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What do you wish someone had told you about the Cinque Terre?

What do you wish someone had told you about the Cinque Terre?

Old Sep 15th, 2012, 05:17 PM
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For me, tourists are everywhere. It's a great location. But not sure how it is after the serious landslides.

We walked four of the five towns, six miles. Great adventure.

It seems like, liking tourists are an aberation. Not for us. Been ther twice and we are the tourists.

On our walk in July, in 2009, we did not meet many walkers between towns.

This 1000 year old towm, Camogli, just north of the CT, could be a better location for your visit.

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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 06:50 PM
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Who in their right mind would think you could HIKE, especially a cliffside trail, in flip flops? (I don;t even see how you can walk slip slops on cobblestone streets without turning an ankle and/or ending up with bruised and filthy feet?)

Or that a toddler could do so?
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Old Sep 15th, 2012, 08:45 PM
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Don't forget to stamp you train ticket before boarding the train between the towns. We witnessed several people get hefty tickets due to either not understanding the rules or forgetting them. You will pay a high price if you do.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 12:04 AM
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In Vernazza, avoid the cafe/restaurant closest to the water with green & yellow umbrellas. Avoid at all costs. Lasagne had no meat (just terrible microwaved pasta gloop - inedible), prosecco was ordered but a generic sparkling wine was delivered - not good enough for E18.

You can take buses up from the village centres to most of the high trails to avoid the high hill climbs. Timetables are available from the train station offices, persist and they will be provided.

The walk from the high trails down to Corniglia is very pretty.

Have fun. It's gorgeous.
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Old Sep 16th, 2012, 10:50 AM
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I think you will find it enjoyable for three days in October. Sure it is busy with tourists, especially in summer, but there are many places that have been discovered now that are not what they once were. This will be new to you and you will have the opportunity to enjoy some stunning views.

Be sure to sample the anchovies, which are sooooo different from the the shriveled oily anchovies in the can that you may be used to.
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Old Sep 17th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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Great advice and comments; just what I hoped for. Was happy to hear from Bobthenavigator..have read and enjoyed many of his posts. Will check out Portovenere based on his advice. Also loved the compilation link from Peaceout...great stuff. Christycruz-we're staying in Riomaggiore, so very interested in the hike you mention. Unfortunately couldn't open up the links to your pics, but thanks for trying! We unfortuately don't have a choice about the weekend, as we're staying Fri Oct 12 thru Sunday. We DO have great boots, not flip-flops! We do lots of hiking in our native California. Thanks again for all your wonderful comments!!!
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Old Sep 18th, 2012, 03:55 AM
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>> Lasagne had no meat
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Old Sep 18th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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The hike I mentioned is part of the Riomaggiore - Biassa hike. We didn't go all the way to Biassa. We got to the top of the hill, had a picnic, and went back down. It's spectacular, and not as crowded as the town hikes.
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Old Sep 20th, 2012, 10:05 PM
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Christycruz - aha, thanks for the clarification. Always looking for hiking hints, especially as we're staying in Riomaggiore.
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 04:35 PM
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Old Sep 24th, 2012, 06:21 PM
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If it's going to be a hot day, go with the sun at your back. Start in Riomaggiore for your your walk/train/whatever travel and take the ferry back. Better for photos and your skin!
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Old Oct 2nd, 2012, 07:48 PM
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leslieq - don't know if you're already there but thought I would add some info about hiking.

I've just returned from the Cinque Terre and had a great time, although the weather was not optimal. We hiked and visited the 5 towns for the 1st two days, it was sometimes cloudy but rain held out. On the 3rd day it was raining early already so we took the boat ride to explore Portovenere. On the way over we saw a helicopter by the coast and later we would learn about the rock slide that just occurred. I supposed the status of trails can change from minute to minute at this point.

Some comments I read about the hiking trails had me nervous, but I thought they were fine. Yes, they were challenging at times, but I did not find the trails dangerous. I think if there was ever a drop off there was a barrier, but if the drop was 4 ft into an olive tree in someone's yard then there would be no barrier.

We hiked Monterosso to Vernazza on our first morning. We started around 10 am which was a good time, not too hot, and we would arrive at our destination at lunch time with an appetite. Having many many steps in a row was what was difficult, only because it's tiring. At one point I stopped counting after 70 steps in a row. There are some stretches like that at the beginning, which is one reason why people suggest hiking from Vernazza. I wanted to challenge myself, plus because I can be klutzy so going down steps would be harder and dangerous for me than going up.

We did Via dell'Amore roundtrip, later that afternoon.

We hiked Vernazza to Manarola on the morning of day 2. Some stairs but nothing like the previous day.

I'm reasonably fit and exercise regularly, except when on vacation. So, if you've been on vacation, not working out and overeating a week+ already, be prepared for a challenging, but fun workout.

Bring a bottle of water, some snacks if you need them, and maybe even basic first aid. I always carry band-aids and was happy to give one to a fellow hiker who cut his knee on a rock.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2012, 08:56 PM
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wish we'd known about the train schedule... not very frequent and made life difficult for us to schedule around.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2012, 05:50 AM
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I wish I'd known that we needed longer than two nights

I loved it. And would love to return. But have so many other places to see.

Did the walk from Monterosso to Vernazza; it was quite a hot day, so I recommend sunscreen (and lots of it!). I also wonder whether the walk from Vernazza to Monterosso is easier (some of the uphill parts were quite tough, but I'm not very fit).

Loved the food. Loved Manarola. Vernazza was still undergoing rebuilding while we were there.

Yeah. I'm rambling without purpose now. But I do wish we had at least one more night.
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Old Oct 20th, 2012, 07:49 PM
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We just returned from our trip and spent 3 nights in Riomaggiore. We found the CT Park trails ALL closed due to landslides, but our innkeeper suggested we train to Manarola and walk along the coast until the trail is blocked, then take the green bus to Volastra and hike from there to Corniglia. We did both, and it was fantastic. The next day there was a train strike, so we decided to take the boat to Portovenere, as suggested by several Fodor folks. Just our luck, the choppy seas cancelled the boats for that day. "Stuck" in Riomaggiore is not a bad thing, so we decided to take the Sactuario trail (aka #3) at the end of the main street up this ancient narrow rock path up and up...it was very atmpospheric and gave us a great workout. Although our stay was definitely not what I had planned (I had pages of notes about all the CT park trails and even posted a question about what to do if it rained; all of the alternative suggested were out due to the combo of train strike and boat cancellation) we ended up having a GREAT time! Thanks for all of the information, everyone. I am working up a trip report....
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Old Oct 22nd, 2012, 07:20 AM
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As pgriffin I would suggest you to check out www.arbaspaa.com/ site so to arrange your trip.
here you can find accomodations but even nice ideas for crazy tours on Cinqueterre as the flight over Golf of Poets, boat tours or hiking while tasting local products at stops!
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 05:16 AM
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I wish someone had told me that despite what a bunch of visitors say, every one of the villages is actually authentic and Italian!
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