Does cinque terre merit three days

Nov 27th, 2014, 01:34 PM
Original Poster
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Does cinque terre merit three days

Hi everybody;
Me and my wife will be doing 2 weeks in france (provence/ cote dazure) and Italy (cinque terre/ lake como/ Verona). We will stay in each destination for 3 days.
My concern is we are going to some pretty touristy places and sometimes the charm of Italy is lost in these tourist mecca's. I wanted to add some small town "FLAVOR" to the trip.
I was thinking of Lucca in Tuscany and Parma (or surrounding area Emiglia romana)
Where can i cut a few days. We where thinking cinque terre might be the one. maybe also cote dazure

What do you guys think???

daba78 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 01:50 PM
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What time of year?

Are you mad for hiking cliff trails between tiny villages?

Must admit I don't "get" the mania for CT - except for the touting of the infamous Steeeeves.
nytraveler is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 02:14 PM
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I'm not a big fan of the Cinque Terre, either. Depending on when you're going, Lucca could be pretty overrun with tourists, too. And it's not what I would call a small town (about 90,000 inhabitants). Parma is about twice that size. Why don't you go to some other small town in Liguria? I'm not the one to suggest one, though.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 27th, 2014, 03:33 PM
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I love Cinque Terre and would go back in an instant but two days is probably enough. We hiked and walked through the villages. Not so busy in May.
flpab is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 04:07 PM
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Sorry I left out some details.
We will be there in may.
hiking sounds fun but not my passion
what i really enjoy is good food, not high end but nonnas cooking
we went to le marche last year and loved it (its my fathers home region)
Also went to Greve, lots of tourists but also great food.
Any suggestions for a nice little town or big city in the area keeping in mind
Food is my main priority followed by nice scenery
daba78 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 04:20 PM
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Stopped in Livorno on a cruise and went to CT. Not a hiker. Did 3 villages and had no interest in last one as it was the largest, and more a beach resort. So I too would think 2 days max if no hiking.
jan47ete is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 04:44 PM
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Two days should normally enough to visit each of the five villages and hike between them, unless the weather prevents hiking. If you want to hike into the hills behind the villages, you'll probably want more time. I enjoyed some excellent meals in the area -- extraordinary fresh fish one night; pesto pasta another.

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 08:34 PM
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First, the use of proper grammar would suffice "Me and my wife will be doing 2 weeks in france (provence..." It's actually "my wife and I"

Sometimes we are all careless when posting, and my English isn't always the best, but reading some of this sh** on Fodor's is a killer...
Robert2533 is offline  
Nov 27th, 2014, 10:03 PM
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Have you noticed how long the train rides are between Cote d'Azur and the Cinque Terre and Lake Como? Six hours minimum to the CT and another 5 hours minimum to Lake Como.
Jean is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 12:28 AM
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I live in Le Marche, and may be biased, but I think it has the best traditional cooking in all of Italy. It even has some world-class restaurants. I just checked the latest Michelin rankings, and see that Senigallia still has two two-star restaurants. Not bad for a town of some 40,000 people!

Have you visited Umbria? You might try to visit some towns there. They don't get anywhere near the number of tourists that Tuscany has, and have some splendid scenery. The food is similar to that in Le Marche, but with less seafood.

Emilia Romagna also has some great food, but maybe is a bit lacking in the scenery, as it's mostly flat. Still, there are some pretty and untouristy spots in the Apennines above Bologna and Modena.

Another area you might enjoy is in the Apulian Alps of Tuscany. I'm not sure how the food is there, but I would guess there's plenty of rustic fare from Nonna's kitchen.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 12:34 AM
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As a walker I adored CT, and besides the villages there are other pretty towns in the vicinity including Portovenere. I too loved the food there - so for me as a lover of walking and good food I would stay a week (which I did).
stevelyon is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 12:41 AM
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I know the most popular places on the Italian Riviera are those places east of Genoa such as Portofino, Santa Margherita, Cinque terre etc. but few people seem to pay attention to some of the less well known but equally beautiful places on the Riviera west of Genoa (actually west of Savona). A beautiful coastal town you might consider would be Finale Ligure and some beautiful nearby towns and villages you could visit would be Finalborgo, Noli and Varigotti. You can learn more about these places on the local tourist office websites for the area:

The great thing about these towns is not only are they beautiful but they lack the mobs of tourists that you'll find in those places east of Genoa.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 03:09 AM
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I wouldn't go to the Cinque Terre for the food; there are far too many foreign tourists there to sustain a high quality of traditional Italian cooking. Some of the other Ligurian towns mentioned by French Mystique would probably be better prospects for someone who wants to experience high quality Ligurian food. However, I've never been to these towns, so I can't say from personal experience.

The Cinque Terre hiking trails have taken a terrible beating this autumn from heavy rains and localized flooding. The area hadn't fully recovered yet from the terrible storms of 2011; some trails have been closed ever since. Anyone who goes there hoping to hike between the villages should keep an eye on this service which shows a map of the trails and the present conditions.

The map is not showing at the moment because all of the trails are closed at present due to weather conditions. They've been closed for weeks now. The higher (further inland) trails are always the first to recover, because the downhill ones are more exposed to the risk of landslides. These trails however are the ones that require a greater degree of fitness and, in some cases, more specialized equipment.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 07:15 AM
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I would keep the three days but base in another town in the region which will be less overrun by tourists. I love Rapallo and also Camogli but Santa Margherita is great too. These three towns are literally less than 5 minutes apart on the train, and about 45 minutes to the CT so easy day trip. You could go early and avoid some of the tourist crunch. Even if you don't/can't hike the trains between the five towns you can walk 15 minutes or so in either direction and get great views. Then go back to the town and train to the next. Boats also are wonderful. If boats are running to Portovenere that is another wonderful day trip.

I would keep the Liguria region as it is between your other destinations, rather than including other places further away. (at least for the trip you have outlined).
isabel is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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Good recommendations here (except for the grammar correction). I second the ferry to Portovenere, if the weather cooperates. It stops at each of the towns, and Porto is worth a visit.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 08:42 AM
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Robert2533, Correcting grammar, when not asked to do so, is a little rude when there are many folks whose first language is not English.

My hub and I visited the CT as a day trip from Pisa. Unless hiking is your interest, I'd even consider skipping it. Good photo ops though.
TDuTwo is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 09:39 AM
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May won't see any problems with excessive crowds in 5 Terre nor Cote d'azur IME - perfect time of year to go - now the French Riviera is a big area with lots of varied places to explore but the Cinque Terre towns are tiny and arguably all the same - if you don't like hiking then you may be bored and I hiked the whole 7 miles between towns easily in one day (day tripped in from nearby Santa Marghera Ligure, which I suggest as a better base - day trip to 5 Terre or Portofino, San Fruttoso (sp?), etc.
PalenQ is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 01:24 PM
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Are you serious Palenq? May is prime high season in the Cinque Terre! It was actually overcrowded to my tast on a rainy day in October.

The coastal path between the five towns has been at least partially closed since 2011 because of the risk of landslides. In other words, you haven't been able to use the coastal route to walk the whole way since then. The upper paths have mostly been open, but, as I said above, all paths in the park are closed at the moment because of inclement weather.

You probably mean San Fruttuoso.
bvlenci is online now  
Nov 28th, 2014, 01:49 PM
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I had the best pesto pasta there. So very fresh and could use a bowl of it now. Good seafood and fresh salads and wine. We went the first week of May and there was a cruise ship in port because some were on our ferry but not crowded at all. I loved the shops and took a ton of pictures of all the laundry hanging everywhere. It is amazing how the villages are built right into the mountains. You can do a short bit of hiking just to see the views.
flpab is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 01:54 PM
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Robert2533, you are a rude arse. Did your Mother not teach you any manners?
flpab is offline  

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