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jamikins May 20th, 2010 12:16 PM

Cinque Terre Help - Restaurants and General Advice
Hello there,

Bikerscott and I are off again, to spend 5 nights in Manarola and 4 nights in Piedmont starting next weekend. We love great food, wine and scenery.

A couple questions:

1. Its very hard to find good restaurant recommendations in Cinque Terre (or maybe I just havent looked in the right place). Does anyone have good restaurants they could share in any of the 5 towns? I dont expect fabulous, but worthy or going out to dinner/lunch?

2. Are the trails still closed in Cinque Terre?

3. Any recommendations for boat trips on the coast?

Thanks so much for your help!

PS - as thanks we plan to write a trip report with pics as we go like we did for Paris at New Years this year :)

krgystn May 20th, 2010 02:37 PM

Was there last week and yes the trails were closed the whole time (even when the weather was sunny).

Best restaurant we went to was Trattoria Dal Billy in Manarola.

jamikins May 21st, 2010 05:56 AM

Thanks so much, hopefully they open again by next weekend...or else we will have to use trains and biggie!

Any other suggestions?

krgystn May 21st, 2010 06:24 AM

You will find that there are limited restaruant options in each city, with the exception of Monterosso.

il Pirata and Gianni both in Vernazza were decent.

I don't think the ferries were running either, but the trains work beautifully.

krgystn May 21st, 2010 06:27 AM

one more thing: check each of these restaurants on Tripadvisor to see what people are saying about them. It will also give you ideas for other places.

jamikins May 21st, 2010 06:39 AM

Thanks so much!

Oh I hope the ferries are running again, I really wanted to see the area from the sea!

changemaven May 21st, 2010 06:42 AM

Can anyone say why the trails and ferries have been closed? I'm planning 4 days there in September. Should I change the plan?

cafegoddess May 21st, 2010 06:45 AM

Miky's in Monterroso. Their seafood risotto and frito misto is simply and delicious! Everything on the menu is really good. Gianni in Vernazza for their spaghetti vongole. Aristide in Manorola.

Have a great time!

barbrn May 21st, 2010 06:48 AM

I have eaten at Gianni in Vernazza...I thought it was very good. The owner and his family were at the next table (and it was a large family with several coming and going). We ordered what they were having and it was great (very plain pastas). They really encouraged us to have dessert...a creme brule was something to write home about!! But that particular night it was the friendliness that was so special. It felt like magic. Pretty soon several of the tables were talking back and forth. I have a painting of Vernazza (happened to find it at an art show back home...and I had to have it). It brings me back to that night.

cafegoddess May 21st, 2010 06:55 AM

changemaven, it could be because it has been raining a lot.

jamikins May 21st, 2010 07:08 AM

Yes I heard it was because of all the rain over the last month or so...hoping it will dry out enough in the next week!! Fingers crossed!

Thanks everyone!

zeppole May 21st, 2010 12:35 PM

You should invest in David Downie's food guide: "Food and Wine of the Italian Riviera and Genoa" for recommendations for le cinque terre and Levanto, and all points along the train line.

jamikins May 21st, 2010 12:41 PM

excellent - thanks zeppole!

sebinah May 21st, 2010 12:41 PM

We were in the Cinque Terre in June 2008. It was our experience that the trails being open and the boats running changed day to day. One section of a trail might be open one day and closed the next day and vice versa. You just have to be flexible and remember there is always the train between the villages.

zeppole May 21st, 2010 03:01 PM

You also should remember that there are infinitely more possibilities for hiking in the immediate region than the le Cinque Terre trails, which sometimes get closed because the combination of wet weather and hundreds upon hundreds of stomping feet quickly make the fragile paths impassable -- whereas other trails nearby don't suffer that impact.

Many people "hike" in le Cinque Terre not because they like to hike on vacations but because a guidebook told them that "hiking between the towns is a MUST-DO" tourist activity.

If you don't like to hike, skip it. Take the elevators and shuttles up to panoramic vistas, or walk up the paved staircases for views.

If you DO like to hike, consider hikes above Levanto, Lerici (all reachable by boat) plus Santa Margherita Ligure and Camogli, reachable by train. Almost ANYWHERE along the coast offers incredibily scenic walking and hikes, either at the seaside or in the hills.

macdogmom May 21st, 2010 08:03 PM

We were there last year in May and had no problems hiking the trails. Too bad about weather this spring. I second Trattoria Dal Billy in Manarola. We stayed at La Toretta and loved Billy's. We ate there two nights of our 3 night stay. Also had a good meal down by the water, can't remember the name of the restaurant.

Maudie May 21st, 2010 08:16 PM

Thanks for all this good info, we hope to be in Manarola next May. We have been looking the the apartments run by Billy's brother which are next door to the restaurant so I am sure we will be giving it plenty of patronage.

lindy27 May 21st, 2010 09:33 PM

We ate in Vernazza at Gianni 2 evenings and found the pesto amazing. I also had a "catch of the day" which was great. It was our favorite place to eat in the Cinque Terre. The focacia bread in the Cinque Terre is great too. We thought the Cinque Terre area had the best food while we were in Italy.

cafegoddess May 22nd, 2010 01:13 AM

zeppole,I love all your posts! I have learned so much from them. Are you an American living in Italy? If so, then I have to say sono gelosa:)

ekscrunchy May 22nd, 2010 04:02 AM

Zeppole not only lives in Italy but she lives in one of that country's' locales that can, accurately and without exaggeration, be described as a "paradise."

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