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Interesting half way stop from Bologna to Monaco?

Interesting half way stop from Bologna to Monaco?

May 29th, 2014, 08:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 330
Interesting half way stop from Bologna to Monaco?

Driving from Bologna to Monaco, which is 4.5 hours according to google map. Is there any "don't miss" lunch or overnight stop?

Geographically Genoa makes sense but I'm reading mixed reviews, gritty seaport, "be aware in XYZ area", etc, reminds me of Marseille. It doesn't sound safe.

Any interesting charming Italian town along that stretch of coast (besides Cinque Terre)? I ran across the caves in Toirano: http://www.toiranogrotte.it/it but can't find much reviews about it.

Thanks in advance.
carcassone is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 01:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Carcassone - There are several nice places for a stop within an hour of Genoa. Check out -

Noli or Finale Ligure (- west of Genoa) - or
Camogli or Santa Margherita Ligure (- east of Genoa)

Steve_James is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 05:15 AM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 983
Finale Ligure has a great beach and a nice beach-town feel.

For sights, Albenga has a really nice town center, and is easy to drive/park: http://www.traveltop.net/wp-content/...10/albenga.jpg

Imperia has an interesting old center high on the hill that is interesting to stroll around: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...toMaurizio.JPG

I love San Remo, too, but you are getting pretty close to Monaco! What you might want to do is get off the highway and drive through San Remo, then along the coastal route through Ospedaletti and Bordighera to Ventimiglia - - it's really florid, with nice sea views, and Bordighera is worth at least a drive through. Here are my San Remo pix:
dfourh is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 05:54 AM
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Genoa to me is a fine fine town - onced was seedy in the port but that was all cleaned up years ago for some World's Fair or something - the warren of tiny lanes in the old town are incredibly quaint.

That said a large city makes it harder to find parking, etc.

but Genoa is a lot different than you think!
PalenQ is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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My first reaction is to wonder why you aren't taking the train, especially if you are considering an overnight.

As for places to stop along the way if you are driving, it matters a lot what time of year you are going, and if you are going between now and the middle of September, you can expect lots of traffic along the coast, and hellish parking in the seaside towns, so if you book there for an overnight, book a place with parking .

At almost any time of year, you might consider giving yourself more of a taste of the variety of the Italy rather than going to another coastal town for your break. Monaco actually used to be part of Italy, and every coastal town from there to Genoa (and even further south), has pretty much the exact same layout and appearance.

Leaving Bologna, you might consider going to Pavia and seeing the Certosa di Pavia before having a lunch there (this is risotto country). Then head to a town totally untouristed and charming town like Ovada.

Or if it is after August, consider going to town in Piemonte like Alba or Cherasco for an overnight so you can sample the famous wine and cheese and chocolates (everything is closed in July and August). You can stop in Pavia on the way.

If you would rather visit the coast, Genova has some marvelous features, but it also has lots of dark alleyways and prostitutes and graffitti, so if that is going to bother you, don't go. (If you do go, take the train instead of drive.) For small coastal towns, Albenga has the most interesting town center, in particular if you have also visited Ravenna as part of your Bologna stay. Even if you stay somewhere else, it is very much worth visiting.

But I would try to see something other than another Mediterranean seaside town with a castle, a harbor, and a multicolored church spire. Just be sure to stop for lunch in Liguria before you leave Italy and enjoy the pesto.
sandralist is offline  
May 30th, 2014, 07:19 AM
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Here's more about the Certosa di Pavia


More on Ovada

sandralist is offline  
Jun 1st, 2014, 08:29 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 330
Sorry I didn't call out that this will be the last week of July/1st week of Aug. Let me know if that rules out any of the options mentioned.

Thanks everyone for your precious info. I will check out the many towns mentioned.
carcassone is offline  
Jun 1st, 2014, 09:44 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,227
We stayed in Camogli. Nice and relaxing for an overnight stop - less frenetic than towns on the other side of Genoa, we thought. Maybe we were just lucky with the timing.

Liked Ventimimiglia and Menton too, but they are so close to Monaco you might as well keep on going! (Friday is market day in Ventimiglia - very worthwhile).
twoflower is offline  
Jun 2nd, 2014, 01:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
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Going to Camogli or any town south of Genova will add an hour or more of overall driving to your trip for no particular reason. Camogli is nice, but If you would like to go to a seaside town, pick one of the equally nice ones between Genova and the French Border. Finale Ligure logistically makes sense.

However, if you were to leave Bologna by 10am and drive to the vicinity of Novi Ligure or Tortona and stop for a countryside lunch in a vinyard, and you could still make it to Monaco 6.30pm, even if you didn't get back on the road until 4pm.

Consider Locanda dell'Olmo.

sandralist is offline  

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