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Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

Raleigh, North...
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Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

I am planning a short trip to the area in June. I have heard the CT gets very touristy and various opinions about whether it is better to stay there and enjoy after the day trippers leave or the opposite and stay in sl.

We only have 2 full days and mainly want to see some beautiful old towns along the sea, a little hiking, and maybe a couple of hours on the beach.

Well be coming from Rome and leaving for Tuscany.

Would love some help re pros and cons of each.

Thanks

Plus good wine and food of course!

Brentwood, United...
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1. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

A few years ago I spent ten days in Sestri Levante and found it an excellent base to visit the CT villages , other places along the coast towards Genoa and to visit Pisa and Lucca.

However since you only have a couple of days I suggest you base yourself in one of the CT villages , Monterosso if you want to have a beach available. By staying in a CT village overnight you will be able to appreciate its charm once the hoard of day visitors have departed. In my view unless you are a very keen walker, or just want to relax in one place, a couple of days is sufficient to see the villages and visit Portovenere by the ferry.

Edited: 14 October 2013, 08:27
Umbria, Italy
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for Sunshine Coast, Umbria
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2. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

i have stayed in the CT but now use Levanto as the base because of the tourism....it is 5 mins by train from monterosso and obviously not much more to the other towns.

good option from there is to walk levanto to monterosso .....perhaps jump a ferry to riomaggiore walk to what ever village you feel like eat drink and train home.

Map according to weather as we all have different wants and tastes and the place is easy to pick routes.

Cinque Terre, Italy
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for Cinque Terre, Monterosso al Mare, Italian Riviera
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3. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

If you are going specifically for the CT, I'd stay in Monterosso or Levanto...SL is lovely, but not the Cinque Terre, which is what you specifically said you were coming for.

If you are really worried about tourists, there are less in Levanto, but don't expect to have the village to yourself. A few years ago, I'd recommend staying there as it was more off the main path, but now tourists have discovered it's cheaper prices and it fills up as well - it's a much bigger village (over 6,000 residents to Monterosso's whopping 1,000) but also space wise much larger, so it can feel less crowded. The beach is also really great there (even some surfing!)

Raleigh, North...
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4. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

Great advice. I was looking at hotel Helvetia in sl. Any suggestions for places to stay in CT. I am open either to hotels or b and b but would like a nice water view ideally.....

Thanks

Brentwood, United...
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5. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

This hotel gets plenty of recommendations and has sea views, if you can get in .

tripadvisor.co.uk/Hotel_Review-g187820-d2384…

La Spezia, Italy
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for La Spezia, Porto Venere, Lerici
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6. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

Our friends stay in The Helvetia every summer we go and visit. Great hotel in a fantastic position the recently added pool is a bonus and the Citto Beach club and bar are also excellent

Virginia
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7. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

Are you interested in another option?

Stay in San Rocco di Camogli, where you can dine at Nonna Nina (tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g227888-d1…)

and have the national park of Portofino all to yourself by staying at tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g227888-d145849…

Raleigh, North...
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8. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

San Rocco di camogli looks great although location seems a bit far from ct....i assume this requires a car? I am not opposed to the idea as I planned to get a car for Tuscany afterward anyway.... will research this more as it looks pretty..... always open to suggestions 😃

Virginia
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9. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

hi again, I responded in your other post as well, but just to clarify I was suggesting the Portofino area (not the town) as an alternative to CT. San Rocco is connected to the town of Camogli, which is on the train line, by bus (or you can walk the path--hundreds of stairs, but ya gotta do it at least once!).

Just a thought, but you have several good options. happy trails!

Houston, TX
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10. Re: Pros and cons of staying in sl. vs CT.....

If the preferred option is to enjoy Sestri Levante, I strongly, strongly recommend Hotel Helvetia. I went to SL about a year or so ago for the first time. I was hesitant for a few years, fearing that it was too touristy. However, Vagabonda suggested Helvetia and I found paradise. ONLY stay in the sweet, pedestrianized Baia de Slienzio if you stay in SL. the other bay is rather unattractive, blocky buildings, cars going by. I loved Helvetia and have since stayed a few times. Splash out and get a front-facing, sea-view room with a balcony. Try for the third floor, not the room facing directly onto the breakfast area.

I enjoyed SL so much that I ended up renting a cottage there for 6 weeks this past May-June right above Helvetia.

To me, there is no comparison between the two locations. I can't handle the epic crowds, mass tourism, tour groups and cruise day trippers in CT. Having said that, on summer weekends, Sestri can get crowded as well.

Helvetia is a bit pricey, so I'd guess that you'd prefer to enjoy the services, pool, an aperitivo at their Citto Bar overlooking the sea and probably not spend all day in the naturally beautiful CT. Perhaps a day on the train to CT then return for dinner in SL?

Happy travels.

Lana