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HELP! (ekscrunchy & others) What to do with a car in CAMOGLI??!

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May 4th, 2009, 07:21 AM
  #1
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HELP! (ekscrunchy & others) What to do with a car in CAMOGLI??!

Hi Everyone,

We are happy to be using CAMOGLI as a home base for 7 nights in Liguria this September.

But we're confused as to where to keep a car!

We don't plan to use the car everyday... but we might need to do a daytrip here and there outside of the region. So we can't ditch the car completely.

Any advice? (I don't think the place we're staying at has parking.)

Thank you!
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May 4th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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It would be easier to answer if you posted where you are staying. Whoever is renting you your "base" can give you the best advice about parking.

However, near the Cenobio dei Doge, uphill from the hotel, there is a short road on the way to the staircase leading to San Rocco, next to a stream, where there is some free parking. It is impossible to find a space on weekends, but you can often find it during the week. Try to plan your day trips using the train for weekend days and leave your car parked.

You can often buy inexpensive paid parking at the parking lot of Gulliver's supermarket, about 1000 meters out of town. Your rental landlord, or the tourist office, can probably help you arrange that if you don't speak Italian.

Finally, there is a bus that runs regularly from Camogli to Ruta. Between Ruta and San Rocco di Camogli there is a very long road, where there is plenty of free parking (except it is restricted on weekends to residents-only within the village itself.

By the way, if you change your mind, you can drop off and pick up a car in Rapallo, about a 10 minute train ride from Camogli. (A 20 minute, spectacular bus ride). You might consider renting a car for 3 or 4 days in the middle of the week to do day trips, and then returning it by the weekend to avoid the parking problem.

Where are you going in Liguria that you think you need a car?

And finally, if you haven't already purchased David Downie's new guide to the Food and Wine of Genova and the Italian Riviera, it is a gem and worth every penny and pound.
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May 4th, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Excellent advice, zeppole... thank you very much!

Well, we're a group of 6, and a few in the group are a bit older so we definitely don't want them to get exhausted.

We'll be driving toward Camogli from the Veneto and plan 1 or 2 daytrips from Liguria (to Siena/Lucca/Orvieto, etc.)

Cheers!
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May 4th, 2009, 08:59 AM
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ZEPPOLE: The address of where we are staying is

via XX settembre 16032 CAMOGLI


Grazie!
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May 4th, 2009, 09:27 AM
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You really can't daytrip from Camogli to Siena or Orvieto. Lucca is doable, but it will be a very long day trip. You might want to rethink whether you want a car, and for how long, and where you want to go. If you really want to see Tuscany, Camogli is quite far from there. You would be better off staying in Lerici or Portovenere, or other small towns near there (like San Terenzo). Or better yet, stay in Tuscany instead of Liguria.

If you stay in Camogli, you will be able to drive your car only part way on the via XX Settembre to pick up and drop off passengers or luggage. It is a pedestrian zone after 11 am in the morning, and all day Wednesdays and weekends. For your older passengers, you will probably need to pick them up and drop them off because the car will be parked some distance from there unless you are willing to pay upwards of $25 per day.
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May 4th, 2009, 10:25 AM
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ZEPPOLE: You're spot on! We are talking ourselves out of Lucca, etc. That will be a whole other trip.

By the way, what are your thoughts on PORTOVENERE. Is it worth exploring?
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May 4th, 2009, 10:53 AM
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Portovenere is very, very pretty but even in September I found it quite overrun with tourists.

It is a fairly easy drive from Camogli and there is plenty of parking, so if you are hankering for a daytrip, that is an option as long as you try to time your arrival to avoid daytrippers. Perhaps try to get an early start from Camogli (??)

From Portovenere, we continued to Lerici and Tellaro; you could also do this but be aware that the road linking Lerici and Tellaro is narrow and winding.

Neither was nearly as overrun with tourists as Portovenere.

But for sheer beauty, Portovenere is difficult to beat.

You will also want to visit, I am assuming, Portofino. Everything I wrote about Portovenere holds true in Portofino..gorgeous and packed with tourists. Best visited early or late, if my visit was any indication.

Betty do you mind letting us know where you are staying--is this an apartment?

Tellaro is tiny and there is a rather narrow winding road connecting it with Lerici.

I would guess that, if all else fails, you can use the Cenobbio dei Dogi lot for a fee; they have quite a bit of space and should not be full in September.
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May 4th, 2009, 12:40 PM
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We are renting a three-bedroom apartment right on via xx septembre. It seemed a bit more economical than doing 3 doubles at a hotel for an entire week. 6 of us.

Plus, we have the option of cooking a meal in our kitchen if we find great fish at the daily market.


Portovenere sounds appealing, but something tells me I won't like Portofino very much. It sounds just terribly snobby and overpriced to me. And although Santa Margherita is probably also a bit overpriced, I thought that would make a fun daytrip too for the shops and if we're looking for a bit of nightlife...

Cheers!
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May 4th, 2009, 05:56 PM
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Ooh, and if someone can recommend a nice bakery in the area. I know the area is known mainly for foccaccia... but I was hoping to find some other types of pastry for breakfast. Thanks!
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May 4th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Buy the book by David Downie mentioned above.

The area is more noted for farinata, made with chickpea flour, than for focaccia.
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May 4th, 2009, 07:53 PM
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Grazie, Zerlina!
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May 5th, 2009, 02:34 AM
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The area is well known for both focaccia (with adjacent Recco being a celebrated focaccia mecca) AND for farinata.

There are several excellent bakeries in town; they also sell more "regular" breads. There is a bakery on Via XX Septiembre at #68. The name is LA Macina.

Betty: Can you let us see the link to the apartment? I think that sounds like a fabulous idea. There are so many good food shops and there is also a weekly market in town; market day is Wednesday and there may be another as well.

See Camogli photos:

http://www.thefoodsection.com/foodse...i_market_.html

I want to go back!
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May 5th, 2009, 09:53 AM
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betty,

The Ligurians are not big pastry eaters, but you can find breads other than foccacie at all the bakeries (there are about eight in Camogli) as well as some sweet brioche's and croissant-like breakfast breads. But you also should try the very dreary supermarket called Picasso which is a few steps from the tourist office, down some steps. It sells all manner of breakfast sweets, and those made by Mulino Bianco can be very good.

David Downie's book will steer you to the best eats in the region. Pestarino's in Santa Margherita Ligure is a great pastry shop, and has a neighboring shop that sells cheeses, roast chickens, etc.

Regarding Portovenere, ekscrunchy's take on it is more recent than mine. In fact, I've yet to get over my guilt in encouraging her to go there, not realizing that cruise ships had so radically altered its characters. I think Chiavari is the most interesting seacoast town to visit near Camogli.

For all the negatives of Portofino -- and they have been accurately described -- it is still exquisite to take a boat from Camogli into the Portofino harbor -- even if you never get off the boat. There is also a very serious but very small art gallery in Portofino on the via Roma called Tornabuoni. It quite often features the work of 20th c. Italian masters (like Morandi or di Chirico).
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May 5th, 2009, 09:56 AM
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PS: I'm going to have to disagree with Zerlina. While farinata is available, foccacie -- both foccacie normale and foccacia al formaggio -- is absolutely the essential bread of this area, and the town of Recco, next to Camogli, is world-famous for its foccacia al formaggio. It is ubiquitous here, while it is next to impossible to get farinata in Camogli outside of winter. A pity -- because I prefer it.

The best place to sample farinata that I have found is Luchin's in Chiavari, but I've not been to the legendary farinata shops in Genova.
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May 5th, 2009, 10:34 AM
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ZEPPOLE: Grazie! I'm guessing you have to pay each time you get on a boat somewhere, right? There's probably no such thing as a 3-day boat pass... though wouldn't that be great?

I'm a croissant Girl (when it comes to breakfast) so if I'm able to have croissants every morning, I'll be quite happy. Thanks again.
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May 5th, 2009, 01:33 PM
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I don't know if you can get boat passes for more than one trip. Once you arrive in Camogli, the office for the boats that travel from Genoa to Portovenere is easily found in the Camogli marina, or you can ask at the tourist office. (The most extensive boat trips along the coast are usually not available after the first week in September.)

Italian "croissants" usually go by the name of "brioche" in Liguria, and have far less butter and more yeast than French croissants. Also, they usually are made with apricot jam in the center unless you specifically request one that is "Vuoto" (vwoh-toh), meaning empty.
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May 5th, 2009, 05:56 PM
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Just as long as they don't stop boats to San Fruttuoso and Santa Margherita/Portofino from Camogli in September!

Zeppole, do you happen to know if there are regular round-trip boats to Levanto/Monterrosso from Camogli in mid-to-late September?

P.S. I got a nice chuckle from your "dreary Picasso supermaket" description! Nice to know you can still get excellent pastry in some dreary locations... lol!!
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May 6th, 2009, 03:14 AM
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Betty the boats to San Fruttuoso were running when we were there the last week of September last year.

Look here:

http://www.golfoparadiso.it/_inglese/about_us.htm



For boats from Camogli to CT:

http://www.battellierigenova.it/file/e-5_terre.php
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May 6th, 2009, 06:53 AM
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EKS: Did you happen to take any boats from Portofino to the French side when you were there? I just saw a quick Rick Steves profile on Villefranche, and boy, it was beautiful! They also quickly featured the Rothschild villa, which I guess is open for touring.
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