Cinque Terre/Lerici/Portovenere

Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 10:24 AM
  #1  
Jody
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Cinque Terre/Lerici/Portovenere

We will be in Italy April, 2003. In between our stays in Florence and Rome, we will have 2 nights/3 days to stay on the coast. We want to see the Cinque Terre villages as well as some of the coastline to Portofino. We had planned to rent a car for a few days from Florence driving to Portofino and down the coast to the Cinque Terre area. Now we are wondering if we should rent a car at all, since train travel seems to be efficient and scenic. If we do have a car, would it be best to stay outside the Cinque Terre villages (due to parking)in Lereci or Portovenere and does anyone have suggestions on a convenient place to stay (with a seaview)? Or would it be best to travel by train from Florence and stay in one of the villages? Thanks for any help you can give me!!
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 11:33 AM
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BOB THE NAVIGATOR
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Jody, I would prefer to have a car, especially if you plan to include Portofino and SML. You can easily access villages on that coast by train, but Portovenere and Lerici are the exception. I would consider Levanto or Monterosso if you do not drive. Otherwise, Portovenere is my favorite place to stay. Good luck !
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 12:49 PM
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Sheila
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I'm not sure I'd drive. Have a a look at the boats timetable and where you can get from and to, and see what you think. The web address is on here somewhere, but it's based on Navigazione Golfo dei Poeti

I WOULD choose Portovenere as the base
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 12:57 PM
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Curious
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If Jody decides against renting a car, how long does it take to get to Portofino from Cinque Terre by train?
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 02:06 PM
  #5  
Trish
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We stayed four days in Portovenere several weeks ago. It is a great little village. The boats are a great way to visit Cinque Terre. Unfortunately, one of the days we were there the boats weren't running due to a storm. Have fun!
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 02:38 PM
  #6  
Sheila
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I don't know, Curious, but the web site I pointed her at, will tell how long it takes to get there by boat
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 03:13 PM
  #7  
Trenitalia
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Between 39 and 72 minutes by train from Monterosso to Santa Margherita Ligure.
 
Old Nov 2nd, 2002, 03:21 PM
  #8  
Linda
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TO Curious:
There are no trains to Portovenere. Only car, boat or on foot from Rio Maggiore (last in the line of Cinque Terre) to Portovenere.
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2002, 05:21 AM
  #9  
ann
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I almost always rent cars when I travel but if you would only be using it to go from Florence to Cinque Terre I would definitly opt for the train. We had a car when we were there last summer because it was in the middle of a three week trip and we didn't want to turn the car in just for a few days but train is much more effecient for that area. Roads go from the high way (a bit inland) to each town but not between them. So your driving is not exctly scenic coastal routes. Even the train between the towns don't give you much of a view - they go through the mountains from town to town - you are literally in the dark for the two or three minutes it takes to go from one Cinque Terre town to the next. If you want scenic coastal views you have to walk from town to town. From the Cinuqe Terre towns to other towns, e.g. SM, etc you might see a little more but still not worth it to drive. Parking in all those towns is limited. We stayed in Camogli which is almost an hour by train north of the CT and left the car there and took the train. Train stopped in all the other towns along the coast so you could stay in any of them. We actually found we liked Camogli best. It's a delightful fishing village, not quite as touristy as some (still plenty of tourists and restaurants, etc).

If you have a car for other parts of Italy such as Tuscany I wouldn't ditch it just to go to the Cinque Terre, but I certainly wouldn't get one to go there from Florence.
 
Old Nov 3rd, 2002, 07:00 AM
  #10  
Lewis
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Ann
We are also going to CT in July and staying in Camogli, Cenobio Dei Dogi, Did you happen to see this hotel? Wondering if we made the right choice?
We are also thinking of renting a car, this was a great thread!!.Thanks for all the good info.
 
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 03:46 PM
  #11  
loveitalia
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From the CT villages, Portovenere is most easily accessed via boat. There are several departures a day and the tickets cost like 6 euro. To go to Lerici, you can take the train down to La Spezia, then a bus over to Lerici. The bus ride is minimal (1 euro) and you can get off at the tip of the Golfe di Poeti and walk around the scenic bay to the old castello on the other side. Riomaggiore to SML/Portofino is a little over 1 hour north by train, Camogli just 1 hour away. If you rent a car, several hotels in the CT provide parking if they are notified in advance that you will have an auto. Villa Argentina, in Riomaggiore, has several spaces available to their guests that drive in. You will love the entire Italian Riviera coastline -- it is just beautiful and one of my most favorite places in the world!
 
Old Nov 5th, 2002, 06:38 PM
  #12  
Kay
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Portofino is a 20 min scenic bus ride from Santa Margherita Ligure. SML is an hour by train to the northernmost CT village of Monterosso. Portovenere is not on the train line, to get there from the CT villages you must go to La Spezia first then catch a bus (unless you go by boat which don't run all the time).
SML is a lovely seaside resort town, we can recommend Hotel Fiorina, very central, 3 star.
Kay
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 12:54 AM
  #13  
Sheila
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I agree wholly with loveitalia; and there are botas from La Spezia to Lerici as well as buses.
 
Old Nov 6th, 2002, 12:57 AM
  #14  
I
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Are there boats in April?
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #15  
loveitalia
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The boats operate nearly year-round (which closure at the holidays). I was there in March-April, and more recently this July and took boats from the CT to Portovenere all the time.
 
Old Nov 12th, 2002, 04:58 PM
  #16  
loveitalia
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The boats operate nearly year-round (I suspect they close for a few days at the holidays). I was there in March-April for Easter and they were open; and more recently this July and took boats from the CT to Portovenere all the time.
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 06:27 PM
  #17  
colleenk
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Louis- Stayed in SM at the Connitental hotel in Sept. Camogli which is the next town north on the train (not even a 5 minute ride) is a wonderful town. It's very picturesque and we had the best gelato of our whole trip there. Didn't see the hotel you've booked but I'm sure you'll be delighted with Camogli-not as touristy and almost as pretty as Portifino. Train and ferry connections are very easy from there to the CT and other costal sights -enjoy!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2002, 09:48 PM
  #18  
Curious
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Thank you Kay.
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 01:57 AM
  #19  
Geoff Hamer
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Timetables for the boats to the Cinque Terre are on www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it. This gives the dates the service runs, from 24 March to 3 November.
 
Old Nov 15th, 2002, 12:01 PM
  #20  
DeAnn
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I would live more info. on The Hotel Continental in SML. How does it compare with the Miramare? Thank you.
 

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