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Italian vs. French Riviera- your opinion please!

Italian vs. French Riviera- your opinion please!

May 22nd, 2005, 08:44 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 65
Italian vs. French Riviera- your opinion please!

Greetings- we are 30 somethings going to Italy and France mid- june. We've been to Nice, Monaco Antibes, Eze and love it- can't wait to go back, but we haven't gone to the Italian Riviera- well my husband has for a few nights 15 years ago- but we're debating how much time to spend there- is it more crowded than the Fr. Riv? What's the difference in the vibe? Considering base in Santa Margarita for 3 nights in order to see CT, Camogli and down to Portovenere. Please give your thoughts! Thanks!
yogartlovers is offline  
May 23rd, 2005, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Santa Margherita is tiny compared to Nice. It has a more relaxed pace, and less to do, although it's easy to take day trips from there to: Portofino, Camogli, and Cinque Terre. In July/August, you will find all of these towns very crowded with Italian vacationers, although last year it didn't seem as zooey as the French Riveria.That could be because many of the hotels have small private beaches, and really only admit hotel guests instead of anyone willing to pay a fee for the day. One more thing- we found the food in this area disappointing after the incredible meals we'd had on the Amalfi Coast and in Tuscany. Anyway, I think a 3-day stay would be just about right.
Weadles is offline  
May 23rd, 2005, 04:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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IMO the Italian rivièra is less crowded than the French rivièra. It's also cheaper and less chic (except for Portofino). While on the French rivièra there's often a 'to see and to be seen' mentality, that's not the case in Italy. I really liked the little towns of the Cinque Terre, but also places like Genova, Savona, San Remo (Riviera di Ponente, closer to France).
Santa Margherita is a good base to visit the area.
MyriamC is offline  
May 23rd, 2005, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 470
I've made several visits and just tried the new discount easyCruise.com which slowly cruises the fr/it riviera, spending almost all time at ports rather than at sea. Would be an easy way for you to add Cannes, St. Tropez, San Remo, Genoa, and Portofino to your portfolio. Can start and end where you like.

I got off at Portofino and for the second time made SML a base for further exploring and for the second time found it rather sterile. Rapallo is one of the few towns that has some amount of resort feel (although somewhat gritty) while still maintaining a vivacious local resident life. It's funicular is down for maintence, but be sure to take a local bus to the top anyway.

Very very cute but possibly too small towns for a base are Camogli and Sestri Levante. Oh, don't miss castle brown in Portofino; quite an attraction. Add Lerici to your Portovenere portfolio. I may even use Genoa as a base next time; a city that revolted me at first but learned to appreciate. I prefer the Italian riviera, which has more of a Villefrench or St Tropez feel, although some of the towns have been blighted by clumsy redevelopment after WW2 damage.
viking is offline  
May 23rd, 2005, 11:22 PM
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Join Date: May 2005
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thank you all!
i am checking out easy cruise right now- looks cool- the only thing- it looks like a party boat- we definitely want quiet. your thoughts, viking?
we live in sausalito, ca and love the feel and are curious about possible "counterparts" in italy- have a feeling it will be that much "richer"- and I don't mean "money." we crave that inspiring combination of history, beauty, nature, genuine people, and some good food (and that doesn't have to mean fancy)- am thinking camogli may be our kind of town. or moneglia.. manorola looks cool too.. ahh.. possibilities!
yogartlovers is offline  
May 24th, 2005, 06:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 470
easyCruise is meant to accomodate party-on-shore and wasn't loud onboard. Sometimes they had activities at the bar/restaurants but these were away from cabins on fantail and anyway are expensive enough so many will do all eating/drinking ashore. Even the deluxe suites don't even have a chair, just a bed too low to encourage loud social gatherings sitting around, but you never know. Camogli and Manorola are big favorites of mine, although I've only stayed next door, and tend to like a little more choice offered by bigger towns.

viking is offline  
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