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cinque terre accomodations in September - can we "wing it"?

cinque terre accomodations in September - can we "wing it"?

Jul 23rd, 2006, 07:20 AM
  #1  
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cinque terre accomodations in September - can we "wing it"?

Hello Fodorites,

My boyfriend and I are traveling to Italy in September of this year, and we are planning on spending 2-3 days in the cinque terre area. My boyfriend has a bit more of a bohemian attitude about travel than I do, he'd prefer not to make reservations for the ct area and just hope we find someplace to stay when we get there, he feels we'll be less tied down to an itinerary that way. I, on the other hand, am a little nervous about that approach so I'm looking to the seasoned travelers on this board to either allay my fears or back me up in the need for reservtions. Of course we haven't been able to make up our minds on which town to stay in, there seem to be so many to choose from, but are leaning towards Levanto or possibly Santa Margherita Liguere.

We will be in the ct area approx. September 10th thru the 13th.

Thanks for your help!
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 07:24 AM
  #2  
E_M
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Why not make reservations? You can ususally cancel them within 24 hours with no penalties.
E_M is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 07:49 AM
  #3  
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I didn't realize you could cancel reservations that close to the actual time without penalty. That could be a compromise. Any other opinions?

grazie!
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 08:11 AM
  #4  
 
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A lot depends on how picky you are, e.g. must have a view? AC? Twin beds?

Because my husband and I like very quiet rooms, I tend to like to book ahead when I'm looking at small towns with street life right below the windows, and try to plan accoridngly. When we've been in Cinque Terre, we'd enjoyed the Porta Rocca in Monterrosso, which is at the edge of town, i.e. easy to walk to town, but slightly out of the fray. Very picturesque, good dining rooom, private beach area on the town beach, etc.

You might want to check a few hotels now, just to see availability, if they are the kinds of places you'd like, etc. Santa Margherita is already a larger town with many more options, but most do not include this as staying in the Cinque Terre.
madameX is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:09 AM
  #5  
 
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Not specifically to the CT, but my own 'issue' with not booking ahead is it will necessarily take time from your day looking for a place to stay. With only 3 days, I'd hate (for myself) to spend it dragging my suitcase around looking for a place to stay.

I have a friend who absolutely loves Santa Margarita, but as mentioned this isn't exactly the Cinque Terra.
suze is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:12 AM
  #6  
rex
 
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<< A lot depends on how picky you are... >>

Yeah, that's about half of the equation. The other half is how much time you want to spend traipsing from one place to another, encountering no vacancies - - when you could have avoided that... with time spent, almost effortlessly, on the internet before your trip.

But, as I have said before on questions of this nature, "we" won't mind if you choose not to make reservations.

All the people who provide and receive advice on this forum will thank you for NOT making reservations in advance - - you won't be competing with "us" for the accommodations with the best locations, the best features and the best rates that we snarf up by making reservations in advance. We appreciate your settling for the places in the less ideal locations, with the crummier features, at the higher rates.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:24 AM
  #7  
 
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Not a problem, if you take the train into monterosso(sp???) Thery'll be a guty cordoba I beleive is what it says on his shirt that rents out apartments for a day to a week. Cheap nice rooms. We have been twice in sept and had no problem, embrace no reservations.
brando is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 11:13 AM
  #8  
 
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I find it easier to wing it when I have a car -- rather than when I have to drag my baggage around with me. And in Cinque Terre itself, that means carrying it uphill.

Santa Margherita Ligure does not have an abundance of places to stay. You might have better luck with Levanto.
nessundorma is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 12:24 PM
  #9  
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We will have a car, and we'd actually rather stay outside of the ct itself, that's why we were thinking of Levanto or somewhere else as a "base" for the area.

I appreciate the suggestions people have sent, I understand the "dangers" involved with winging it, that's why I'd rather not do it but I'm also trying to be respectful of my boyfriend's wishes. Believe me, I'm not looking for "the less ideal locations, with the crummier features, at the higher rates."
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 01:09 PM
  #10  
 
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For what it's worth, you can tell you boyfriend that I think he being silly because, if he knew what CT area of Liguria was like, he would just go ahead and book a hotel rather than believe that when he gets there he is will be sorry he booked "here" rather than "there." All of these towns are charming and gorgeous, and if you would like a room with a sea view, you need to book it in advance. "Winging it" is really for those who have no idea which day they will be in the area, or whether they are going at all. If you know which dates you are going to the CT area, there is no advantage whatsoever to "winging" it, and a large chance you will get shunted off to the sidelines without a nice view somewhere outside the town you would have preferred to stay in.

However, if he doesn't believe me, and you will have a car, I wouldn't worry about it. Liguria isn't very big. Take with you a list of B&B in the general area of Cinque Terre and you'll find someplace clean, I'm sure, not far from the sea.

You might find places off the train line easier to find last-minute accommodations, as well as some of the less familiar towns. Think of Chiavari, Sestri Levante, Bonassola, Sarazana, Moneglia. These are quite nice places in their own right, with lots of tasty restaurants and beach access.

Do a google search for "bed-breakfasts-riviera-levante-liguria" or buy the Italian Touring Club guide to farm stays so you have a list of options in your pocket. Also take the addresses of tourist offices.

One of the problems with the way you are traveling is that you need to keep your luggage out of sight while you park the car and go looking for a place to stay. Pack light so that everything is hidden from view in the trunk.

nessundorma is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 03:19 PM
  #11  
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The date we will be there is part of the problem, we know approximately, but not definitely.

I didn't think about making sure the bags are hidden, thank you for that advice.

We're going to have to have another discussion about "winging it" I think!
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:09 PM
  #12  
 
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If you want to be adventurous I don't think you will have any problem in "winging" it in September as long as you get to the destination by around midday. And if you don't luck out with what you want, jump on the train to Levanto, hotels will not be full in September.

Two good friends of mine are in 5T right now, they went on Saturday 2 days ago (last weekend in July, madness has started already) went straight to Riomggiore and found a 3 bed apartment for 70 euro a night out of Rick Steves book no less, on their first attempt. Just relax and adopt your BF attitude, that's the Italian way!
Sampaguita is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2006, 09:46 PM
  #13  
 
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ciao goingtoialia
you can phone to enrica tel.0187812360
she rent room to vernazza(5terre) and no reserve the room with credit card
ciao
martina73 is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 02:37 PM
  #14  
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Ah, sooo confusing! To wing or not to wing. I guess I did expect the answers to be about half and half.

What to do, what to do.
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 05:24 PM
  #15  
 
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I've never been of the "winging it" mentality, so I'm probably not much help here! I can tell you though, that after spending a few days in CT last September, I was very glad that we had our room booked in advance so we could spend all of our time enjoying the beauty of the area. It was tough lugging our bags up and down the hills & stairs - I can only imagine how frustrated I would be if I wasn't sure where we were heading!

I often think that it doesn't matter what kind of room we have, because we are spending a majority of our time outside the room anyway. That said, I think that having a room with a magnificent view of the water made our stay in Manarola even more beautiful.

Hopefully you will be able to compromise and come up with a plan that will make you both happy! Enjoy your vacation!

sherhatfield is offline  
Jul 24th, 2006, 06:03 PM
  #16  
 
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I think the advice to go armed with telephone numbers is very good. That way, when you are sure that you will be there in a day or two, you can see if any of your preferred accomodations are available. Of course, you will have researched this online before leaving. ;-)

I am surprised to hear the opinion that Santa Margherita Ligure does not have an abundance of places to stay. As this is a resort, there are many options. I always have trouble deciding WHICH place I want. If you are still interested in the SML area, here is a link to something I wrote about the area:

http://www.postgazette.com/travel/20...fino0810p1.asp
tuscanlifeedit is online now  
Jul 24th, 2006, 06:18 PM
  #17  
 
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tuscan,

goingtoitalia hasn't stated her budget, and I may have been wrong in presuming that the "wing it" folks (myself included) generally prefer 2 star prices to 3. SML has only two 2 star places. If goingtoitalia is willing to pay for 3 star accommodations, I agree she's likely to have a lot of choices in SML (although if a water view is important, I'd book it in advance).
nessundorma is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 01:23 PM
  #18  
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nessundorma, you're correct, we'd prefer to stick with 2 star prices, but if we have to we'll "suffer" and go 3 star!
goingtoitalia is offline  
Jul 25th, 2006, 02:11 PM
  #19  
 
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Santa Margherita Ligure is a well-traveled tourist destination, and I imagine you can find a lot of reviews on Tripadvisor, Slow Travel and Venere. If you are going to end up springing for 3 star prices, you might want some rough idea in advance which places to absolutely avoid.
nessundorma is offline  
Aug 4th, 2006, 12:02 PM
  #20  
 
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I have just spend many hours on the net rying to find a place to stay in sept for a few days. All the places recommended on this site and trip advisor are booked. I also tried levanto, portvenere, santa margherita etc. You may want to check a few places for avvailability before you decide to wing it. Also, no availabilty in venice either. I guess Italy is very popular in Sept. Good luck.
gia611 is offline  

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