Portovenere - Worth the Effort?

May 27th, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Portovenere - Worth the Effort?

Based in Florence but taking a couple of overnights (keeping base hotel) (late June).

We'll be arriving from Lucca in the evening and sleeping over in La Spezia.

The next day we'd like to hike from Riomaggiore for a couple of villages. Maybe hang out or train to a couple more and return to Florence in the evening.

We could probably fit in a couple of hours in Portovenere. We could start the day taking a bus or tourist ferry from La Spezia to Portovenere and then after a couple of hours ferry to Riomarggiore.

Or we could start in Riomaggiore and after the villages ferry to Portovenere, spend a couple of hours there and either bus or ferry to La Spezia for the return train to Florence.

We won't have luggage other than a small overnight backpack.

Since we're involved with ferries and trains there's always schedules to align.

Is spending a couple of hours wandering around Portovenere worth the effort?
Myer is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 01:04 AM
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Portovenere is perfectly OK, but probably not as pretty as the Cinque Terre. If it were me, I'd take the boat from La Spezia to the top, and meander down village by village, passing time where my fancy was taken. The boat is hop on hop off, so you can walk a bit, boat a bit, train a bit.. if you expend all available time before you get back to Portovenere, spend the remaining time there or in La Spezia again.
sheila is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 04:05 AM
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I differ from the previous poster. Last summer we stayed 3 nights in Portovenere and just loved it. So, yes, IMO it is worth it. We took the boat from there to the CT and back. Maybe you could consider staying overnight in Portovenere rather than La Spezia which is not that attractive.
cruiseluv is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 05:03 AM
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This is a two-day overnight from our base in Florence.

On the first day we'll go to Pisa for a quick visit to see the Tower and then spend the rest of the day in Lucca.

I'm not sure what time we'll decide to leave (by train) Lucca so I wanted a very convenient, easy to get to place for the night.

If it's early enough, after checking into our hotel in La Spezia, we'll train to Riomaggiore, Manarola or Corniglia to see the sunset and have some dinner. Otherwise we'll just grab something to eat in La Spezia and go to CT the next day.

Between the bus, ferry and return train to Florence there are schedules that have to be coordinated. I'm just trying to decide if it's worth the effort.
Myer is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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You could also consider staying overnight in Lucca (a much nicer place than La Spezia) and go to CT early in the morning by train(takes approx 1.5 hrs), then return to Florence from CT.
cruiseluv is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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Yes, but if we did that we wouldn't really get to CT much before noon.

This way we'll have some breakfast and be on our way before 10AM.
Myer is online now  
May 28th, 2010, 10:10 AM
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I was totally charmed by Portovenere (3 visits) and think it is much prettier and more fun than Riomaggiore, for example. Livelier, too. If you can fit it in I do recommend it.
Geonev is offline  
May 28th, 2010, 10:39 AM
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We loved Portovenere and took a frerry there from Monterosso I think. We will go back to Portovnere in the future; we spent three days hiking in the CtT and are glad we saw it but have no desire to return there.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 04:40 AM
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I'm starting to lean towards trying to fit in Portovenere.

Can we get a taste of Portovenere by wandering around for a couple of hours?

I'll have to see if it's best to start the day there and move on to Riomaggiore and the villages or to start with CT and go there in mid-afternoon.
Myer is online now  
May 29th, 2010, 04:49 AM
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I loved Portovenere as well, and stayed there 3 nights - found it a wonderful place to stay, more Italian families on vacation than back-packing Americans, which seemed to fill the CT towns of Monterosso and Veranazza.

On one of the days, we took a ferry from Portovenere to Monterosso, where we began the hike, taking a ferry back from Veranazza (we didn't want to do the entire trail). Found that a great perspective to view the towns as well. Why don't you stay one night in Portovenere instead of La Spezia?
progol is offline  
May 29th, 2010, 05:02 AM
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I am wondering the same about Portofino. We will be spending 3 nights (2 1/2 days taking out travel time)in Manarola in October and also wonder if the ferries will be still running along the coast at that time of year- depending on the weather of course. Also read a lot about Santa Margherita Ligure- are these places too far to expect to cover Cinque Terre and them also?
nanaof7 is offline  
May 30th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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Does your wife suffer motion sickness on boats?

You can see Portovenere in an hour. You can get a boat from there to le Cinque Terre, unless the day is very windy and the seas choppy.


If you get a rainy day in October, go to Chiavari by train. (It's north of Manarola. But otherwise, if you want to day trip from le Cinque Terre, I suggest you go to Sarzana or Lucca rather than another coastal tourist village. (Chiavari is quite unique on the coast.)
zeppole is offline  

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