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Cinque Terre too crowded in June/July?

Old Jun 30th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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Cinque Terre too crowded in June/July?

I am in the planning stages for next year's Italy trip. We have not been to the Cinque Terre and was wondering whether or not to include it in our plans. Is it terribly crowded the end of June/first of July? We have three weeks and Venice, Tuscany, and Rome are already in our plan.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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It is crowded but not overwhelmingly so as it is towards mid-end July and August. Plus you can visit the other villages during the day if one is more crowded than the other (as Vernazza will undoubtedly be).
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:03 PM
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With 3 weeks include it--just do not stay in the backpacker haunts--unless you are a backpacker. I would stay in Levanto or Portovenere[ with a car].
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 04:34 PM
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Huitres - thanks for the fast response. Glad to hear that early July is ok.

bobthenavigator - I have been looking at Levanto (we are definately not backpackers...this trip is my 60th birthday present). Is there a hotel you would recommend in Levanto?
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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Villa Margherita is very good value.
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:15 PM
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bookmarking
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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bob,
We are going to CT for the first time this fall. We are staying in Cornelia. Is this a backpackers haunt?
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Old Jun 30th, 2006, 07:36 PM
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I suppose it depends on one's definition of crowds and tolerance level. I was there in mid-September and found the crowds on the train and in the towns and along the most popular walks unbearable. If you are looking for a bit of solitary hiking or a contemplative experience, I wouldn't try to get it in the CT at that time of year, but would sooner try hiking in the Portofino peninsula between Camogli and Portofino. If you are curious about the CT, and don't mind crowds, many people enjoy their experience of the CT in July and August.
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Old Jul 1st, 2006, 01:03 PM
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europa: It's "Corniglia" and it is the highest and least populated of the 5 Cinque Terre towns. You won't get as many people there as you would in Vernazza (Rick Steves' favorite), Riomaggiore or Monterosso. By Fall, however, the crowds have somewhat dissipated from the summertime so shouldn't be that bad.

While visiting the other CT towns, stop in Manarola and have lunch or dinner at "Il Porticello" near the harbor front. They have excellent seafood dishes, risotto, etc at very reasonable prices.
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Old Jul 1st, 2006, 05:28 PM
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Problem is, Huitres, that the OP is going end of June/first of July.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 08:25 PM
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nessundorma, I was specifically responding to "europa" and the query about the CT in the Fall (not the OP, whom I had already responded to prior).

Either way, the CT is worth visiting any time of year, IMO.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 08:27 PM
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Oh, sorry!

As to whether the CT is worth it for everybody, I do think tolerance for crowds varies.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 08:30 PM
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Just out of curiousity, Huitres, when was the last time you were in the CT in fall? I was there two years ago in mid-September, and found it a zoo unless one made great efforts to ditch the crowds.
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Old Jul 2nd, 2006, 08:31 PM
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PS, Huitres: Sorry if that writing came across as combative. I really am curious about how recently you were there. I suspect Rick Steves and word-of-mouth is making CT a Number One tourist destination -- on top of what is already heppening to Italia in general.
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Old Jul 3rd, 2006, 10:20 AM
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hi nessundorma - no worries! I go to the CT about 5-6 times a year as I have family friends there (actually, an ex-fiance, but we're still close friends). I've been to the CT 2x this year since Christmas and now. I was there this last Sept/Oct 2005 (8 months ago) and think generally the Fall is much better than the summer. I find the crowds vary per village (i.e. Monterosso is larger and more spread out so doesn't feel as "crowded" as Riomaggiore or Manarola, for example). You are right, Rick Steves has over-promoted the Cinque Terre and brought loads of visitors that are both a blessing and a curse to the villages. The residents and business owners are appreciative of the money pouring in; however, resent the intrusion into their once-tranquil lifestyles. Perhaps overall it is best that the area, which was once poor and hard-to-get-to, is receiving monies to upgrade the villages and services for all (residents included!). I just hope it doesn't spoil the charm of the place as the years go by.
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 01:48 AM
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Hi Guys we will be staying in La Grazie at the end of September...any thoughts? The plan was to catch a ferry from Portovenere to Monterosso and train back to Vernazza and then walk to Riomaggiore.
How does that sound?
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Old Jul 4th, 2006, 06:03 PM
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ttt
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 10:09 AM
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Hi Marko: La Grazie is just outside the city limits of La Spezia. From La Spezia it is easy to take a bus from the train station area out to Portovenere. Alternatively, you can grab a taxi out there as well (~12-15 euros for the ride).

You can easily catch a 5Terre boat from Portovenere to Monterosso. The ride takes ~1 hour (depending), here is the daily schedule from Portovenere and Monterosso: http://www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti....sorio_2006.pdf
For example, if you caught a 10:00 am boat from Portovenere, you would arrive in Monterosso at 11:10 am. A one-way ticket costs 15 euros/per person. From Monterosso, there are trains leaving every 40 mins-1 hour in the afternoon for Vernazza (it's under 5 mins away). The walk from Vernazza to Riomaggiore might be kind of tough if you are not regular hikers, however, disregard me if you are! If you want something easier, you could take a train from Monterosso to Manarola, then walk the easy Via Dell'More from Manarola to Riomaggiore. Buon viaggio!
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Old Jul 5th, 2006, 04:35 PM
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Hi Huitres, thanks for responding. We do like our walking so are looking forward to it ! I like the idea of taking the ferry one way as it gives another (spectacular ??) view of CT. I just looked at the fishnet site and it has good info!
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