Does cinque terre merit three days

Nov 28th, 2014, 03:30 PM
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 9,171
I must apologize to Robert, my Mother did teach me manners and it was rude of me to suggest your mother did not and to call you an arse.

Enjoy Cinque Terre.
flpab is offline  
Nov 28th, 2014, 05:55 PM
Join Date: Nov 2014
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We first went to Le Cinque Terre in 1994 and we saw three of the five sleepy, quiet towns. We were the only tourists in each of the towns visited. We returned in July of 2013 on a day trip visiting Vernazza and Monterossa. Each place was jammed, jammed with tourists, both American and Italian.

I do not understand the attraction to this area unless one likes souvenir and t-shirt shops.

Buon viaggio,
rbciao47 is offline  
Nov 29th, 2014, 02:13 AM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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When it comes to food, the regions of Italy are incomparable. The best traditional cooking of the Italian Riviera is absolutely nothing like the best traditional cooking of Parma or Lucca. Actually, the best traditional cooking of Parma is quite different from the best traditional cooking of neighboring Modena. You can find beautiful food in every region of Italy, but you also need to take your own preferences into account. If you have limited appetite for seafood, you won't want to linger in Liguria. Likewise, if you aren't much of a cheese eater, you're going to weary of menus in Parma. I am not a big fan of Tuscan food period, but you obviously enjoyed eating in Greve (but Lucca's food and wine is quite different).

If you are eager to experience great food, nice scenery and have an untourist-y view of the Italian Riviera, then FrenchMystique is giving you a good suggestion to choose the Ligurian coast between the French border and Genova. I agree that Lucca is not an escape from tourists, and the point there is not the scenery but the town. Parma is beautiful and its nearby castle towns are a joy, and you will not get an overload of tourists in the general area, except a few crowded around the cheese factories and the Verdi opera sights. For scenery, though, you go to the hills south of Modena (and the food there can be outstanding too).

In between le Cinque Terre and Parma there is an absolutely gorgeous area of rolling hills and mountain outlooks, with marvelous rustic food that is its own cross between Liguria, Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna. It is called the Lunigiana, and much of it includes the old pilgrims' route from Canterbury to Rome, so there are many pretty towns to enjoy. The right spot for a base in that area would be Pontremoli. It is comparable to Le Marche in that it is an immersion in the completely untouristy side of Italy that is so wonderful to experience.
sandralist is offline  
Nov 29th, 2014, 08:58 AM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 153
I second Isabel's recommendations. I loved Rapallo, Camogli and Santa Margherita! I stayed in Rapallo for a week with day trips that included the Cinque Terre (just spent a day there, but I am not a hiker; traveled between the towns by ferry, train, and boat.)

If food is your thing, you should check out U Giancu in the hills above Rapallo. (For a price), you can prep with Fausto in the morning and come back in the evening to enjoy a fabulous meal that you helped to create -- and watch other diners enjoying the fruits of your labor. This was an unforgettable experience!
DianeGermaine is offline  
Nov 29th, 2014, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 162
We adored Cinque Terra, staying 3 nights in a small guest house, and enjoyed the quiet walks between towns. The views are spectacular. I would not have missed it and would happily return.
annealex is offline  
Nov 30th, 2014, 01:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,458

How do you define traditional cooking when there is so much diversity throughout Italy? Do you mean cucina povera? If you scratch the surface there is wonderful cooking all over the country.

Also where are the Apulian Alps? Do you mean Apuan Alps?
nochblad is offline  
Dec 1st, 2014, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 42
So many great responses.
Thanks everyone even Roberto 911 grammar police

To all who mentioned Rapallo I agree , it's a great place, we spent some time in the area in 2012

As far as traditional food, I love all the different regions cooking styles. From seafood to sausage to tripe. What i look for is a classic recipe with most importantly quality ingredients. And no microwave. Cucina povera is right up my alley but don't get me wrong I love a good white truffle.

Umbria is also a great destination but we have also been there and it is a little out of the way to get to lake como after.

French mystique gave some great recommendations We have been to san remo before and had great food. Maybe staying west of Genoa is a good Idea .

Sandra you mention the hills around modena that also sounds interesting

Back to planning thank you all again. Sorry about the grammar
daba78 is offline  
Dec 1st, 2014, 02:49 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My wife and I went a few years ago (2010) in late June. It was pretty warm.

We were based in Florence and took not only a few day trips but two overnighters; to San Gimignano / Siena and Pisa, Lucca, CT.

We were able to get to the Leaning Tower and spend a very short amount of time there by getting off at the San Rossore station instead of Centrale.

We then went to Lucca for the afternoon (short train ride). There were very few tourists. We walked through the town center, rented bikes and rode around the town on the city wall. Very nice bike ride.

We wandered around and took a 5PM train to La Spezia where we had hotel reservations a block from the train. I didn't want the hassle of staying in CT and walking up and down hills to the hotel.

After checking in we took the 7 minute local train to Riomaggiore, spent a few hours, saw a beautiful sunset, had dinner outdoors facing the ocean and returned to La Spezia for the night.

The next day we went back to Riomagiore wandered, then walked to the second village, wandered and walked to the third village.

The third village doesn't have a marina so we walked back to the second village and took a boat to Portovenere and wandered there for a while before taking a bus back to La Spezia where we picked up our overnight backpacks at the hotel and took the 3 hour train back to Florence.

An excellent couple of days.
Myer is online now  
Dec 1st, 2014, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
If you'd like to check it out then you can have a look at this link to a photo report I wrote about visiting all of the towns I mentioned plus many other nearby places. At the very end of the report are links to downloadable brochures (in English) from the tourist office websites in that region. They'll tell you not only about the places I mentioned but all kinds of other info, including what are the regional specialties of each town and the names of restaurants where you can find the best of that particular type of cuisine. There's plenty of local food and wine info in the brochures.

I will warn you that this report is very long as it also documents time I spent living/working/vacationing on a relative's farm in that area and other miscellaneous stuff. You'll notice the report is broken up into several replies so if you want to get to the parts about the places I mention start at the reply dated December 4, 2012 at 1:08AM for Finalborgo and December 4, 2012 at 2:49PM for Pietra Ligure, Varigotti, Noli, Finale Ligure and some other places where I rode my bike.

If you're traveling by public transport then Finale Ligure is the best place to base as the rail station is in town. The other places will require a short bus/taxi ride to get to. If you'll have a car then any of the towns/villages in my report are accessible.

Here are the links to the downloadable tourist brochures for the towns I mentioned and the general region, which is known as the Riviera delle Palme. These links are a couple years old so I don't know if they're still active but I got these in printed brochures from a local tourist office (in Celle Ligure) so you can ask at a local tourist office there.

Verezzi, Balestrino and Toirano:

Castelvecchio and Zuccarello:

Varazze, Celle Ligure, Monte Beigua:

Finale Ligure, Voze, Finalborgo, Noli, Varigotti:

Here's the link to the main regional tourist office website for further info:

Here's a link to the I Borghi più bella d'Italia (Italy's Most Beautiful Villages) website that lists all of these villages throughout Italy, not just where I'm exploring in Liguria. It's an interactive map so just click on a region and the villages will be highlighted.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
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