cinque terre or the lakes?

Dec 25th, 2001, 11:25 PM
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cinque terre or the lakes?


My wife and I are planning our first trip to Italy and after stopovers in Florence and Siena, we would like to discover another area of Italy. For those of you who have been to both CT and the lakes region, which would you choose and why? Also, we'll be off to Switzerland after Italy, so from a logistical point of view travelling north seems to make sense.

Any input would be appreciated.

Dec 26th, 2001, 02:44 AM
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Having been to both I would be unable to say which we enjoyed most. We loved both. I think my decision would be the lakes (We stayed in Varenna on Lake Como) simply because of the location since you are heading for Switzerland.
Dec 26th, 2001, 03:16 AM
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We were faced the same, what I call a "happy problem" last year. We opted for Lake Como, as we were looking for more of a relaxing few days since we had recently returned for an active hiking trip to Yosemite. And, from our research, you have to do a bit walking/hiking to truly appreciate Cinque Terre to its fullest.
We loved Lake Como.
PS: We hope to do CQ on a future trip!
Dec 26th, 2001, 04:21 AM
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Depends on what you want to do. I have been to both. I wouldn't trade my memories of the full length hike between the five villages of the CT for anything -- one of the most memorable days I've ever spent in Europe. So if you are really into hiking, I'd probably opt for the CT. But if not, you really can't beat the Lakes for the scenery, architecture, relaxation, and general travel interest.
Dec 26th, 2001, 05:15 AM
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I have been to both. Stayed at Bellagio and Monterosso.

I guess you could say the lakes are more sedate,luxurious, picturesque. It caters more to the middle aged (50s) having a stroll along the pretty hills, sipping coffee overlooking the lake as the gentle boats sail by.

Cinque Terre is more rugged, alive and rustic. "Dilapitated" old villages clinging on to the cliff like 30 somethings clinging on to their youth. A lot of tough hikes and pebbly beaches stand against the wind rushing to shore.

Cinque Terre does not have any luxury hotels so if you are planning a homey honeymoon keep that in mind. Anyway, that's the impression I got.
Dec 26th, 2001, 11:34 AM
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Been to both. I would do the Lakes area first and CT on later trip. We stayed in Bellagio and it is an easy drive into Switzerland (Lugano) from there. My desire to return to Bellagio is much greater than my desire to return to the CT....but then I am not into hiking and that may influence your decision. Belvedere Hotel in Bellagio was very nice, if you need a place to stay.
Dec 27th, 2001, 02:06 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies. I will look into the Lakes region, since it seems most of you prefer the lakes. We are going to do some hiking in Switzerland, so maybe relaxation by the lakes is a better idea. Are the lakes similar to Lake Tahoe?

Thanks for your comments.

Dec 27th, 2001, 10:49 AM
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Vic, You can actually do both if you are driving. Where are you going in CH?
The access is easier from Stresa on Lago Maggiore than from Lago Como. The best train route is actually via Lugano.
I have been there many times, but my first trip to Como in 1984 I desribed it to my Dad on a card as " Newport RI on the shores of Lake Tahoe". I think that says it well. Good luck !
Dec 27th, 2001, 12:18 PM
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I was in Cinque Terre this May (2001) and was very disappointed.
I'd go from Florence to Umbria instead.
Pallazo Terra Nova is a heavenly spot there !
Dec 28th, 2001, 04:47 AM
Mary Ann
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Our first trip to Italy this past October included both sites. I must agree with most everyone. The hiking along the paths between the five citites is breathtaking and can be tedious for those not accustomed to it - especially if you take the 5-7hour walk from north to south.(that includes stopping for refreshments, pictures, and chatting). Lake Como (we stayed at Bellagio) is tranquil and restful. Take your pick. Good Luck and have a great time.

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