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daytrips from Monaco to Italian riviera

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May 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM
  #1
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daytrips from Monaco to Italian riviera

Is it feasible to take a day trip from Monaco to Portofino area. Heard there are some great walks/hikes between towns. We'll have a car but could do train if faster..
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May 22nd, 2010, 12:10 PM
  #2
 
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You can find it out yourself.

For car trip, use www.viamichelin.com

For train, use http://reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en
greg is offline  
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May 22nd, 2010, 01:07 PM
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I would not waste a day in the Portofino area traveling to Monaco and back--there are great hikes in and around Portofino and all along the coastline east/southeast of Genoa.
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May 22nd, 2010, 02:08 PM
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I have the same question as you. I don't think anyone has answered you. I checked with Michelin and it does seem a long drive.I would love to go. They say it is beautiful.But remember we are really close to Eze and many other closer places and they are all beautiful.
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May 22nd, 2010, 02:31 PM
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This subject comes up many times each year. Here are some of my opinions.

1. The Italian Riveria does not get as scenic as the French Riveria until you get to Portofino and south of there.

2. The drive to Portofino past Genoa has many, many tunnels - which makes driving very tiresome. The drive taks a tad less than 3 hrs each way. The last time I had to take that route, I took a train (very long train ride with multiple train changes).

3. To really enjoy the Italian Riveria and take hikes, you need at least 1 1/2 days there. A day or two more if you want to explore both the Portofino area and the Cinque Terre.

4. Unless you will be in Monaco for more than 6 days, why spend 1 of those days consuming time to get somewhere else, when there are just as many interesting places to visit closer to "home".

Stu Dudley
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May 22nd, 2010, 02:39 PM
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It's not really a long drive. It's 90 minutes. But the train takes HOURS! (And it doesn't stop in Portofino).

But I agree that going from Monaco to Portofino is a waste -- you'll just be going from one sterile depot of the rich and the wanna-be rich to another -- although if you are talking about hiking, there are beautiful hikes that begins or end in Portofino that take about 3 hours.

When are you taking this trip? If it is in summer, driving to Portofino, finding parking, paying for parking, hiking and retrieving your car could be an expensive nightmare.

If it were me, I would use that car to visit Apricale, just over the French border: Have a lunch at La Favorita:

http://www.lafavoritaapricale.com/eng/dove_siamo.asp

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/112/2...9532d81717.jpg

Or go up to Baiardo and hike:

http://www.relax-italy.eu/

Here is a whole bunch of good tips from the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/200...italy?page=all


HOWEVER:

If you are wild to see Portofino, I recommend that you drive your car to the autostrade exit of Recco, Follow the signs to La Spezia but you are going to stop at the town of RUTA. (Map this with via Michelin.)

In Ruta, you are going to turn right and go to San Rocco. There is BIG parking lot halfway. Park there. Walk to San Rocco (15 minutes).

Now you either have the choice of taking a really strenuous hike to San Fruttuoso (follow the market paths )

OR

Take a staircase down to either Punta Chiappa or Camogli, your choice. Either will bring you to a dock where you can catch ferry boats to San Fruttuoso, and then hop another to Portofino.

Once you've toured Portofino (I wouldn't bother spending much time there) you can either catch a boat to Santa Margherita Ligure and take a bus back up to Ruta and walk to retrieve your car or hop the shuttle bus to it. Buses stop around 7pm.

OR

You can take a boat back to Camogli and take a bus about to Ruta, same deal.

If you want to make this a day trip, you should get an early start.

But you can have a lot of fun stopping well short of Portofino. I hear the town of Noli is pretty, and the town of Cervo has a destination restaurant -- San Giorgio's, It's marvelous, and so is the town:

http://www.ristorantesangiorgio.net/...istorante.html

http://www.riviera24.it/userdata/imm...rvo_170932.jpg
zeppole is offline  
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May 22nd, 2010, 02:53 PM
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Stu and I were posting at the same time, so I missed getting a chance to prove him wrong! (A favorite past time of mine on Fodors!

Stu opined (and it's just his limited opinion, shared by many, but still pretty limited

1. The Italian Riveria does not get as scenic as the French Riveria until you get to Portofino and south of there.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder for sure. Take a look at these pictures:

French Riviera between Monaco and Italian border:

http://www.hickerphoto.com/data/medi...ance_11314.jpg

Italy, between the French border and Genoa:

http://www.fotothing.com/photos/113/...77d9b3_73c.jpg

French Riviera between Monaco and Italian border:

http://www.classicsailing.eu/assets/...0sur%20Mer.JPG

Italian Rivera between French border and Genova:

http://image12.webshots.com/12/0/67/...3OJKBbt_fs.jpg

What Stu knows about Italy you can put in a thimble.

As for the drive, Grace Kelly killed herself driving in France. So far, no Fodor's tourist driving the road from France to Portofino has met the same fate or anything close to it.

To me, Monaco is one of the most boring places in Europe and I would be looking to get elsewhere. I find the French Riviera sterile, full of modern condos, lousy food and too much like Southern California to merit much of my time.

Different strokes!
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May 22nd, 2010, 02:55 PM
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PS: But Eze always looked rather stunning to me from the road as I zipped past on my way from Nice to Italy!
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May 22nd, 2010, 03:05 PM
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I see the link for one of my shot of Italy -- the town of Noli -- didn't work. Here are more:

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/235...56124403NfUEoR

http://travel.webshots.com/photo/214...56124403GQlYji

Also, these potted ideas that to 'enjoy the Italian Riviera you need 1 1/2 days there" -- is nonsensical. There are beauty spots all along the coast that make great day trips for hiking and for lunch spots -- and you could spend the rest of your life in the Italian Riviera and still not finish enjoying the exploration of it.

If you want to see Italy, plunge in.
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May 22nd, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Actually I love Monaco, it's clean, great relaxing parks beautifully planted with flowers of the season and bronze statues, love the casino (always win something) and sitting at the outdoor cafe is really interesting people watching from ancient dowagers dripping in diamonds to tourist wannabes - even if a cheese sandwich and a coke cost me $27.00 there !
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May 23rd, 2010, 04:02 AM
  #11
 
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Mahya2,

I'm so glad you posted that! It underscores the truth that there is no "objective" opinion about what's enjoyable or beautiful in travel, and that any traveler coming to internet message boards for advice other than logistics is only getting a few other people's 's highly subjective impression -- and beware those people may not have been to the places they describe.

Maybe someday Stu Dudley will post on Fodor's why he didn't find Noli, Varigotti, Apriicale, Celle Ligure, Verzi, Loano, Ospadeletti "scenic", but I'm not holding my breath. I'll be very surprised if he's even been in the scenic Riviera dei Fiori, other than on the autstrade.
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May 23rd, 2010, 04:41 AM
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Oh, I wanted to add one more thing:

I think that one of the pleasures of staying on either side of the French-Italian border is that it is so easy to get from one country to the other and experience the very sharp difference between Italian and French culture.

I live near Genoa and sometimes take a lunch-outing for a day into France. It's like when I lived in Los Angeles, I used to sometimes take an outing to Santa Barbara for lunch and the afternoon. But in Europe, you really get to enter a different world, each with its pluses and minuses.

To me, there is more to an enjoyable time in Europe than scenic sights -- although you will find them on both sides of the border. But I think it would be a pity to let one person with extremely limited and rigid travel ideas discourage you from going into nearby Italy when you are so close.
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May 23rd, 2010, 09:23 AM
  #13
 
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PS: But Eze always looked rather stunning to me from the road as I zipped past on my way from Nice to Italy!
------------------------------------------------------------
LOVE LOVE Eze- but how can you NOT love Monaco? Far from boring. Never once did I think of CA. during my travel in the French Riviera. I am scratching my head with your comments.
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May 23rd, 2010, 09:31 AM
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Yes it is. Have lunch at O Magazine, their seafood spaghetti, frito misto, grilled fish are amazing after lunch hike up to the light house. Portifino is beautiful!
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May 25th, 2010, 07:35 PM
  #15
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Wow! what great replies! I have never posted a question on a forum before and am so appreciative of all of the great replies! I am going to check into all of the places mentioned in Italy that are closer to France. Also, has anyone heard of a ferry that goes from Santa Margherita to Monaco. I can't find it but a friend of mine said that Samta Marguerita is a major ferry port. I am learning so much and getting so excited about planning my trip. Thank you!
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