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Back from wonderful trip. Thanks to all here.

Back from wonderful trip. Thanks to all here.

May 19th, 2000, 10:14 AM
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Back from wonderful trip. Thanks to all here.

I too have just returned from 12 glorious days in Italy. We stayed in Levanto and Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, Florence, and then Venice. We had a wonderful time everywhere we went. I received very good advice here about getting around on trains, hotels, restaurants, and it all helped. This along with my own research made for an amazing time. I would be happy to share my experience and give details. For example, before we went we were told (warned) it could be difficult to dine well in Venice but we had a good list of options and we ate wonderful meals in delightful places, some (very) expense like da Fiore and other downright cheap (pizzaria ae oche) We found some special places to stay, like the Stella Maris Hotel in Levanto which was not inexpensive but included a lovely leisurely dinner. We gave ourselves enough time in each area to not feel rushed. On advice from here, we had advance reservations for the Ufizzi and to see David in Florence made for us by our wonderful hotel, the Ritz. That kind of advice and the general discussions here over the past few weeks before my trip were invaluable. Thank you.
May 19th, 2000, 10:23 AM
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Thanks for the posting...just in time I too am going to ITaly in June. I had doubts about how much time I needed in each area. Can you tell me how long you stayed in the Cinque Terre. I'm beginning to wonder if I scheduled too much time there as I would like to tour Tuscany as well, but need to end up in Verona at the end of a weeks stay.
What did you do and where did you eat in the Cinque Terre.
May 19th, 2000, 11:13 AM
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Kay: It is not clear to me what you think is enough time or not, but we spent four nights in the CT area. We did it to relax, hike and get a chance to eat pesto where it originated. One night in Levanto and three based in Vernazza. We ate at Il Barreto and Gambero Rosso in Vernazza (I actually did the tourist menu there for 55,000 lira and it was an immense and delicious meal) and Ciak in Monterosso. We also went to bakeries for our foccaccia every morning and to other small shops for yogurts, blood oranges, prepared delights like marinated eggplant, and of course we ate gelato. Everything was terrific.

In Levanto we walked its wide sweeeping beach and collected beautfiul beach glass and tumbled pebbles. We explored its historical section and lovely old black and white church. We trained from town to town, walked and hiked between most of them and we also took ferries. We walked each town and enjoyed little cafes. We sat by the water and watched kids play. We lingered at restaurants. We simply enjoyed the incredible scenery. We never got bored.

We did not see Tuscany as we want to save that for its own trip. We had a limited itinerary: 4 CT, 2 Florence, 6 Venice. I had blinders on for the rest of Italy and hope to go another time. This schedule worked extremenly well for us, but then we knew we wanted the time in Venice, not everyone does. We thought we might want to spend a day or so on side trips from Venice like get to Verona, but we never found the time. We got as far as Burano and Lido, tho.
May 19th, 2000, 11:21 AM
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Maddy; sounds like a great trip.
Next weekend we are off to North Italy for a week. Staying about 25miles inland from the Cinque Terre.

Would you recommend a day trip to the villages? And if so where and to do what?
May 19th, 2000, 01:08 PM
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Thanks Maddy,
I needed that info! Nope, one week will not be enought to do it all. I too want to relax and soak the country in. So I am already planning on returning every year after year after year. This many posts on the forum can't be wrong...
I'll be staying in S.Margerita Ligure, would like to hike the towns, swmim, try to act non-touristy and attempt to speak italian...Ha, they're in for a treat, I only know a little bit of Spanish!
May 19th, 2000, 04:28 PM
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Your information is so helpful! I'm having a hard time deciding which CT town to stay in. Vernazza was my first choice, but I wasn't sure about the accomodations there, so I thought about Monterosso. Or did you like Levanto? I'd be interested to hear which town you thought had the most charm and character to base in.

May 23rd, 2000, 08:25 AM
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Maddy, we are spending four days in the Cinque Terre at the end of June. We are really looking forward to it. Did you send any packages back? We think we want to send some wine back but don't know the best and most economical way to accomplish that. Any suggestions, anyone? Thanks.


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