Cinque Terre or Tuscany??

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May 11th, 2006, 06:50 PM
  #1
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Cinque Terre or Tuscany??

We are in the midst of planning our trip & have ~5 days where we are trying to decide between Cinque Terre and/or Tuscany. Since we will be spending prior days in big cities (Paris, Florence) with lots of sightseeing we want some relaxation & are thinking that we should decide between either CT or Tuscany. What do you guys recommend? Which do you think is better?
AngelaS is offline  
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May 11th, 2006, 07:25 PM
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Well, what a problem you have. You will no doubt enjoy either of these great places. It has been a while since I have been to Tuscany. It is beautiful and I loved it. More recently we went to Portofino and the CT. I really enjoyed the CT. Easy train travel between the towns and good hiking. Great food and drink. I don't think you need five days there, but you could see other places on the Italian Riviera. That would be by choice, but either way you can't go wrong. Another thought--you will already by in Florence it sounds like and so you could see a lot of other places in Tuscany and just save CT for another trip.
Happy travels!!!
mimipam is offline  
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May 11th, 2006, 08:22 PM
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This is like saying prime rib or Filet, but maybe the answer is both!

You can walk all five towns in Cinque Terre in a day, stopping for lunch, and then depending on the train schedule stay in one of the five towns and take a train the next day or catch a train to Pisa or some other place on the way to Tuscany.
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May 11th, 2006, 08:57 PM
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Both are wonderful, but very different. Personally I would find Tuscany more relaxing - the towns in CT are noisy, buzzy etc. And depending on how much you want to move about in those 5 days there is possibly more to do and see than in CT.
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May 12th, 2006, 06:27 AM
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eliza - thank you for the insight!! We are flying into Milan & will be renting a car there, then heading south, so we will be passing CT on the way to Tuscany. maybe stop for dinenr or one night & see how we like & if we will stay...
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Jun 15th, 2006, 08:17 PM
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Am just re-reading this and have to post again. I did NOT find the CT to be noisy.We stayed in Vernazza and I LOVED it. Perhaps, we were just there at a quieter time or maybe eliza was there with some noise makers. Different experiences -- that's life.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 02:54 AM
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We stayed two nights in Cinque Terre and it was perfect. Arrived early afternoon after driving from Lucca; took boat trip from town to town getting off for an hour in a few. Stayed in Monterosso, the largest town...most choice of restaurants and shops. Walked entire trail the following day...takes about 5 hours, and you'll need a long rest after. I'm not sure what you're thinking of in terms of Tuscany...Florence, Siena, wine towns? If this is your first trip to the area and you need to choose between the two, I'd save CT for another time.
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Jun 16th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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AngelaS

Since you have ~5 days, I would suggest you stay 2 nights in the CT area and the other 3 somewhere in Tuscany, perhaps Siena. But please note that if your objective is to 'relax' after plenty of sightseeing in major cities, then you may find Tuscany more relaxing than the CT as in the latter, there is a fair amount of hiking/walking that one has to do to enjoy the area and I am not sure if you consider those activities 'relaxing'.

But I do agree with fellow Fodorites that both areas are beautiful. I recently spent 2 weeks there - 3 nights SML/CT, 3 nights Firenze and 4 nights Montalcino - and had such an enjoyable time.

Each area has its distinct beauty - CT a national park and by the Med sea whilst Tuscany is all about landscape, rolling hills, cypress trees and dilapidated country farm houses, it's exactly like that depicted in the movie 'Gladiator'.

minipam, which hotel did you stay in Vernazza? Vernazza is the most beautiful of the 5 towns and I intend to stay there next time I visit, hopefully in the not too distant future!

S
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Jun 18th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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We stayed with Elisabetta Carro. Her email then was [email protected]. There is a website. If you cannot locate it, let me know and I will do a search. I think it is already on this site somewhere. I asked for the room with the view pictured on the site. The room was small but very clean. You walked up some stairs and the balcony there had the most beautiful view. Happy travels.
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Jun 18th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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Website for Vernazza room I stayed in was www.elisabettacarro.it
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Jun 18th, 2006, 06:30 PM
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If you are flying into Milan, may I suggest Lake Como? Major relaxation location. In any event, you have wonderful options, and you can't go wrong with any of them.
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Jun 18th, 2006, 07:38 PM
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What time of year are you going?

Is it more important to you to have a quiet, pretty place to relax or to sightsee?

What are your food preferences? Meat or fish?
nessundorma is offline  
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Jun 18th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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mimipan

How much did you pay for your room?

S
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Jun 19th, 2006, 05:42 PM
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Paid 65 Euro ($80) per night for two people two years ago.
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Jun 19th, 2006, 07:40 PM
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mimipam,

A few more questions regarding Eliz. Carro. How many flights of stairs do you have to climb to get to it? How did you get there? We will have a car, but I'm not sure where to leave it. Also.... were the beds comfortable??? I know that's weird, but they look awful in the pics on the website. Thanks for any tips you can give!

Deb
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Jun 19th, 2006, 08:51 PM
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CT is definitely worth a visit with Vernazza being my favourite. It's also a fav tourist spot so you may end up fighting the crowds while you're there. We did all 5 towns in a day by hopping on and off the train it was very easy and convenient. We parked our car at the La Spezia train station and bought our park pass there. It includes the train ticket and admission to use the trails. From here we drove to the Chianti region of Tuscany via Pisa. Pisa is worth a drive by photo op of the Leaning Tower. We stayed at a farmhouse apartment at a vineyard while in Chianti in a little town called Castelnuevo Berardenga. A bit hard to find but worth the search. It was fabulous waking up every morning to a view of rolling hills, trees and tranquility. This is definitely the place to relax if that's what you're after. Worth at least 4 days. For day tripping, try San Gimigiano as it's quieter & relatively more peaceful spot vs places like Florence & Siena where hordes of tourists flock to. Good shopping for leather type goods i.e. handbags. Good luck planning !
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Jun 29th, 2006, 08:50 AM
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Can't remember how many steps but it was quite a few. Eliz's husband carried my bag up. There are a lot of steps EVERYWHERE in the CT. Bed must have been ok as I do not remember any problems. Just let me say this--I am particular about beds. We stayed at the lovely and great Hotel Splendido in Portifino on that same trip and the bed there in a fabulous room was AWFUL! It was so hard I could not get up without help each morning and had to get in a hot shower so I could move. This after trying to cushion my body on pillows. There were a lot of complaints on that trip about those beds. However, the rest of the hotel was fabulous. Now, this may be why I thought the bed at Vernazza was ok. I had just come from awful.
Happy travels!
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