Italian Riviera - Favorite towns?

Feb 26th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Italian Riviera - Favorite towns?

We are staying in Portofino at the Hotel Splendido and plan to take a day trip to the Cinque Terre. Any other must-see towns? We love the Amalfi Coast - Positano and Ravello were favorites...

Anything reminiscent of the AC on the Riviera to see?
girlaroundtheworld is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 02:18 PM
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If I were not too picky in terminology, I would say the CT is part of the Italian Riviera. And if you thought the AC was great, then you will be more than pleased with the CT---but a visit is worth more than a day trip if at all possible. I think I'd consider staying at a small coastal town outside the CT such as Lavagna (a nice town in its own right), and then catching a train into a couple of the CT villages. You can drive all along the coast if you have a car, and you can find lovely little spots everywhere. The train that runs along the coast will deposit you at locations convenient to most of the small villages.
Wayne is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 02:22 PM
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Actually, the Cinque Terre is the most like the AC, with towns hugging the coastal mountains.

I recommend taking a boat to Portovenere or Camogli from Portofino for lunch. They actually have the better restaurants, and are less expensive. Just pay attention to when the boats return to Portofino, since there is no train connection.

nessundorma is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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From Portofino there is a frequent and quick boat trip to both the Abbey of San Fruttuoso and to Santa Margherita Ligure.

SML is a bigger town than Portofino with more shops, a nice long promenade and good restaurants.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 03:55 PM
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I think you will find it very hard to leave the Splendido!. Don't forget to look at the Guest Book with all the famous signatures.
DownUnder is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 05:50 PM
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We are very excited about the Splendido since we loved the Villa San Michelle so much! Do you think four nights is enough?
girlaroundtheworld is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 06:22 PM
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Shelia, You will love Portofino and the entire area. However, I find it much different than the AC---more like the Big Sur of CA. Try to get as far south as Portovenere--my favorite village on that coast.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 06:32 PM
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How far is Portnovere from Portofino? We may have a car or we could make that the last stop on a day visiting the Cinque Terre.
girlaroundtheworld is offline  
Feb 26th, 2006, 07:43 PM
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By the way, Debra, I read your post-gazette article and would love any other input you have since it seems we have similar taste. And like your husband, I love potatoes so I will definitely go to the Taverna del Marinaio!!! Can you recommend any other restaurants in Portofino?
girlaroundtheworld is offline  
Feb 27th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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By car it is at least an hour south---see the Gulf of La Spezia. The ferry boats from the CT do stop there--a good place for lunch. Drive to Monterosso and boat from there.
bobthenavigator is offline  
Feb 28th, 2006, 09:01 PM
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Thanks Bob. Can you take a boat from Portofino to Portovenere?
girlaroundtheworld is offline  
Feb 28th, 2006, 09:36 PM
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Camogli is charming and quaint. You will be close by when staying in Portofino so definitely try to go visit and have lunch or dinner there. When you are down on your day trip seeing the Cinque Terre, take a 5Terre boat to Portovenere from any of the towns (Riomaggiore, for example is only 10 mins away from Portovenere by boat). You can walk up to the old Genoese fortress and look over the Golfo di Poeti and see where Lord Bryon drowned, etc. Not to mention strolling the promenade and looking at the shops, eating at a terrific seafood restaurant, etc. Portovenere is where the Italians go as their vacation spot, while the Americans and other tourists go up to Portofino (according to my Italian fiance in the CT!) It's a lovely small place.

For clarification, the Cinque Terre is on the Italian Riviera. The Riviera extends from the French border at Ventimiglia (Riviera di Ponente) all the way down to La Spezia in the east (Riviera di Levante). And I agree with bobthenavigator, the CT coastline and environs are most like northern California and the Big Sur area. There are little to non-existent beaches with smooth sand, with the exception of Monterosso al mare. Not until you are further north of the CT do you actually come across some wide stretches of sandy beaches that are relatively devoid of rocks.

You won't need a car while on the Riviera. You can take the local trains up and down the coastline with ease as they are frequent and inexpensive. There are also local busses that can take you from a train station to the destination as well so I wouldn't worry about driving at all.
Huitres is offline  

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