Como or CT? Advice, please

Feb 10th, 2006, 02:59 PM
  #1  
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Como or CT? Advice, please

Hello---I know these topics are extensively discussed, and I've read everything I can find here, but would still like to ask for specific advice. I've left three nights at the end of our trip to Switzerland in late June/early July to spend in Italy before flying home from Milan. Our teenage daughter (age 14) will be with us, and it will be her first time in Italy (she's been to Paris, London and Switzerland before). I'd like to make it a nice expericence for her (and for us). I have narrowed my choices to Lake Como (probably Varenna) and Cinque Terre (probably Monterosso to avoid all the crowds in Varenna). I know this isn't the best time to visit Cinque Terre, but I've never been there and we love the ocean. Our favorite activity is hiking, but that can include lakeshore strolls as well as serious trails. Our daughter also loves photography, and is quite skilled at it. And all three of us appreciate good Italian food, seafood in particular. Shopping is not a priority for any of us (even her). Also, our first choice of accomodation would be a triple of family room with a view balcony (or terrace); I know those are not always easy to find (compared to nice double rooms).

My impression is that she would experience more of the Italian culture and ambiance at Como (the lake, not the town), but the scenery at Cinque Terre looks stunning---hence my dilemma. We would like to spend all three nights in one place rather than try to see both. Also, we will be traveling by train (from Zermatt, via Brig and Milan), so that limits our choices a bit.

I would welcome any comments, as well as advice on other alternatives I should consider. (We have been to Florence and Venice, and don't wish to go there in the summer, but we could consider some smaller town in Tuscany or Liguria instead of Como or CT.) Thank you.
enzian is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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Of the three mid-lake towns, Menaggio, Varenna, and Bellagio, I would think the least crowded would be Varenna. Varenna is much, MUCH quieter (some would say dead after dark) than Bellagio. For something inbetween with at least some nightlife you might also consider Menaggio.
Intrepid1 is offline  
Feb 10th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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My choice if I could only do one would be the CT. The small cliff side towns and the olive orchards you hike through to get to them gives a real feel of Italy. I especially enjoyed sitting in the open air cafes sipping on cappucinos or eating gelato. Many people split the hike up into 2 days but we did it in 1 because it was supposed to rain the next day. The hike could be dangerous in the rain because the stones would be very slick.
weasel is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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My kids really did not like Belligio, but loved CT. They were 16 and 13.
Gail
stormyhd is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Thanks to all of you. It looks like Cinque Terre gets the vote. But I'll check out Menaggio for the next trip---I believe that is where the major hikes are anyway. My understanding is that one gets there by ferry from Varenna (without a car, anyway)?
enzian is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 07:08 PM
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My kids who were 15 and 12 when we visited greatly preferred Monterosso to Bellagio. No question!
auntieapple is offline  
Feb 11th, 2006, 07:12 PM
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Also, we stayed at the Hotel Pasquale in Monterosso in their family room (two rooms with connecting bath)...glorious view, right on the water, reasonably priced.
auntieapple is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 09:46 AM
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Thank you, "auntieapple". I was actually thinking of either the Villa Steno or the Pasquale in Monterosso---I'm glad to hear you liked it. How far ahead did you have to reserve? Does the Hotel Pasquale have any balcony rooms? They don't mention that on the website. But that family room sounds just right, even without a balcony.
enzian is offline  
Feb 13th, 2006, 06:33 PM
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The Pasquale doesn't have any balcony rooms but it is right on the beach and the rooms have great views. It is also close to the RR tracks.
The Villa Steno has many rooms with balconies and beautiful views. That would be my recommendation. They are owned by the same family, as you might already know. The Steno has a beautiful garden and is up a short hill from the main street and will be quieter than the Pasquale.
CT is very touristy but if you like the ocean and hiking, then that's the place and your daughter will probably enjoy it more than Lake Como. Personally I think Lake Como is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been.
panecott is offline  

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