Cinqueterre - Which town?

Oct 4th, 2000, 10:30 AM
  #1  
Meredith
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Cinqueterre - Which town?

We are planning on being in Cinqueterre for one or two nights in late November. We'd like to hike between each town, but aren't sure which one we should stay in. Do we base ourselves in the most southern town and hike northwards, taking a ferry back, or start in the north and head south? Or do we stay somewhere in the middle and hike two separate legs? We are two couples in our early to mid 20s, looking to stay in a budget hotel, maybe even a hostel. Any recommendations would be wonderful. Thanks!
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 11:03 AM
  #2  
Richard
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We've done the walk twice, each time south, Riomaggiore to Monterosso, north. 1st time we stayed in La Spezia at the south end. The 2nd time we stayed in Monterosso, took the train to Riomaggiore and started. We think the most scenic part of the walk is from Riomaggiore to Vernazza, after that the trail winds through olive groves and is mostly away from the sea. Take water, at least a liter each, we did both walks in mid-October and it was really warm. A gelato break in Vernazza is wonderful. La Spezia is a large town, Monterosso rather small.
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 01:07 PM
  #3  
Tammy
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I stayed at La Spiaggia in Monterosso in July 2000 and began my hike there. The scenery is magnificant. You can do the entire hike in one day, from one end to the other, then take the train back to where you started. A highly recommended trip that you'll never forget. Take lots of film!!
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 01:49 PM
  #4  
Heather
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Meredith, in June, I stayed in Riomaggiore and Monterosso. I can offer you input if you let me know what type of place you like to stay in. Personally, I really liked both villages for different reasons. Riomaggiore is very small with lots of cheap rooms to rent. In early June, it was teeming with 20-something backpackers. Monterosso was larger (still small, tho) with two nice sand beaches (no beach in Riomaggiore). During our stay in Monterosso, we talked with a lot of backpackers who stayed in Riomaggiore and hiked to Monterosso for the beaches. For night life, Monterosso offers nice wine bars and 7-8 good restaurants; there are a couple of lively bars in Riomaggiore but not much in the way of dining. As I said, if your main deciding point is nice, budget accomodations, I think Riomaggiore might be your best bet.

Email me if you would like more info.

Have fun!
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 02:52 PM
  #5  
Shayne
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Here's a vote for staying in Vernazza. We stayed there this June. We just showed up in the morning and asked around at the restaurants and bars for rooms to rent. We found a terrific double with bathroom and a great view for L120,000. There are plenty of rooms to rent in Vernazza. The hike between Monterosso and Vernazza is the most scenic. Go for a swim in Monterosso, have lunch there and then hike back to Vernazza. There are fantastic photo ops of Vernazza 10 minutes before the town. A nice old man sold us a lemon for our thirst and gave us directions on the trail! The restaurant by the old castle (Al Castello) has incredible Mediteranean views and is quite reasonable. Try the local wine and the fresh pesto.
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 04:17 PM
  #6  
Pier-Mauro
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Meredith, Monterosso, which is a bit like the "capital" of the Cinque Terre would offer you
the largest selection of accomodations.
Each village is connected to the next by local trains -so you can hike and take train back. Also, while in that area, don't forget the local specialties:
SNACKS: "Focaccia al Formaggio" (=Cheese Filled Focaccia) and "Farinata" (=Chick Pea Pie) --you can find these at bakers, probably only in the morning -by midday they are usually gone
WINE: "Sciacchetra' " it's the local white wine, now produced in very small quantities. Buon Viaggio !
 
Oct 4th, 2000, 04:23 PM
  #7  
Pie-Mauro
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Meredith, Montrosso, which is a bit like the "capital" of Cinque Terre,
would offer you the largest selection of accomodations and more "life" --especially in November. The 5 villages are connected by local trains. Don't forget to taste the local specialties:
SNACKS: "Focaccia al Formaggio" (=Cheese Filled Focaccia) and "Farinata" (a very thin Chick Pea Pie) you can find 'em at bakers, but usually only in the morning (by noon they are gone). WINE: "Sciacchetra' " the local white now produced in very limited quantities by the very few farmers left. Buon Viaggio !
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 10:50 AM
  #8  
elena
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Can anyone comment on the weather in the Cinque Terre in the winter, specifically late November-mid December? I've always wanted to see the CT, and will be in Italy then, but I don't know if I'll be seeing the area at its best. I know that many hotels will be closed, but will everything be shut down? Should I save it for another trip?

Thanks!
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 11:45 AM
  #9  
Mari
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Following Elena's concern...would Cinque Terre be charming in March or just plain too cold to walk around?
 
Oct 5th, 2000, 12:36 PM
  #10  
Don and Linda
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Hi Meredith, Elena and Mari,

As we discovered on our visit to Cinque Terre, walking some of those trails can be mighty scary in inclement weather. Be sure to check the forecast before setting-out on the more challenging walks. You can read about our visit to the area in our travelogue at http://www.thetravelzine.com/italy3.htm.

Regards,
Don and Linda
TheTravelzine.com is non-commercial.
 
Oct 7th, 2000, 06:34 PM
  #11  
topper
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To the top
 
Oct 7th, 2000, 08:04 PM
  #12  
Kevin Mathews
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I was in Cinque Terre last November (end of the month). It was 60's/70's, sunny, beautiful weather.
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 06:10 AM
  #13  
Terry
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Enjoyed reading all the above posts but not sure the questions ws really answered. I know we all have our own views of where to stay, what to see, etc. My wife and I have changed our plans (deleted Lucca in favor of the CT)

Question: We will have one full day and 1/2 day in the CT. 13-14 Nov. Where is the best village to in stay for 1. Good accommodations (private bath, decent room) 2. Ability to sample some of the good seafood, focaccia bread with wine??? Rick Steves recommends Vernazza but fails to explain why.

Question: Seems to be some disagreement on the hike between Vernazza and Monterosso, is this the best part of the total hike? If we stay in Vernazza as Rick Steves recommends, we will have to hike to Monterosso then start again to hike to Riomaggiore. Maybe it is best to take a train to Riomaggiore and hike all the way to Monterosso? We are 60 & 58 yrs old, would this be a bit much? On these hikes do you spend time in the villages you hike thru?

Your responses to the above will be greatly appreciated.
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 06:33 AM
  #14  
Paige
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Terry, don't know if I can answer your questions but here's my opinion. We are in our 30's and hike a lot. Monterosso seemed the most mainstream and touristy to me. I'm sure you can get topnotch accomodations there but IMO it doesn't have as much personality as the others. The hike from Monterosso to Vernazza was one of the more challenging. Wear reasonable shoes. Vernazza is more picturesque but still touristy. There are plenty of shops and restaurants. From Vernazza to Corniglia is also challenging. Corniglia is the middle town, where we stayed. Accommodations and restaurants are limited but we liked it that way (not many tourists around at night). From there to the next town (I get Manarola and Riomaggiore confused)is down a lot of steps or a winding road then from there to the last village is pretty easy walking. Manarola and Riomaggiore seemed like Vernazza but less touristy.
You can take a ferry between all of the villages except Corniglia and the trains run between them all fairly often. I'd recommend picking the village with the personality you like then hiking one way on a day then the next day hiking the other. You can do it all in a day but I think you'd be pooped and you wouldn't have time to enjoy each village. By the way, when Rick Steves strongly recommends something, you can be sure that it will be full of Americans toting his book. Hope this helps!
 
Oct 10th, 2000, 12:23 PM
  #15  
Patrick
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After a whole lot of research a couple of years ago, we ended up picking Manorola for two nights. We arrived about noon and hiked to Rommigiore and back that afternoon. This is a very simple paved walk really, not a hike -- probably less than a half hour each way.
The next day we hiked all the way to Monterossa. From there we took the boat back to Manarola, but you can do the train as well. We agreed with what we had been told that going south to north was the best. The very last part of the hike was down, down, down into Monterossa. If you start there and go south, the first part is all uphill. We stopped in Vernazza for about a 2 hour spectacular lunch. We nosed around Corniglia for about an hour and had coffee at a cafe. At the time we were about 50 and 66, but we do a fair amount of hiking. It will be a bit exhausting to do the whole thing at once. It could easily be broken up in two parts, as all the cities are linked by train and sometimes by boats. We loved Manarola (stayed at Marina Picolo right on the tiny rocky "harbor" with open air dining over the cliffs). The only town I would not stay in would be Monterossa. It has the most accomodations --lots of beach hotels, but to me seems nothing like the other four towns of the CT, which are all wonderfully charming. Vernazza is probably popular, because it has the second most accomodations, but has not lost a bit of charm. The other three towns are very limited in facilities for travelers (other that wonderful little restaurants), but they seem more geared for locals than for tourists, which is just great as far as I'm concerned. By the way, I'm curious. Not everyone likes Florence. Some people hate Rome or Venice. Has anyone ever been the CT who didn't love it???? I'm not talking about people who went to Monterossa and left and say they saw the CT; I'm talking about people who really experienced the area?
 
Oct 18th, 2000, 05:28 AM
  #16  
joy
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I agree with Patrick...we stayed in Monterosso and wish we'd stayed in any of the others.....not that its awful, but nothing like as special as the others. Pretty expensive restaurants. I had walked from Riomaggiore to Vernazza before when I was in my 30s and loved the southern part of the walk especially. A couple of years ago, which was a couple of decades later, we started at Corniglia and went to Vernazza and found the going noticeably tougher! Both times were April or May...may need to think about the bigger villages out of season. If you stay in Monterosso don't stay at the
Hotel Souvenir.
 
Oct 20th, 2000, 07:28 AM
  #17  
mshaw
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Hi,
Just returned from CT.Stayed in Riomaggiore...rented an apartment from"EDI" or "EDY"...I found the rental on-line through a CT website. It was a nice apartment. We loved the "red-white" hike from Manarola to Corniglia...it was up in the vineyards and olive groves and was beautiful!We liked all of the towns,but Monterosso was more touristy....If we went back we would stay in Riomaggiore again...Eat at the "Grota" on the mainstreet...gnocchi with pesto melts in your mouth!Maggie
 
Oct 20th, 2000, 07:40 AM
  #18  
Heather
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Meredith, I don't know if you received all of the information that you needed to decide. Like Maggie (who posted above), I also stayed at an apartment through Edi in Riomaggiore. If you want to book there online: http://www.wel.it/Welcome/Liguria/Ci.../index.uk.html
 
Oct 20th, 2000, 09:39 AM
  #19  
Terry
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I want to thank all of you for posting some very valuable info. We will probably stay in Vernazza (Since we will be there in the off season 13 Nov. and want to be sure we can get a room and find places to eat.) and hike to Monterosso one day then catch the train to Rommigiore and hike back to Vernazza. Anxious to try the Focaccia and other area treats..
Thanks again to all.
 
Oct 21st, 2000, 05:13 AM
  #20  
Terry
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Forgot to add....For SHAYNE, Which hotel or B&B did you stay in Vernazza? Also what is the name of the restaurant by the castle?

Wish you would have given a real email address, I could have emailed you direct with this question.
 

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