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Cherie's back from Italy - any questions about Liguria??????

Cherie's back from Italy - any questions about Liguria??????

Jul 11th, 2002, 06:34 AM
  #1  
cherie
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Cherie's back from Italy - any questions about Liguria??????

We just got back from 10 great days in Italy. We flew into Milan - took a train to Santa Margherita Ligure - spent 5 days there - went to Portofino , Rapallo, Cinque Terre- as day trips.
Then we took a train to San Remo and spent 4 days there- doing day trips to Menton, Monte Carlo, Nice, and Bussano. We rented a car for the last 2 days and drove instead of using buses or trains.
It was wonderful - not too hot and not at all crowded. We ate at some great restaurants and stayed at some fantastic hotels. If anyone has any specific questions- let me know. I got a lot of help on this board - especially from Rex and Bob- so thanks to them and everyone else who helped.
We loved it!!! But- this is our fifth trip to Italy and it's always wonderful.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 06:40 AM
  #2  
cinque terre
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Sounds like a fabulous trip! I will be in Cinque Terre in 2 weeks and would love your suggestions on the area, restaurants, special places, etc. We'll be staying in Monterosso.
Thanks so much for answering questions--since it seems Cinque terre has changed a lot recently, I appreciate your advice based on very recent experience!
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 06:46 AM
  #3  
danlong
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As I dont think I could afford Portofino what hotel would you recommend in Santa Margherita in the four/five star category,bearing in mind that I dont like the faded granduer you find in some larger Italian hotels, This was a trip Iwas meant to do over the Queens Jubilee week- end but couldnt get a flight from London, so I might try it in the Autumn.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 09:27 AM
  #4  
Janda
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Cherie,
What was Menton like? I hear there is a lemon festival.
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #5  
alex
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hotel suggestion in SML?
 
Jul 11th, 2002, 02:11 PM
  #6  
GAC
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Please comment on the pros and cons of staying in SML rather than in Rapallo. Also, please compare SML to San Remo. Can you rocommend hotels in these two towns?
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #7  
Melissa
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We're flying into Genoa and staying 3 nights in Sestre Levante, then 3 nights in Santa Margherita. Should we take a taxi from the airport to Sestre? Also, can you let us know restaurants you enjoyed in SML, Cinque Terre, and Portifino? Thank you so much! We're looking so forward to our trip!
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 09:57 AM
  #8  
Maria
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What hotel do you recommend in Genoa?
Thank you.
 
Jul 12th, 2002, 12:22 PM
  #9  
matt
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After you've recovered from your jetlag & unpack suitcase, I'm eager to hear more details of your latest Italy visit. Any great restaurant recommendations?
 
Jul 13th, 2002, 06:23 AM
  #10  
cherie
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We stayed in
Santa Margherita Ligure (SML)because of suggestions on this board- originally we were going to stay in Portofino. I am so glad we stayed in SML instead.
There is really not much in Portofino - it's a beautiful little town but you can walk around it and go in every shop in about 2 hours - tops.
We ended up staying in two different hotels in SML because I couldn't decide- so we thought we would try them both. My husband likes to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels so I booked us in the Hotel Imperiale Palace - a 5 star- on the internet. Their rate was about $375 a night. We spent the next 2 nights at the Hotel Continental - which I also booked on-line - their rate was $198.
The Imperiale Palace sits on top of the hill in SML- way above the town. The hotel is an old hotel - as are many in Italy - and had beautiful gardens and a pool right on the ocean - that you have to walk down MANY steps to reach. The room was large with tall ceilings but it looked like it needed some updating - as far as the upholstery and bedding went. But it was spacious and had all the amenities - robes, slippers, heated towel racks, huge bathroom, hairdryer, etc. I never got it as cool in our room as I would have liked but it was air conditioned. The breakfast was wonderful - served outside on the terrace overlooking the sea and the town. Anything you could want - even champagne and omelets. But the walk into town and back up the hill was a killer. I had asked for a room with a balcony and a seaview - our balcony was barely big enough to sit on - just two little chairs - you literally could not turn around - but it looked like most of the balconies were like that.
We spent the next two nights at the Continental. It is just down the hill from the Imperiale - still up on a hill overlooking the town - just not quite as high up. I would definitely recommend the Continental. Our room there was 198 euros and was twice the size of the one at the Imperiale - it had a balcony that was huge - with lounge chairs, table and chairs, and lots of room. You could have gotten 10-12 people on it easily - probably more. The hotel staff was much more helpful there. They do not have a pool but the hotel is on the water and they have swimming in the ocean. It was the best value for the money of any hotel I have ever stayed at. The air conditioning worked much better here.The breakfast was not as grand as at the Imperiale but for the difference in cost - I would stay at the Continental every time.
We looked at some of the other hotels that I had read about while we were there. The Laurin is a Best Western and is right down in the center of town. I read really good things about it on this board and it is very conveniently located in the center of town but you have to walk across the street to the beach and I don't remember it having balconies.
Taxis in SML are very expensive. it cost us 15 euros to go from the train station - which is at the top of the city - to the hotel Imperiale Palace. It was less than a 5 minute ride. We took a taxi a couple of nights after dinner back to the hotel because it was so far and all up hill - each time it was about 15 euros.
We ate at Ristorante Oca Bianca - because I had seen it on this board. It's a little restaurant - nothing fancy - but great food .Have the ravioli with walnut sauce - really good - and their house wine for 15 euros was outstanding.

 
Jul 13th, 2002, 06:26 AM
  #11  
cherie
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We stayed in
Santa Margherita Ligure (SML)because of suggestions on this board- originally we were going to stay in Portofino. I am so glad we stayed in SML instead.
There is really not much in Portofino - it's a beautiful little town but you can walk around it and go in every shop in about 2 hours - tops.
We ended up staying in two different hotels in SML because I couldn't decide- so we thought we would try them both. My husband likes to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels so I booked us in the Hotel Imperiale Palace - a 5 star- on the internet. Their rate was about $375 a night. We spent the next 2 nights at the Hotel Continental - which I also booked on-line - their rate was $198.
The Imperiale Palace sits on top of the hill in SML- way above the town. The hotel is an old hotel - as are many in Italy - and had beautiful gardens and a pool right on the ocean - that you have to walk down MANY steps to reach. The room was large with tall ceilings but it looked like it needed some updating - as far as the upholstery and bedding went. But it was spacious and had all the amenities - robes, slippers, heated towel racks, huge bathroom, hairdryer, etc. I never got it as cool in our room as I would have liked but it was air conditioned. The breakfast was wonderful - served outside on the terrace overlooking the sea and the town. Anything you could want - even champagne and omelets. But the walk into town and back up the hill was a killer. I had asked for a room with a balcony and a seaview - our balcony was barely big enough to sit on - just two little chairs - you literally could not turn around - but it looked like most of the balconies were like that.
We spent the next two nights at the Continental. It is just down the hill from the Imperiale - still up on a hill overlooking the town - just not quite as high up. I would definitely recommend the Continental. Our room there was 198 euros and was twice the size of the one at the Imperiale - it had a balcony that was huge - with lounge chairs, table and chairs, and lots of room. You could have gotten 10-12 people on it easily - probably more. The hotel staff was much more helpful there. They do not have a pool but the hotel is on the water and they have swimming in the ocean. It was the best value for the money of any hotel I have ever stayed at. The air conditioning worked much better here.The breakfast was not as grand as at the Imperiale but for the difference in cost - I would stay at the Continental every time.
We looked at some of the other hotels that I had read about while we were there. The Laurin is a Best Western and is right down in the center of town. I read really good things about it on this board and it is very conveniently located in the center of town but you have to walk across the street to the beach and I don't remember it having balconies.
Taxis in SML are very expensive. it cost us 15 euros to go from the train station - which is at the top of the city - to the hotel Imperiale Palace. It was less than a 5 minute ride. We took a taxi a couple of nights after dinner back to the hotel because it was so far and all up hill - each time it was about 15 euros.
We ate at Ristorante Oca Bianca - because I had seen it on this board. It's a little restaurant - nothing fancy - but great food .Have the ravioli with walnut sauce - really good - and their house wine for 15 euros was outstanding. we also ate at Il Faro - very good.
One nice thing about SML is that if you know the name of the restaurant you're looking for - there are street signs with the name of the restaurant pointing to where it is. That really helped us find them. I'll post more later.

 
Jul 13th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #12  
Cecilia
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We're planning 5days in SML with similar plans for Portofino,Rapallo, Cinque Terre as day trips. Using SML as base. Do you have recommendations for a hotel,tours,driving & restaurants for these places. Thank you,,,Cece
 
Jul 14th, 2002, 08:14 AM
  #13  
cherie
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Cecilia-
We stayed at the Continental and it was wonderful - 4 stars 198 euros - the only thing was you had to walk up the hill to the hotel- You can take a bus to Rapello for 1 euro - it's a short ride - maybe 15 minutes. You can also take the bus - going the other direction to Portofino - maybe 20 minutes. We took the ferry to Portofino 2 times - it costs about 12 euros round trip - about 25 minutes and a beauriful way to see Portofino. There's not much in Portofino - really tiny - you can do the whole town - shopping - up to the church and lighthouse - everything in 2 hours. Everything there is more expensive than in SML.
SML is fairlly good sized - lots of good restaurants - I memtioned some earlier in other post - Rapallo is larger - more shops and restaurants. We didn't really eat there - except for a quick lunch - but there was lots of shopping. I love to shop! There was a big street market the day we went - but I thought it was mostly junk. We took the train to Cinque Terre - it's about an hour - maybe a little more - to Monterosso - the first town. It was great - lots of restaurants and tons of shopping. I loved it.
My husband likes to stay in 4 and 5 star hotels but we don't usually eat in real expensive restaurants - just because in Italy we find the food wonderful nearly anywhere - I really don't like the expensive, gourmet restaurants in Italy as much as the "regular" places - but that's just us.
We had never rented a car in Italy until this trip because it's always been easy to use the trains and buses. However- there was a threatened train strike the day we were going to Milan so we rented a car in San Remo and drove to Nice, Monaco, and then to Milan. It was great - but it's expensive to rent a car - I think about 250 euros for 2 days - but we didn't plan it ahead so we might could have gotten it cheaper . Getting around from SML to the other towns was so easy by bus, ferry and train - and so inexpensive - I would do that. If you want more specifics - you can e-mail me. Have a great time - it's absolutely beautiful.
 
Jul 14th, 2002, 09:44 AM
  #14  
Dayle
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Hi Cheri!

Sounds like you had a great trip - I'm envious!

Note: Hotel Laurin does have rooms with large terraces facing the marina. Ours was a 2 queen room w/ large bath & the wonderful terrace. We enjoyed a dinner picnic & wine one evening after a shopping foray in SML.

We liked SML as a 3 days base for visiting Portofino & Cinque Terre. As you said the train to CT is about 1 hour with frequent departures. Boat over to Portofino about 20 minutes & beautiful views.

We enjoyed dinner at La Cambusa.

Have fun travelers!
 
Jul 14th, 2002, 01:14 PM
  #15  
cherie
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Dayle - Thanks for the message about balconies at the hotel Lauren - I missed that - It looked like a nice hotel - definitely great location. Good to know they do have balconies.
We didn't eat at the restaurant you mentioned but I will put that in my notes if I ever get back. Thanks!
 
Jul 14th, 2002, 07:10 PM
  #16  
alex
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Did you see Hotel Metropole? It is suppose to be near continental? We are looking at staying there in October?
 
Jul 15th, 2002, 03:47 AM
  #17  
cherie
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Yes - we did see the Metropole As I remember - and i think I'm right - it was about halfway down the hill into town - right below the Continental - it looked very nice. It would still be a good walk into town but not as far up the hill.
 
Jul 15th, 2002, 09:30 PM
  #18  
funnygirl
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topping
 
Jul 16th, 2002, 04:47 AM
  #19  
kate
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Cherie--thanks so much for all that info. We are staying at the Continental next month (also thanks Bob for recommending it as great value). All of your info will be very helpful for our trip.
 
Jul 28th, 2002, 10:42 PM
  #20  
Jonathan
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Sounds like you had a wonderful trip!! I will be in Santa Margherita in a few weeks -- we also intend to visit portofino. Is it necessary to rent a Car in Genoa to get to Santa Margherita or Portofino? Or should we rely on Cabs?
 

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