La Mala Vernazza

Dec 19th, 2007, 03:37 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 163
La Mala Vernazza

My question to anyone who has stayed here-----I was hoping to reserve room # 31, but it is not available for the entire legnth of our stay!
The only arrangement that they can make for us is to stay in #31 for 2 nights and then move to room #19 or 20.
Has anyone stayed in either of these rooms, and would it be a let down after having room #31?
We would like to have a nice view from our room.
We've heard so many good things about this hotel--but want to make the right choice. Thanks!
klapenta is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 07:30 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
We were fortunate to have stayed at La Mala for 3 nights in October.

We were in room #26 which I HIGHLY recommend (if it is available). It is the most romantic of all 4 rooms (and we saw them all). It is exceptionally spacious with a bonus room downstairs with a private window right out to the sea. The room also has 2 large windows that open out onto the terrace.

#31 was very spacious and full of light.

Both #19 and #20 were charming in their own way, just smaller than the other 2. Each had a fab view. One of the harbor and the other of the village. I am a very discerning traveler and would have been happy with any room at La Mala. All were greatly appointed with attention to detail.

You really can't go wrong with any choice at La Mala. We were blown away at how gorgeous this place is. I hope you will love Vernazza as much as we did.

I'd book #31 (w/ either 19 or 20) with the hopes that it becomes available for your entire stay.

Good Luck!

adventureseeker is offline  
Dec 20th, 2007, 03:38 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 163
We are planning our trip for Sept 08.
It sounds like you would reccomend #26 over #31. We can have #26 for 4 of the 5 nights that we are planning to be in Vernazza.
Not sure what to do cause I don't look foreward to moving from room to room.But I do like your idea about booking and hoping for a cancellation!
Would La Mala be your only choice for a hotel in Vernazza?
Is it your favorite town of the five?
How was the weather in Oct? and what did you do while there?
Any restaurant reccomendations?
I'm assuming that we can walk to "town"from the hotel.
What was your mode of transportation to get there?
I'd love to hear more about your trip! All details appreciated.
klapenta is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 07:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
Room #26 was the most private since it had no adjoining walls with the other rooms and was below room #31. The downstairs bonus room was idyllic which had this amazing window out to the sea and a daybed right there so it can be a romantic place to snuggle while hearing the waves crash or a cozy place to read. The closet area is downstairs so it worked out perfectly where we could dress and spread out our things while leaving the main floor tidied up.

If you have to move to another room, it's not a big deal since La Mala is a house coverted to an inn the rooms are very close to each other. The hassle being that you have to pack up.

La Mala would be our ONLY choice of hotel in all of Cinque Terre. We met other guests and made friends who we took to see our room. They were blown away. La Mala is not like any other lodging in CT. You can tell from looking at the photos on the website. It is modernly and styled with great elements (my husband who is an engineer was impressed by the window which opened 2 ways and locked air tight. This is a very small detail, but if you turn the handle one way... the window cracks open at top so you can hear the ocean) Most CT's lodging are rooms for rent (hence the price) and the hotels/inns in the area are mainly the same type of accomodations. La Mala is in a class by itself.

Vernazza was our favorite town of the 5. I cried when we left. We visited Italy on our dream trip for 19 days that included 4 places and I left my heart in Vernazza. It's a very small town and the locals were incredible. We visited all 5 towns which all had their own charm, but we couldn't wait to get back to Vernazza.

The weather was perfect during our trip. We followed the Vernazza weather forecast from home (USA) and while in Italy. We planned to spend alot of time hiking and the weather was showing rain and clouds. Luckily, we had some clouds, but no rain. It was perfect and relatively warm. The best part was that it was uncrowded during this time of year. At some points, we had the trail to ourselves. Not sure what September will bring, but you will have warmer weather.

The town of Vernazza is very small with only one main street (if you can call it that) lined with houses, restaurants and boutiques. The street funnels down to the picturesque harbor. Everything in town is very close. La Mala is just 80 steps up behind the center of town.

We loved the Burgus Bar and Cafe (near the harbor) where every morning La Mala gave us coupons for a beverage (caffe', tea, espresso, juice, etc.) and pastries (croissants and focaccia). This place had a great vibe, music, arty decor and local flavor. This was a great way to start the day. At night Burgus serves wine and beer and people spill out onto the harbor to watch the sunset.

We had a list of restaurants around CT that we were going to dine at. In the end, we ate every meal in Vernazza and got recommendations from the locals there. All of our meals were excellent and all were local "mom and pop" style dining. We ate at all restaurants that were in the heart of town and farthest away from the harbor. Baretto (excellent pesto and mussels...VERY reasonable and very busy), Da Piva (the steaming seafood risotto was to die for. Be sure to spend time in the evening listening to music), Sandro (delish pesto lasagna...melts in your mouth).


Here's a copy from a website that has these 3 described:

Inland Restaurants

Several inland places manage to compete without the harbor ambience:

Trattoria da Sandro, on the main drag, mixes Genovese and Ligurian cuisine with friendly service. It can be a peaceful alternative to the harborside scene. Mario serves with panache while Alessandro cooks (Wed–Mon 12:00–15:00 & 19:00–22:00, closed Tue, just below train station, Via Roma 62, tel. 0187-812-223, Gabriella).

Antica Osteria Il Baretto is another solid bet for traditional cuisine, run by Simone, Zia, and family (closed Mon, indoor and outdoor seating, Via Roma 31).

Restaurante Incadase da Piva is a rare bit of old Vernazza. Charismatic Piva is known for his fine tegame alla Vernazza (typical Vernazzan dish with anchovies, tomatoes, and potatoes baked in the oven), risotto con frutti di mare (seafood risotto), and love of music. The town troubadour, he often serenades his guests when the cooking's done (tucked away 20 yards off the main drag, up a lane behind the pharmacy).


*Sunsets at the Vernazza Harbor
*Drinks at Burgus Bar/Cafe'
*Monterossa: we had lunch and waded in the sea. Picked up pebbles. If it is warm, hang out and swim.
*peruse the great boutiques in all towns. Our fave (of course) was Vernazza where we found great souvenirs (liguirian olivewood boards, spoons and bowls; arty necklaces) and chatted with the delightful owners of the enotecas.
*spend time sitting, watching and chatting with the locals.
*see all of Cinque Terre: on foot by hiking, on the train and on the boat.
*we didn't do this, but other would take day trips (via boat) to Santa Margarita and Portovenere.
*explore the beautiful churches and sanctuaries.

HIKING (this is our itinerary that covered it all)
*Hike #1 (day #2): train to Rio, hiked back through Volastra to Corniglia
*Hike #2 (day #3): hike from Vernazza to Monterossa. Boat back to Rio. Train to Corniglia. hike Corniglia to Vernazza.


1) Call La Mala when you get off the train and they will meet you there to lead the way and carry your bags

2) the winding steps to La Mala are about 80+ and are very steep. All worth it.

3) Make arrangements on checking out since the innkeeper Mama Jamba is not on site. We had to just leave the keys and catch our train since we were on a schedule. It was no big deal since they just charged our credit card that held the room, but we didn't know what else to do. We left word with another guest who informed them we had checked out.

We got to Vernazza from Florence by taking the train. We connected in ???. This part of the trip I had no idea in advance since it is not posted on the train websites. When we arrived at the train station in Florence (from Venice), we waited in the "Information" line to get definitive directions and schedule. We bought our tickets at that point. It was very easy once we were directed on what to do.

4) Spend time on the terrace. We made sure to buy the local wine or limoncino and have a drink there at sunset after our long hikes. The perfect end to a perfect day.

5) Visit the other towns...each has it's own flavor

6) Definitely hang out at Da Piva (at the bottom of the stairs going to La Mala) at night. This was a highlight. We hung out w/ locals and tourists alike singing corny songs, strumming guitars and being entertained by the maestro owner who kept us filled with local limoncino. Fun times with great people.

We wish you a great time in one of our favorite places on earth.


adventureseeker is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
A couple more things....

1) Eat as much focaccia as you can! Liguria is the birthplace and there are so many mouthwatering flavors. You won't be able to resist the freshly baked focaccia and garlic aromas filling the town in the morning.

2) get your Cinque Terre Pass at the train station when you arrive. This covers all trail, train (and I believe during September...boat) access during your stay.

adventureseeker is offline  
Dec 21st, 2007, 02:00 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 163
klapenta is offline  
Dec 30th, 2007, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 659
Adventure Seeker - you are making me regret crossing Cinque Terre off of our list for our June 08 trip...Vernazza sounds heavenly and I am vowing right now to make a return visit to Italy to include Vernazza and La Mala!!
Cindywho is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 05:27 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 750
Hi again Cindywho....

How's your trip planning coming along?

Yes, I know....I've still yet to do my trip report which is VERY long, but I guarantee it will be worth the wait since it is packed solid with (way too many) details, but I know that's what us Fodorites love!

No can always go back and visit CT. Next trip put it at the top of your list. It's at the top of ours for our next trip!

adventureseeker is offline  
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