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dawnie Apr 22nd, 2009 05:56 AM

Camogli or Lerici?
hi, I can't make up my mind between these two! Can those of you who know both from being there please weigh in. We will be coming from Nice by train, and later moving on the the 5CT. We're looking for a hotel without food obligations on/near the sea for 4 nights, July 12-16.
Thanks so much!

Mimar Apr 22nd, 2009 06:08 AM

Does Lerici have a train station? Trenitalia doesn't know about it. I assume you won't be picking up a rental car at this point. It's just not necessary on this stretch of the Italian Riviera, more of a hindrance, and you'll just pay to park it.

I've only stayed in Camogli, so can't compare. However, Camogli is only about an hour by train from the Cinque Terre, so you could keep your base there.

For hotel recommendations you need to give a budget.

zeppole Apr 22nd, 2009 06:10 AM

Well, if you are going to le Cinque Terre, you can take a boat from there to Lerici. But Lerici is beyond le Cinque Terre if you are coming from Nice

Camogli is a much smaller town than Lerici, and I prefer Camogli. It makes a nice break in the pokey train line from Nizza to le Cinque Terre, and it offers some lovely hiking opportunities if you enjoy that.

You really need a car, I think, to stay in Lerici. It isn't on the train line.

Camogli is only about 3 streets long, so if you aren't happy just laying around and enjoying the sun and sea, or a hike when you feel like it, you might prefer Lerici, which has more bars and restaurants and stores. It's just bigger/

You should be able to find a lot of accommodations along the coast that don't require half-board, even in July.

But generally speaking, it really doesn't make sense to break up a stay in the Riviera Levante (that's the part of Liguria between Genoa and La Spezia, which includes le Cinque Terre) unless you want the huge contrast of urban Genoa itself with smaller Ligurian seaside towns. They really don't differ all that much. I don't know where you are from in the states, but it would be like going to Cape Cod or the Florida Keys and breaking your trip in between two towns. The whole point is to relax, so why not just go to le Cinque Terre? Or -- if you don't like crowds -- pick a less touristed spot near le Cinque Terre and visit.

There is a difference between the Riviera Ponente -- between Genoa and the French border -- and the Riviera Levante, and if you are a certain kind of tourist you might want to discover that. But if you are coming for the pastel houses, the blue sea, the pretty views, the charming fishing village, then stick to the Riviera Levante, but just stay in one spot and relax.

The Cadogan Guide to the Italian Riviera (and Piemonte) and David Downie's new book on food and wine in the Italian Riviera can give you a real feel for exploring the oddities and subtleties of the region if you want to dig deeper. But there is nothing wrong with just picking a very pretty spot and enjoying the beautiful climate.

zeppole Apr 22nd, 2009 06:13 AM

PS: Camogli is really not a convenient base for people who want to hike in the Cinque Terre. Once you factor in train delays, etc., it's more than an hour.

There isn't a train station in Lerici. One has to take a short bus from the La Spezia train station, but once in La Spezia, le Cinque Terre can be reached by boat, unless rough seas prevail. I tend to agree that in July, a car will be a real nuisiance anywhere in the Italian Riviera.

scatcat Apr 22nd, 2009 08:42 AM

I always stay in Santa Margherita. It's a little bigger than Camogli and it is beautiful. It's about 1 hour to the Cinque Terre. But I don't hike all the villages. I usually go by boat from Monterosso to the other villages including Portovenere. You can visit Camogli from Santa Margherita. It takes about 7 minutes by train. I eat some good gelato there near the port.

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