Posted by k UMGELTER - Created: 15 years ago
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Hi I know that a while back there were quite a few people going to Cinque Terra in Italy and I would like to know if anyone can advise me on hotel prices and suggest a good one that isn't too expensive.Also, is it better to go by train or by car?Other advice?Thank you.Krista

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4 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 4)

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

STG - I do agree that Porto Venere is worth a side trip but it takes the lion's share of a day to do it if you are in Cinque Terre for just a weekend or so.

Furthermore, the ferry from Porto Venere to Cinque Terre is not running this time of year.  I believe it starts in May or June.  Therefore you have only that winding bus trip to La Spezia and then the walk across town and then the train to Cinque Terre.

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 15 years ago

Park in the village square of Porto Venere , and take the bus ! You can also take the little ferry that does the rounds !

Italy at its best !!

 

stgeorge

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 15 years ago

Whoa su!!!!   Are you talking about Rome?

I did not find the Cinque Terre like that at all but I must admit it helps a LOT if you speak a few words of Italian.  I've been there a lot recently as I am planning on adopting and restoring a terraced vineyard in the hills and it is just the most wonderful laid back place with genuine friendly Italian people.  Because there are no crowds and no street stalls (in fact very few streets) you do not have the "hassle factor" of big cities.

Also, I'd contest that there is no parking.  It really depends on WHEN you visit.  This time of year is PERFECT!  Avoid the Easter holiday be warned to stay away in summer.  Of course if you are going to Cinque Terre, you will not use your car at all, but if for some reason you need it to facilitate your journey there or back, then I'd advise either park in La Spezia and take the train in to one of the Cinque Terre villages, or park in Monterosso at the station (free at this time of year) or park outside of Vernazza (free) and walk the 900 metres into the town.

Outside of Monterosso there is very little accommodation.  Certainly at this time of year half the places are closed but that is precisely its beauty.  All the walks are open and the weather is PERFECT. 

Here are my favourite Cinque Terre web pages ;

http://www.cinqueterre.it/index.html

http://homepage.sunrise.ch/homepage/avong/cinque_terre/index.htm

http://www.fishnet.it/fishnet.html

The first site has an excellent hotel guide village by village.  I've tried a few and I would say that Monterosso is good for practicality and choice but prices are higher there.  Vernazza is the cutest but Corniglia is also pretty cute.

My personal advice: if you want restaurants nearby and handy hotel-to-town walks, stay in Monterosso.  If you want spectacular beauty and quaint village (even if you must walk) try Corniglia or Vernazza.  My personal favourite balancing affordability, comfort and spectacular view is Fabio's bed and breakfast up a steep cliff walk 15 minutes on the "blue path" out of Vernazza.   Take your flashlight if you are arriving in the dark!!

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Posted by su-183154 - 15 years ago

Krista,

I would suggest you go by train, as it really is difficult to find anywhere to park round there. Also, I imagine you're intending to walk the whole - or part of - the Cinque Terre, in which case a car would be unnecessary, and it just becomes a headache.

I can't advise on hotels - I know that area well, but I always used to stay with a friend in Recco. I know there are a lot of hotels of varying price ranges in and around all five villages, but bear in mind that Italy is expensive. If you can, go there during low season - not only are hotel prices lower, but you avoid the holiday crowds. I remember I once stayed in a nice little "pensione" in Riomaggiore - can't remember the name of it, sorry - which was reasonably-priced as it was an out of season rate.

If you are planning to go for Easter or in August, I would strongly recommend that you book a place to stay beforehand (and well in advance).

The Cinque Terre walk is gorgeous and not too difficult, but you need comfortable walking shoes, but I'm sure you know that already! Looking down from some of the cliffs can be a bit vertigo-inducing, so if you have a problem with heights - well, just carry on walking and don't look down!

The only other thing to be careful of - and I'm not being racist, my boyfriend's Italian and he'd be the first to agree with me when I say this - is not to get ripped off by Italians. If you speak Italian, even just enough to get by, you'll be at an advantage, of course. If you don't speak any, just check and double-check all bills and change. And make sure they don't give you counterfeit money - that used to happen to me all the time! And be careful of pick-pockets!

What else? Don't forget your camera, of course

Have fun!