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August in Italian Riviera? HELP with ideas...

August in Italian Riviera? HELP with ideas...

Jan 18th, 2016, 12:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 150
August in Italian Riviera? HELP with ideas...

My husband and I have a wedding in Lucca at the end of July. After that, we 6 days in the first week of August to travel. We're going in and out from Pisa Airport. So.... Is it REALLY that CROWDED in the Italian Riviera that time of year? What about the Cinque Terre? We don't know what do do with our time after the wedding. We are seasoned Italy travelers, have been in so many regions and my husband is fluent in Italian. Other that an hour stop in Genoa to Piemonte a few years back, we have never toured the Italian Riviera. Please provide ideas for an itinerary.
Cinart is offline  
Jan 18th, 2016, 12:52 PM
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DH and I always wanted to see Camogli. On paper, it looks so charming. You'd need to google the dates but at some point the town cooks up a huge fish fry in an enormous pan.

We based in Pisa (for longer than 6 days) once and trained or bussed to Cinque Terre*, Florence, Viareggio (a beach town), San Gim. and maybe Siena.

*We were there in March and not all the trails were open. Also, we had been to Florence and only went there to see a Botticelli exhibit.

On another thread, someone listed lots of spas in the area. Can anyone help?
TDudette is offline  
Jan 18th, 2016, 02:22 PM
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You only need to pick a town that is not crowded. There are many to choose from and most of them are very beautiful and they all have hiking opportunties. They vary in size, and it is simpler if you stay in the towns that have train stations. Not all the towns have great hotels, so check reviews, but they all have places to eat that serve the local food (and not much else -- seafood and pesto).

They bigger towns are livelier, loads of fun, and have more Italians that tourists. They are Sestri Levante, Rapallo, and Chiavari.

The mid-sized towns are picturesque and sleepy with boat rides and hikes: Camogli, Levanto (very close to le Cinque Terre, so crowded) and Moneglia. There is also Santa Margherita Ligure, but it tends to expensive and more crowded because it is right next to Portofino.

The tiniest towns are Bonassola and Zoagli.

If you very much want to swim and lay on the beach, you should probably book lodgings with a private beach.

Although it sounds great to have a sea view from your hotel, the July/August sun is really extremely hot and it just beats down on the seafront relentlessly. The towns are built so that the streets away from the beach are shady and breezy. They are usually pedestrianized and therefore quieter as well.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 18th, 2016, 02:27 PM
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Thanks. What about Portovenere or the surrounding towns?
Cinart is offline  
Jan 21st, 2016, 08:30 AM
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No help with Portovenere from here, sorry.
TDudette is offline  
Jan 21st, 2016, 09:33 AM
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Portovenere, Santa Maria Ligure, or Camofli would be my choices.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 21st, 2016, 10:39 AM
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Can't speak on crowds, but if I were so blessed to have 6 days to kill in August I might consider something like Rapallo or even Genoa (the Italian beach ritual does not do it for me, but I love the coast).
I loved Camogli (loved the view from our b&b in San Rocco di Camogli and its proximity to Portofino hikes even more: http://www.larosabiancadiportofino.com/home_en.html).
Of course much depends on if you want to drive or take train and whether you want immediate beach access or not.
I loved Lerici and its environs, further south on the Riviera, even more, but a car would be preferable for that area. I'd want to first find out what the traffic is like on the Montemarcello peninsula in early August.
I'd steer clear of Cinque Terre at most times of year.
yorkshire is offline  
Jan 21st, 2016, 11:07 AM
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TD hit a home run.

We have stayed in Camogli 3 times and enjoyed each time.

Wonderful restaurants

Easy to catch a train to many different locations, including the Cinque Terre.

Both of our times at the CT were busy in July, but we don't like ghost towns.

Plus you could visit sandralist.
iris1745 is offline  
Jan 21st, 2016, 04:35 PM
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I've stayed in both Camogli and Rapallo and like them both. From Rapallo I did day trips to Portovenere, Portofino, S. Marguerita, the CT towns. Both my trips to the area were in July but the only place I found really crowded was Manarola and Vernazza in the middle of the towns in the middle of the day.

Here's my most recent trip report (scroll half way down to get to the Italian part). There's also link to my photos.

I loved the hotel I stayed at in Rapallo, right on the beach over looking the little castle.

isabel is online now  
Jan 21st, 2016, 04:53 PM
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Loved your photos Isabel.

This is where we have stayed 3 times in Camogli.

iris1745 is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2016, 04:12 PM
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Portovenere has no train station and I would expect it to be as crowded as le Cinque Terre in August because it is a cruise ship port as well as big tourist destination. If you decide to go with a car, make sure you book a hotel with guaranteed parking.
sandralist is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2016, 05:49 PM
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I stayed in Santa Margarita Ligure in august & did not find it to be too crowded.
It was a great base. From here we took the train to one CT town & then did boat trips to the others.
From here we also took a boat trip to Portofino.

Would definately do this again.
millie2112 is offline  
Jan 24th, 2016, 01:41 AM
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Actually, Cinart, if you go to the area of Portovenere with a car it is better to stay in Lerici.

Also, I noticed someone said you could visit me in August in Camogli. Not a chance! Not only do I not do GTGs, I generally leave the coast in August to go someplace cooler in the Italian mountains.
sandralist is offline  
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