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Is 5 nights overkill for the Cinque Terre?

Is 5 nights overkill for the Cinque Terre?

Old Sep 12th, 2017, 07:33 PM
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Is 5 nights overkill for the Cinque Terre?

We have a three week trip to Italy starting at the very end of September, and this is maybe our 5th or 6th trip to Italy.

We are seventy and into slow travel.with having a base to operate out of. We plan to walk between villages in the Cinque Terre, but realistically a couple hour walk, wandering around a village for a bit, stopping to get some supplies, and sitting out on our balcony with wine is plenty for us for a full day. We don't need to want to be on the go all of the time.

After arrival from the US, our plan is to spend the first three nights (two full days) in Genoa. Then, we'll take the train down to the Cinque Terre. I managed to find a period of time when there will be no cruise ships in port, so I am hoping there will be fewer crowds than many of you have encountered. I have booked four nights in an apartment in the old part of Monterosso (had a terrible time with this late planning finding a place that would come close to what we are looking for) but am now wondering if I should book five instead or if that really is overkill.

We'll end our trip with a seven night cycling trip out of Assisi.

With our current plan I have six nights free between the end of Cinque Terre and our arrival in Assisi to begin cycling. I am tentatively planning on three nights in Camogli after the Cinque Terre. We are interested in doing walking on the beautiful trails in the area plus seeing the local towns, and I see from itineraries for several different walking trips that their typical itinerary is three nights in the Cinque Terre and three nights in Camogli/St. Margherita. I am thinking of perhaps Orvieto as a two night stop between Liguria and Assisi. I really don't have any other in-between places that are greatly calling to me between LIguria and Umbria. (Suggestions are welcome if you have any.)

In addition to the walking between villages in the Cinque Terre, we are interested in kayaking in Monterosso, hiking between Levanto and Monterosso, doing the cycle trip between Levanto and Banassola, taking a ferry to Portovenere itself and doing the trip around the ferry that goes to the three islands around it. So, these things could also all fill some days. This is why I am wondering if I should extend another night.

Does anyone have any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old Sep 12th, 2017, 08:03 PM
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Would suggest that instead of Orvieto, you leave Camogli & go to Modena or Ferrara, since you are cyclists. Ferrara is arguably the more interesting town, but Modena has its charms, including a beautiful food market if that interests you. From Modena and Ferrara you can also visit Bologna or Parma (or even Ravenna). From Modena it is also easy to visit Parma.

As to your basic question, your itinerary is so weather dependent at a time of year when rain & wind can make some of your plans impossible to execute, the question is whether you will be happy to sit in your hotel & read if you can't be outdoors, or whether you would like to go elsewhere. Since you will already have been in Genova, there is not a lot else within reach of Camogli (a few museums in Nervi, a stroll around porticoed Chiavari during market hours) to provide interest. From Monterosso al Mare it is easy to visit Pisa & even Lucca (or Chiavari). If it's not raining too hard, a stroll around Pontremoil or Pietrasanta would make a nice rainy day excursion.

If you arrive in le Cinque Terre and it is raining, you might need to wait a day or two before you can hike or kayak or take a boat to Portovenere. If you would really be disappointed not to do what you planned to do in le Cinque Terre, the extra days are an insurance policy. If you arrive to 3 sunny days and do all you want to do, you can take a train to Camogli and do some hiling there.
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Old Sep 12th, 2017, 08:05 PM
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Sorry. I should have typed that from Modena it is also easy to visit Ferrara, and vice versa. However, it is not so easy to visit Parma from Ferrara as a day trip.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 03:14 AM
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Yes, I know everything we have planned or hoped to do in the Cinque Terre is weather dependent. That is a huge concern. And, I just read that yesterday or the day before there was rain in the Cinque Terre causing trails to be closed for the day.

So from Monterosso al Mare we could easily go to Pisa for a day trip. That could easily be a CT rainy day back up plan. Or, I suppose it could also be a way to spend even a nice day if we are getting bored with the CT. Is la Spezia another rainy day option? Or, is it just a big, bustling not too great port city?

Camogli and environs sound lovely, but is it too redundant if we have already spent time in the CT area walking? It looks like it is an hour train ride from Monterossa la Mare to Camogli so it is probably not something we would do more than once as a day trip. Commuting doesn't make sense to me. That is why I was thinking of basing myself in Camogli for a period of time.

I am halfway thinking of not booking ahead and just winging it, for Camogli. And, waiting to see what the weather is like. But, a concern I have is that as it stands right now with our four night CT reservation we are due to leave the CT on a Friday before the weekend crowds arrive. And, if we extend to a 5th night we will be looking for lodging starting on a Saturday night.

From past experience we know that it is always more difficult anywhere to find a last minute reservation on the weekend. I am guessing that Oct. 6 & 7 is still early enough in the month that there might be lots of people coming into Camogli or the CT just for a weekend visit.

And, I'll admit that there are enough people who have said that the entire CT is just one big tourist trap that I have niggling concerns even though many others also say the CT is lovely and they are returning for 5 or 6 days.

I have read many good things about Ferrara and will have to take a look at the logistics of a visit there between Liguria and Assisi. When we are done with the CT we are open to either taking the train to our next destination or picking up a rental car. Of course, if we do visit Camogli and have a car that would also open up other local opportunities to us too.

Thank you for the advice.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 03:51 AM
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Allowing for a bad weather day is always a good plan. So many people plan and plan, and assume every day of their trip is going to be sunny and nice.

If you truly enjoy a destination, I don't see how going from 4 to 5 nights in a specific place could be considered overkill. With your activity experience, it doesn't sound like you're going to tire of CT stairs too quickly or the views.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 04:00 AM
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Taking the issues backwards:

There is such limited parking in Camogli and its nearby towns, it doesn't make sense to have a rental car. You'd pick it up in Rapallo and park it for the duration. All the seaside towns are connected by train, and if it was raining and you wanted to escape the seaside, the hillside roads are really not the place to be in a car on a rainy day.

The drama of the terraced vineyards of le Cinque Terre, set over the sea, are not a tourist trap. The entrepreneurs who have created tourist services -- restaurants, bakeries, b&bs -- in what used to be fishermen's tenement housing -- are not in the business of ripping people off. But the tiny rustic villages are now photo ops for beauty-seeking tourists, and that's the culture one experiences.

You might have trouble with a last minute booking in Camogli or Santa Margherita Ligure, but much less so if you aim for Rapallo, which would be a striking contrast to le Cinque Terre but you can go on the Camogli hikes quite easily, or (perhaps even better), take Rapallo's tiny cable car up the mountain perch sanctuary, Monteallegro, and do some walking up there.

So maybe the answer is to wing it -- and if the weather is nice, go to Rapallo or Camogli for more hiking if you've been enjoying it, or head elsewhere if it's raining or if you've had your fill of the Riviera. It should not be hard to book last minute in most places in Emilia Romagna, or try Pontremoli.

La Spezia has very little of interest to most tourists. It's rather sleepy, but a sleepy, commercial crossroads with an industrialised port. (The Italian Navy is also there.) There are a couple of small museums and a lively food & clothing market in the mornings. However, if you want to day trip out of le Cinque Terre on a rainy day, more interesting places to go within a reasonable train ride or bus ride are Pisa, Pietrasanta, Pontremoli, Sarzana, Chiavari.

If you move around a lot on the Riviera it is easy to overeat, be over active and forget to relax. If you want to experience the relaxed life of the Italian Riviera, surrounded by Italians, spending all your time in a fair-sized town like Rapallo is really the way to go. Well positioned to take advantage of all the natural beauty + the tourist attractions, but also great for people watching and poking around the markets, getting food to go, and just generally having a breeze of it.

However, Rapallo is not a village. If you are going to the Riviera to experience villages, it's best to stay overnight in them to get the tranquility and experience them before day-trippers arrive.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 05:01 AM
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So from Monterosso al Mare we could easily go to Pisa for a day trip.>

Take regional trains to Pisa S Rossore station - one stop before Pisa Centrale - s Rossore is a very short walk from the Leaning Tower area - much closer than Pisa - then walk thru town if you want to Centrale and return from there.

all your trains can be regional trains -just buy tickets at stations - flat fare no reason to pre-book. For lots on Italian trains check www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com and www.ricksteves.com.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 08:21 AM
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"poking around the markets, getting food to go." That is exactly what we enjoy.

I will take a look at Rapallo. We don't need to be based in a teeny village and might prefer something with a few more options.


Thanks for the tip on the Pisa train stations.

I also appreciate the reassurances about the Cinque Terre and am stating to believe that much of the criticism may be coming from either those who visited 25 years ago and remember the old days or those who did a day trip in super busy season along with a gazillion others who were doing a day trip.

I need to make a decision fairly soon as to whether to extend a day in the CT because I suspect that the apartment we are staying may book up now immediately after we leave, and I won't have the luxury of deciding on the spot whether we like the area so well that we'd want to extend for another day.
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Old Sep 13th, 2017, 11:15 AM
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https://www.neverendingvoyage.com/ra...-travel-guide/
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