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GAC Feb 5th, 2002 01:45 PM

Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure
Does anyone have strong feelings as to which town is more attractive or otherwise a better choice for a three-night stay during June or July?

BOB THE NAVIGATOR Feb 5th, 2002 02:01 PM


Dayle Feb 5th, 2002 07:11 PM

Another vote for Santa Margherita Ligure. We really enjoyed the town itself with its seaside piazza and charming main shopping street near largest church. From there we trained to Cinque Terre & took the boat over to Portofino.

GAC Feb 6th, 2002 11:51 AM

In what sespects is SML better than Rapallo? Because it is a smaller town? The views are nicer? There is a better selection of hotels and/or restaurants? It is more upscale? It is more elegant?

zz-top Feb 6th, 2002 01:16 PM

I think Dayle meant to say they took the boat over to Portovenere from SML. And whether you stay in either Rapallo or Santa Margherita Ligure, it's a quick train ride to the Cinque Terre towns. And speaking of proximity, Rapallo & SML are only 3 minutes apart from each on train line.<BR><BR>Another vote for SML.

Jeanette Feb 6th, 2002 02:15 PM

I've stayed in both. My most fondest memory in this section of Italy was in Rapallo in March. There were very, very few tourists and we got to shop, eat, go to St. Joseph's day mass etc. with the home crowd. Views in both towns are extremely similar. We walked between them several times, although it was really a hike. If you like to shop and especially more toward the designer end, then it would be SML for you. I would stay in Rapallo again in a heartbeart, as it seems much less touristy to me. At night, we would be out strolling and were surrounded by families with a toddler or a young child. It was one of the only towns in Italy were I saw quite a few families with little children. Probably because of the medical school there.<BR><BR>Only thing that bothered me about Rapallo was that we lodged right next to a church and the bells woke me a bit. Rapallo also has a very old fort in the harbor that is opened on Sunday. I couldn't believe the little kids running up and down the narrow concrete going into it. In American there would have been OSHA rails and signs everywhere. But in Italy kids were jumping right into some moored boats off the concrete walkway.

Joyce Feb 6th, 2002 03:12 PM

We have stayed at the Hotel Miramar in Rapallo twice and would love to return. It is right in front of the dock for the ferries up to SML and Portofino, as well as down to the CT. It is a city rather than a small village and therefore has a much wider range of AFFORDABLE restaurants and shops. Also has a wonderful church retreat reached by funicular. As mentioned it is just a hop from SML by bus, train or ferry. We originally chose it because of good train connections to anywhere in Italy or beyond. We went directly from there to the Malpensa airport for our flight home. If you stay at the Miramar, make them let you look at the rooms first (no problem) to be sure of getting a larger room. I think they all front on the water, but some are larger than others.

GAC Feb 6th, 2002 04:14 PM

Joyce: I have also identified the Hotel Miramare as a possible stay. Did you notice a distinction between upper and lower floor rooms there? Were there good views from the upper floors? Was there much noise coming from the street? Is its location very "public"? I assume that the larger rooms cost more? Were the beds comfortable? Baths up-to-date?

Jeanette Feb 6th, 2002 05:45 PM

I didn't stay at the Hotel Miramar but I believe we ate at their ground floor restaurant. I might be wrong, but I think it was right on the long strip/street facing the Med. Sea. I don't remember any buildings being more than 3, or at the most 4 stories. In summer it will be in a very busy area but with a wonderful sea view. There is a park and walkway next to the sea- right across the street from this strip.<BR>The dining is inside/outside at many of these strip locations. I was there in March and the weather still permitted a lot of open air dining. Rapallo had many restaurant choices and tons of gelato places. There was a street that ran behind the main drag and it was full of bakery, chocolate, prepared foods (somewhat like our deli), pasta, wine shops. We stayed around the cornor and up the hill a bit from this, next to a church and the medical school. We were in a quieter cul de sac, but I still have pictures from that stay of the policeman opening spaces for the motor bikes to get through in the circle turnaround below our hotel. People were very friendly and there were very few tourists there when we were there. For some reason, the grandpas were often baby sitting in the afternoon and would be pushing these great buggies up and down this strip area. We are from Chicago and only had on light jackets or a sweater and were warm. They would have on fur or warm heavy wool coats and tell us to bundle up. We saw skaters here on occasion too.

Dayle Feb 6th, 2002 06:09 PM

We didn't visit Rapallo, so can only report that we definitely liked SML. We wanted to stay a 4th night, but coulnd't cancel next res in Milan.<BR><BR>Yes, we did take the boat over to Portofino. It's just about 15 minute ride and a really scenic way to get there.

Joyce Feb 7th, 2002 04:27 AM

to GAC:It is not particularly noisy as there is just foot traffic in front of the hotel. Views are great from all rooms, and it is only 4 stories high. Rooms are all the same price with the exception of doubles vs. singles. They also have suites which are very little more than a double, but we felt the view was actually better from a double as it was straight out to the sea, whereas the suites are more to the side through a narrower side window - still good view of the ocean. If you book a double you could look at the suites when you arrive and choose then, I am sure. While not huge, the room was larger than most I have found in Paris. The beds were very comfortable, and the bath is quite large, complete with tub. Also, it is very near the train station, easy walk even with luggage. SML is lovely, but, like San Francisco, I feel it is a great place to visit, but I'm not sure I would want to live there. They have the loveliest lady on the desk. On our second trip I managed to fall off the sidewalk on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence and badly sprained my foot. It necessitated our staying over an extra day (plus the five we had already been there), and this dear lady kept me supplied with ice all day and even brought dinner up to me when my husband and cousin were unsuccessful in finding me any take-away food. Funny, they have pizza all over the place, but none of it to go. I found the same to be true in London.<BR><BR>If you decide to go, e-mail me and I'll look up the names of a couple of the restaurants we expecially liked.<BR><BR>Happy trails.

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