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Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

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Victoria, Canada
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Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Hi, I have about 8-10 days to fil on my itinerary,, and i am not one for rushing about, but am thinking after 4-5 days in Nice I would like to visit one other place, before a return to Paris( this is not optional) .

So, from Nice, which would be easiest and cheaper option, i must say I would prefer CT,, but am open to other suggestions, but not in France( we wil already have done some daytrips to Anitbes and Monaco, and will not be renting a car) .. so anywhere on the coast in either Spain or Italy would atually do.

Prefer train, but not if it will require multiple changes to get to destination.

Thanks.

Imperia, Italy
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1. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Nice to the Cinque Terre takes from five hours to the village with fastest train access (Monterosso). A change is always necessary at Ventimiglia. and at least one other change is often necessary. For times before May 6 from Nice Ville to the precise village of your choice see http://www.trenitalia.com/homepage_en.html - for fares look at trains from Ventimiglia and add €6.90 for the French train.

There are plenty of nearer places on the Italian Riviera than the Cinque Terre.

Nice to Barcelona by train takes at least ten hours with at least two changes. Flying is better.

Edited: 30 January 2012, 22:04
Victoria, Canada
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2. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

perilizian,, could you please suggest nearer places on Italian Riviera ,, I would love that infor,, CT was not a must, just an idea.

Imperia, Italy
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3. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

In order, going backwards. Sestri Levante, Chiavari, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure (next door to Portofino, and very popular with north Americans), small and beautiful Camogli, Genoa (for the bigger city experience).

West of Genoa, therefore nearer to Nice and mostly accessible with only one change of train at Ventimiglia, places include Finale Ligure (and nearby coastal villages such as Noli and Varigotti), Alassio (fashionable with northern Italians) and San Remo and Bordighera near the French border. Apart from day-trippers to San Remo from France, the west side has few anglophone tourists.

Edited: 31 January 2012, 00:20
Victoria, Canada
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4. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

perilizia ,, thanks for all those idea! Lots to look up and look and research now!

Paris, France
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5. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Hey Joan! I've been to almost all the places perilizia mentioned (not San Remo, Bordighera or Alassio) and they're all great but I'll throw my hat in the ring for the places west of Genoa (you know I'm a fan of getting off the beaten path). You've read all my France trip reports and I've been sitting on one about some of the towns west of Genoa. Indeed they see very few anglos. I'm quite sure perilizia knows the area much better than I do but at some point in the next month or two I'll have my Italy trip report put together and you'll see some of the towns mentioned plus several more.

Victoria, Canada
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6. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

ah FM ,, great, so want to see them ,, hurry,lol ,, I have to book soon and am getting overwhelmed .

Looked at San Remo,, seems expensive,, but have to say getting from Nice to the spots may be the issue, we don't want to drive a rental from France to Italy, so will rely on trains,, and I realize that you have been lucky enough to drive to most of these places,, so envious.

Paris, France
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7. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Joan, all of the places perilizia mentions are on the coast and most are accessible by train. A few west of Genoa need a short bus transfer from the train station to the town. I think the easiest places to access will be the ones east of Genoa and they will be close to Cinque Terre. However, you would be sharing these places with a lot of other tourists during your July-August time frame. It's been a while since I've been there but I would imagine Cinque Terre would be absolutely flooded with tourists at this time of the year.

If you did go west of Genoa and rented a car for one day I could highly recommend a drive starting in Finalborgo:

www.borghitalia.it/html/borgo_it.php…

then move down the coast to Verezzi:

www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/93.pdf

The above pdf file is one of several brochures that are available in English that cover this part of the Italian Riviera (The Ligurian Riviera delle Palme). There are several others just like this brochure. They're packed with great info.

Move down the coast and do a loop starting in Toirano and then up in the hills to Balestrino:

www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/91.pdf

Then on to Castelvecchio:

www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/92.pdf

and then Zuccarello:

www.italiantouristoffice.se/sv/docs/90.pdf

There are also several other lovely little coastal towns on this part of the Riviera. There's loads of agroturismo here and I saw signs for lots of places where you can get 5 course meals on little farms for about 15 euros. I know you would prefer to stick with the train but I had to throw this out there because it would be something really unique. All the places I mentioned are places I'll cover in my trip report (plus maybe a few more).

Imperia, Italy
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8. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Everywhere I mentioned is accessible by train, except the villages of Noli and Spotorno mentioned in brackets, which are accessible by coastal bus from Final Ligure http://tinyurl.com/65ny45l There are frequent coastal buses along the whole length of the Riviera, which supplement the trains and are used for short distance journeys.

Everywhere else is not only accessible by train, but by the faster InterCity trains for which your ticket includes a reserved seat (don't worry about advance bookings though, these trains don't sell out). The one exception is Camogli, which is only served by the slower Regional trains, frequent on that part of the Riviera.

Louisville, Kentucky
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9. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

FM, I'll be watching for that trip report! My daughter and her husband want to travel to Italy this summer, and I'd love to share this with them.

Joan, as you probably know, we're like you and take the train as far and as often as we can. On one of the trips that we attached on our way to the convention my husband attends in Cote d'Azur, we started in Verona, and traveled by train through Laverno, Lucca and Pisa, and traveled from Pisa to Nice with an overnight in Genoa. This may more than I think you'll have time to work into your trip, but the train ride between Pisa and Genoa was spectacular. It was some of the most dramatic scenery we've seen on any of our trips, and t was truly one of the unexpected treasures in our travel experiences. If you consider this, make sure your seat is on the coastal side of the train. We found a seat in front of the plate glass window in the dining car, and it was one of our most memorable travel experiences.

The only thing we might not do again is the overnight in Genoa. Our trip was several years ago and things may have changed, but I had read that Genoa wasn't particularly the safest place after dark. When we were in the old town/wharf area, things shut down with a "bam!" at sundown. People exited en masse and we had trouble finding someplace for dinner. I don't know if it was just where we were or if it was our trip, and I'm sure perilizia can better advise you on this.

If you travel in this direction, you are going to have to change trains, twice if you go south of Genoa, but neither my husband or I remember the change in Ventimiglia as being problematic. Trains from Ventimiglia toward Nice are frequent.

We love Verona, but getting there by train would mean a day's travel and I'm not sure you will have time for that, although part your journey would be on the scenic route I described earlier. During the summer, opera performances are held in a Roman coliseum (kind of a mini version of the one in Rome) and it's supposed to be spectacular. We were there in fall and the performances had been moved indoors, but it was easy to imagine how stunning this would be. This is something I am suggesting for my daughter and her husband, and here are the links I shared with them:

www.youtube.com/watch…

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&hl=en&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=677&q=verona+opera+house&gbv=2&oq=verona+opera&aq=1&aqi=g4g-S6&aql=&gs_sm=c&gs_upl=2222l4604l0l7026l12l12l0l2l2l0l224l1300l3.6.1l10l0

http://www.arena.it/en-US/HOMEen.html

We've also done the Barcelona/Cote d'Azur thing, and the city is just fun. Barcelonians don't take life too seriously and we would go back just for the tapas restaurant we found in the old town part of the city. The Gaudi buildings were amazing and quirky, and here is a link to a discussion I had on the Barcelona forum when I was trying to reconstruct our trip for a friend:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187497-i44-k37559…

The one thing we didn't do on this trip and that I regret was taking the train to Girona. We met a couple on our train toward Nice who said it was the best part of their trip.

tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g187499-Girona_Provi…

That's our "do over" if we ever have the opportunity. Girona is on a direct, rather short train route from Barcelona.

Anyway...just some thoughts about our experience on trips similar to the ones you are considering. You will know what works for you. We describe ourselves as "cafe and bistro" tourists, and that's something we may have in common! ;-)

Casuarina
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10. Re: Nice to Barcelona or Cinque Terra Italy,

Can't help with logistics - sorry to say it has been too long, but Cinque Terra should be on everyone's "bucket list"!