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chris Apr 28th, 2002 07:51 AM

Need your suggestions for trip to Italian Rivieria: SML or CT??
We plan to take a trip in May to the Italian Riviera, but I don't know whether to base ourselves in Santa Margherita or one of the Cinque Terre towns. Any suggestions for a 3 night stay? Will also have our 2 teenage children with us.

mariita Apr 28th, 2002 07:54 AM


ellen Apr 28th, 2002 08:27 AM

Most of the Cinque Terre towns are tiny. SML is much larger, with more options for hotels and restaurants. It's a short train ride to the CT towns; I don't know of the boats among the towns will be up and running by then.

Dayle Apr 28th, 2002 10:04 AM

Hi Chris!<BR><BR>We stayed in Santa Margherita Ligure & did day trips from there to Portofino & Cinque Terre. Worked very well & we loved the town itself.<BR><BR>Boats were running to Cinque Terre towns, but not to all towns on all days. Train ride was about 1 hour from SML to Riomaggiore.<BR><BR>Best advice: if hiking the trails - start early! It gets hot & humid even in May. <BR><BR>Better hurry on those revervations!<BR><BR>Buon viaggio!

Nancy Apr 28th, 2002 10:29 AM

Chris, your kids are going to love this trip! I have been to one of the CT towns before and will be basing ouselves in SML in may so that we can explore the area. We will have no car, so will be relying on trains/boats for transport. I hope some of the boats are operating! For those that have been to SML before, any tips...places to eat, special sites? Also, did you note any trips offered from the hotels to other areas not so accessible by local transport? We will arrive in SML om May 11th..when are you going?

Diane Apr 28th, 2002 11:52 AM

Another vote for Santa Margherita.

Kay Apr 28th, 2002 08:46 PM

Chris,<BR>we stayed in Manarola in the CT and Santa Margherita as well last month. The villages in the CT are lovely but quite small. SML is a great place, I think you would find a lot more to do and see there and you are only an hour by train away from the CT.<BR>We stayed at Hotel Fiorina in SML, 3 star, very nice, about 5 min walk from the waterfront, 10 min walk to the train station, clean, friendly staff, nice view from the balcony.<BR>Kay

nicki Apr 29th, 2002 02:45 AM

I would definitely recommend Santa Margherita Ligure. While it is certainly more "upscale" than CT, there is much more to do as well. I think the Cinque Terre will be boring for your teenagers-unless they are avid hikers. Choosing SML will also be more costly, but family trips like this do not grow on trees. You and your husband will also have a better time in SML-it's one of the most intoxicatingly romantic places on Earth.

Bob May 3rd, 2002 07:42 AM

My wife and I are in need of hotel suggestions in the Santa Margherita area. Kay suggested the Hotel Fiorina. Kay do you have their website or suggestions as to how to get it? <BR><BR>Anyone else with a hotel recommendation?

jane May 3rd, 2002 07:50 AM

It's always good to read the comments regarding Santa Margherita , please make a reservation before arriving May is a very heavily booked month, it avoids disappointments and saves precious time on that well earned holiday, I do not want to publicise but remember Hotel Fasce offers free train tickets to the cinque terre for a three night stay have a look at the web site - on line booking possible and alternative dates given if itinery is flexible, where ever you go , relax and have a super holiday,

Dayle May 3rd, 2002 08:57 AM

We stayed at the Hotel Laurin, a Best Western, right on the marina. Nice big room with a big private terrace.<BR><BR>We had dinner one night at La Cambusa, outdoor dining under a canopy & very good. Another night we enjoyed a picnic & wine on our terrace after a small shopping expedition on the main street. <BR><BR>Be sure to wander around SML, it's a really nice town!

zootsi May 3rd, 2002 09:12 AM

We just came back from the CT area, and I must put in the good word for Levanto. This is the last town on the CT hiking trail, about 5 minutes from Monterossa by train, 3 hours on the trail. Levanto is a small beach town with a distinct Riviera feel to it. There is a nice beach, some great restaurants and trattorias, and some interesting architecture. We stayed at a small hotel called Sarafina, which was very modest but clean and quiet. There were also several more upscale hotels, some looked quite elegant. Not too many Americans have discovered this little town yet!

pat May 3rd, 2002 09:26 AM

I, too, loved Levanto. There is a great hike down to the next town, on the upper end of the cinque terra. We came back via train. Stayed at the hotel Europa.

xxx May 3rd, 2002 10:50 AM

Please note that the post above from Jane is from one of the owners of Hotel Fasce...not saying there's anything wrong with that hotel or that she's deliberately trying to mislead but it's not exactly clear from her post. Haven't stayed at that hotel but I remember from when I researched a trip to SML she is one of its owners. Just a heads up in the interest of complete disclosure.

jane May 4th, 2002 07:56 AM

It's true I am the owner of Hotel Fasce, my apolgies, I read this forum at least three times a day to see your views and how you are all managing, I would love to be a consultant and help, must ask Bob if he needs a back up from this side of the world!!,I meet so many of you all, and enjoy hearing your progress reports, and I know there are at least 12 copies of Foders in the Hotel at the moment,<BR>Enjoy your planning and I promise not to "interfere agian"<BR>Jane

jane May 4th, 2002 08:06 AM

One thing I forgot to sAY Iam proud and honoured to b the owner of Hotel Fasce, we are noe the 4th generation, promise I wont write again, Jane

xxx May 4th, 2002 08:48 AM

To Jane: <BR><BR>Please don't misunderstand. I wasn't implying that you shouldn't post here because you are an owner. I just wanted to make it clear for others who weren't aware that you were an owner (it was implied in the comment that you didn't want to publicize but not explicit). Nor was I intending to be negative or critical about Hotel Fasce - in fact, the reason I knew about the owners in the first place is that I had read good things about it and considered it for a visit to SML. It was simply intended to make clear your connection to the hotel so that others make informed decisions.<BR> <BR>

jane May 4th, 2002 09:32 AM

No offense taken in the least, next time in SML come and visit for Happy Hour, you are more than welcome, <BR>Jane

Nancy May 4th, 2002 05:43 PM

Jane, I will be arriving in SML next Saturday with my husband. We will not be staying at your hotel, but I certainly will check it out for future use. Perhaps I will visit at happy hour! Any highlights, sites, restaurants you care to share?.. Nancy

Kay May 5th, 2002 12:00 AM

For Bob - details on Hotel Fiorina, SML:<BR><BR>I found this website when I was researching our trip to Italy. If you click at the top where it says mappa, it shows you a map of SML with all the hotels marked.<BR><BR><BR><BR>I'm pretty sure Hotel Fiorina doesn't have a website but their email address is on the site above. We found it to be a good 3-star hotel. <BR><BR>Kay

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