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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 09:02 AM
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Which of the two towns is most like Taorimina or Sorrentto. ie easily walkable, safe at night, good restaurants and shopping. Use as base for 7 days to take day trips to surrounding areas using bus &/or trains.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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You may not find this answer helpful but: Camogli is a bit more like Taormina because it more narrowly ascends up a mountain, and Santa Margherita Ligure is more like Sorrento for having more of a wide-mouthed beachfront, although it is much, much smaller than Sorrento

Both towns are completely safe unless a meteor strikes the earth. Camogli is very small. It takes 10 minutes to walk from one end of town to the other. In Santa Margherita Ligure, it takes 20 minutes, maybe 25 minutes if you walk slowly.

From the Cenobbio dei Doge, it is a shorter walk to the train station than in Santa Margherita Ligure if you are stay at the Miramare. In both towns, you face about the same steepness to walk to and from the train station. In Santa Margherita Ligure, you don't have to walk uphill to catch a bus out of town, but the bus ride out of town is a much more winding switchback road.

Because of that switchback road, I would prefer to stay in Camogli if I planned to use buses to go on day trips. Both towns have about the same quality of restaurants, and both towns have limited boutique shopping.

The two towns look quite a bit alike, but they have slightly different characters. Santa Margarita Ligure is favorite destination for young professionals whizzing in for a suntan-and-swim weekend from Milan or Turin, and also is a posh area for second homes. It gets more cruise ship tour groups than Camogli for being within walking distance of Portofino. Camogli is favored by young people and families from Genova who whiz in spontaneously if the weather is nice, for lunch or gelato, and it is also something of a residential suburb of Genova, a town where young professionals raise families. That said, Camogli still has a very active fishing port (anchovies and tuna). In Santa Margherita Ligure, the marina is more dominated by small yachts and pleasure crafts (but it still has a good fresh fish market).

If you would like a bit of fishing village charm, Camogli has that. If you would like a bit more Riviera la dolce vita, Santa Margherita Ligure has that.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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Wow thanks, that's a lot of helpful information. The Hotel in SML is less expensive so I think I'm leaning in that direction. the only thing I don't like is the winding roads. Could I use the train to get around or is that one of the towns that doesn't have a train stop?
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 06:16 PM
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You can easily use the train, but where are you expecting to day trip to?

From SML it is each to reach Portofino by bus on a straight road, and as zeppole says, you can even walk. Straight and flat.

You can get to Camogli by boat in a short time.

By train to Genova.

It is a bit winding to go to Rapallo, but I think you can also tale a train. Zeppole will know for sure. You could even take a taxi; it is close by.

Where else are you planning to take day trips?
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 06:18 PM
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We stayed at the Mirmare last year and loved the hotel and the town. We had an ocean front room and enjoyed the breakfast on the terrace. We were there in early Oct. We had a car which we never used once we got to SML We took the train for a day trip to Camogli, another day trip by train to Cinque Terre and took a boat ride to Portofino. We definitely liked SML better than Camoglia and agree with Zeppole's description of both towns. We enjoyed walking into town for dinner (5 -8min. walk) depending on what restaurant you went to. I hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.
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Old Nov 11th, 2011, 11:06 PM
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Santa Margherita Ligure has a train station. The only town in the vicinity you can't reach by train from Santa Margherita Ligure is Portofino. As tuscanlifedit said, the bus ride there is not particularly winding, and you can also reach Portofino by boat or by taking a (long) walk.

If you want to reach Camogli by boat from Santa Margherita Ligure, you need to switch boats in the tiny cove of San Fruttuoso.

For a 7 day stay in the area, I suggest you also visit Chiavari, the best shopping and eating town in the vicinity, and Nervi, which has some of the area's most interesting art museums. Both can be reached by train.
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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 01:28 AM
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SML area is more walkable than Camogli a much more vertical

town and I have been to and stayed in both...lots more

huffing and puffing in Camogli so SML better and nearby


Have stayed at Miramare nice more expensive farther

away from train station my fav there www.metropole.it

1 block downhill bag roll from train station to sea

Paid 120 euro per nt for a sea view suite at the Red Lodge

1 block away ferry dock to all the villages SML

nice flat promenade..so might head there

Happy Planning!
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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 06:13 AM
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Camogli has a flat promenade. I would hardly call the center of that town "vertical," unless the earth has shifted since my last visit. You will have to walk many steps to access the beach from the Cenobio dei Dogi, though. The non-heated pool is on the main level.

I have stayed at both of those hotels; I will be happy to answer any questions about my stays.

Here is the report I wrote following the visit a few years ago:

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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 06:32 AM
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Agree with 'ek'. The main street has a very slight grade, but I would consider it almost flat. Having stayed at this hotel twice, I would recommend the hotel. Now getting to the train station, as zeppole said is another story. Steep steps, but not that far. www.cenobio.it/en
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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 09:14 AM
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From the Cenobbio dei Doge in Camogli it is possible to not only reach the flat seaside promenade and public beaches without encountering a single stair, it is also possible to either walk around the parking lot to the train station/bus stop and encounter only an uphill grade without any need for stair climbing. If you are willing to climb stairs, you can take a zig-zag stair case opposite the entrance to the hotel parking lot which is roughly the equivalent of 4 normal flights of easy stairs with about 5 stairs between each landing).

I don't post this information to encourage you to stay in Camogli, but in case someone else looking to stay in a fishing village on the Riviera finds this thread and ends up believing they can't stay in Camolgi because it is too vertical to be enjoyable. 90 percent of the town involves flat strolling on the upper level or the lower level. To get between to the two levels, you have a variety of choices. All involve walking up or down hill at some point, but if you don't wish to huff and puff up steep stairs, you have plenty of other choices. My well-over 60 mother stayed in Camogli for 3 weeks and walked all over town without assistance and without huffing and puffing, on some days in 90 degree weather.
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Old Nov 12th, 2011, 09:46 AM
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Here is a picture of the staircase opposite the hotel Cenobio dei Doge, at the top of which is the bus stop/train station:


If you walk uphill, around this wall, it is the other way to the bus stop/train station from the Cenobio dei Doge (or La Camogliese)


Otherwise, the town on two flat levels. Like this


and like this:


If you want the thrill of taking a steep staircase up between the two levels, there are a few, but they are not mandatory.

(Sorry for persistently misspelling Cenobio above).
zeppole is offline  
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