3 days and arrival in MXP, where to?

Old Aug 14th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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3 days and arrival in MXP, where to?

Due to using FF miles for our 2 week visit to Italy, we arriving into MXP for the first three of our trip to Tuscany and Rome. My initial thought was to stay in Milan for a few days but further thinking has me contemplating a visit elsewhere since I have already stayed in Milan several times.

I am considering Rapallo, SML for the laid back atmosphere and lovely coastline. Or perhaps Parma as I have never been.

We arrive on 5 October and I want to keep the train ride short as we have a double connection just to get into Milan.

I am not a fan of Como so not interested in going there again.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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Hi K,

You are tired of Venice?

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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 05:53 AM
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LOL...you could say that
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 06:38 AM
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Parma is fantastic - we were just there a few weeks ago and it is as good as ever. The food, the cloths shopping, etc etc. Can't say enough about Parma!

We have a new program about Parma coming this weekend:

http://www.webvisionitaly.com/category.php?id=11


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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 06:48 AM
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Hi Kfusto - The Rapallo/Santa Margherita/Camogli area is perhaps my favourite part of Liguria - I don't think you can go wrong there

Or ... how about Lake Lugano?

Lake Orta gets good reviews too (- although I've never been).

Steve
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 07:11 AM
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You want something laid back, so I'm not going to suggest Torino, which would be a straight 90 minute shot out of Malpensa on the bus and is chock full of quirky sites.

I think Rapallo would give you the most variety from the rest of your trip, if that matters to you. Lots of fresh seafood and pesto, no big list of demanding tourist "must sees". Chance to walk off the jet lag in a variety of ways.

There is a one direct bus per day from Malpensa to Genova that might work for you (it leaves at 11:30 am I think). Otherwise, train from Centrale to Rapallo. The Eurostar is nice after a long flight.

Have a nice trip.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Rapallo is unfortunately out of the question due to the boat races in Genoa. Accommodation is sold out.

It looks like we will either stay in Milan as originally planned or head to Parma for the three days.

Thanks.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Don't forget about Torino!

Also, if you really want Liguria, there are always hotel rooms and B&Bs, despite the boat fair.

You just have to dig. I would try B&Bs in all towns, and B&Bs and hotels in Chiavari, Levanto, Bonassola, Deiva Marina, Bogliasco, Sori, plus Cinque Terre itself, which often doesn't attract the yacht crowd.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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zeppole, thanks and I did find a room in Rapallo, my first choice. We are booked at the Excelsior Palace for 3 nights and I am excited about returning there and also to perhaps see some of the boat races.

I believe you live very close to Rapallo and would enjoy restaurant recommendations. We will not need a restaurant with a view as our room has one but looking for a reasonable option for fresh seafood and good pasta.

I enjoyed the small trattoria just behind Europa Hotel last visit. It is on the side street...do you perhaps know it?
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 08:23 AM
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That's great you got a room.

I do live close to Rapallo but I have never eaten anything other than a few snacks there! That's just sort of the way it is from one town to the next in Liguria. Each has its own good restaurants and you'd rather walk home after dinner than get on a train -- although I do keep eyeing the chinese restaurant near the train station in Rapallo and wondering if I should give it a go!

It is a good rule of thumb to ignore the seaviews and look for a restaurant a bit toward the hills -- but sometimes those hotel and seaside restaurants have great eats. See if you can some intelligence from the locals.

If you are really keen on a fine Genovese meal, take the 10 minute bus ride to Ruta, and connect there for the 5-minute minibus to San Rocco di Camogli, and eat lunch at La Cucina di Nonna Nina. Buses in Rapallo leave from the piazza opposite the train station. You should go for lunch rather than dinner, because the buses stop running too early. On a nice day, there are incredible views from the church in San Rocco.

http://www.portofinotrekking.com/dati/foto2-21.jpg

By train from Rapallo, you might enjoy a short trip at the cocktail hour to Sestri Levante. Walk out on the peninsula to enjoy a glass of wine in the fishing cove:

http://www.casaammiraglio.it/image/sestri_levante.jpg

If you are there at lunchtime, I've heard Polpo Mario in Sestri Levante, which serves mainly octopus, is good but have never eaten there.

In the other direction on the train, Camogli makes a pretty destination for cocktails or simple lunches.

http://www.jndstravelog.com/Europe/C...es/Camogli.jpg

Some nice lunch choices are Arial Vento in the fishing marina, Da Paolo for risotto (no view), or La Primula for salads, or Le Creperie for something fresh and light. La Primula also has fine gelato and cocktails.

I think it's best not to eat lunch in Portofino, but catching a boat there for a coffee or drink can be nice.

I've yet to take the funicular up the hill in Rapallo for the view, but I want to.

Or you could just relax! The Ligurian towns differ slightly from each other in feeling, but not much at all in menus. My first trip to the area, I dozed in the sun for 3 days running, and took a boat ride. Never felt I missed a thing.

Have a great time!
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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PS: If you lunch at La Cucina di Nonna Nina in San Rocco di Camogli, you might prefer the long, flat walk back to Ruta to settle your stomach before taking the winding via Aurelia over the mountain back to Rapallo. Just a tip.

http://www.nonnanina.it/
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 08:30 AM
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One more thing:

Even on a day with sprinkles, it is quite charming to walk from Nonna Nina down the staircase to Camogli, and catch the train there. It is not strenuous in the slightest walking down, and it takes about 25 minutes. If you have bad knees, you might not want to do it, but otherwise, it's fun, and gives you a real sense of traditional agricultural life in the Ligurian hills, and its relationship to the lives of the fishing villages.

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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 09:25 AM
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saving
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 09:49 AM
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zeppole, thanks for the recommendations! I love octopus and will definitely add that to my list.

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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 10:54 AM
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http://www.polpomario.it/

If you like octopus and are in Camogli at lunchtime or even earlier, the creperies right on the lungomare serves freshly made crepe with baby octopus, and it's delicious. I ask the owner to go easy on the vinegar (aceto -- but she speaks English).

There is also a pizzeria right on the lungomare called Osteria delle Pance that makes a tepid octopus salad with potatoes and pesto. It may be the only really good dish they have, and I'm not sure they always have it. Their pizza is OK.

I'm not recommending you go out of your way for either, but if you're there and you're hungry...
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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Sorry for a typo: My post made it look like there is more there one creperie on the lungomare. There isn't. There is only one -- quite tiny, with a few tables. It's either called Le Creperie or Le Bretonne. I can't remember. But it's easy to spot if you're looking for it.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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zeppole, sounds delightful...and I speak enough Italian to get by so the language has not been a problem.

My grandmother and grandfather on my father's side were born in Catania and spoke no English and my mom's dad came here from Ascoli Piceno. I have always loved Italy and loved the language and make an effort to bruch up before I visit.
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Old Aug 15th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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Ooooo. Ascoli Piceno. What a beautiful town!

One strategy I think works is that if you like the food in a restaurant, you tell the proprietor how much you like it, and then say you'll be eating lunch or dinner in another town -- and what restaurants do they recommend there? But you need to explain you want to taste strong Ligurian cooking, or else they send you to the most refined restaurants, with upscale cooking. It's nice, but anchovies and olives is better, I think.

Italians are the most forgiving people in Europe about mangling their lovely language.
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Old Aug 17th, 2008, 05:27 AM
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I got lucky this morning and found two seats that opened up for FF miles on 3 October. Now we have a great itinerary and more time in Italy

1 day in Milano
3 full days in Rapallo
8 nights in Tuscany, based in Firenze
4 nights Rome (with a visit to Orvieto)

Now all I have to do is wait 7 weeks til we leave
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