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Old 02-20-2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Hi everyone,
So I'm leaving for my 6 1/2 week backpack excursion on April 3rd starting in Athens and ending in London. Recent update: my girlfriend is flying in for a week (about half way through my trip) and she really wants to see Italy.

Soooo... I was thinking of renting an aparment for a week in Cinque Terra and scoping out Northern Italy from there (Venice, Florence, Pisa, etc). I've heard Cinque Terra is awesome & it's right on the ocean. I don't know how far it is from Venice, etc. exactly so I'm asking your advise on my plan. Whaddya think?
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Old 02-20-2006, 11:42 PM   #2
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Haven't been to Cinque Terre myself so can't comment on the location etc, but we have rented apartments while travelling, for longish stays, and we like it - having a base and travelling out gives you some peace of mind, you don't have to tote along all you stuff, more space than a hotel or hostel and of course, privacy and flexibility to come and go on your own schedule. And the option of eating in can be a real money saver, too.

You could probably find a small studio or 1 -2 room flat for a decent price. Check the budget travel guides for apartments, or contact the local tourism office. The online apartment finders tend to be a bit pricey, in our experience, but worth looking at just to get an idea. In eastern Europe the inyourpocket guides are a terrific resource, but I don't think there are guides for Italy at this point. Check www.inyourpocket.com just in case.

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Old 02-21-2006, 10:03 AM   #3
 
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Its on the other side of Italy from Venice, but its definately the best place to go with a girlfriend. Bring your checkbook though, the riviera is EXPENSIVE!
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Old 02-21-2006, 02:32 PM   #4
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It is a great place, but it's not geographically convenient to anything in Italy. The trains work fine though, so you can make do. I believe that a train to Venice might take the better part of a day though, so you would be wasting a lot of time travelling. That said, Cinque Terra is incredible and not to be missed.
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the tips. Where would you recommend a good base for northern italy location wise since it seems Cinque Terra may be a bit out of the way?
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:27 PM   #6
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How about Verona? You know, of Romeo and Juliet fame? Not to mention the Two Gentlemen... It's on the main train line between Venice and Milan, so easy access. (1 1/2 - 2 hours from Venice, 30 trains a day), 30-60 min to Vicenza, 1 hr to Padua and 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 to Bologne. There's a fair bit to see right in town, and easy access to other places as well, with lower prices and less tourists than Venice.

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Old 02-23-2006, 02:22 AM   #7
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Cinque Terra's incredibe, but probably not best as a base of operation. It's tucked away behind a mountain range and it takes a while to get anywhere. I highly reccomend spending a few days there though. We (2 of us) rented a 1-bedroom apartment with a fantastic view for about 40-50euro/night in Riomaggiore. There were cheaper alternatives for under 15euro/night but they're apartments that have bunkbeds lining every square inch of the walls. The place below us had over 12 people staying in a 2-bed apartment.

Also, there are a few small little towns around the tuscan countryside which are much more affordable than Florence is. You could easily rent a car and take day trips to Florence and other tuscan towns and winaries for far cheaper than in Florence. Florence is beautiful but the surrounding area is the real gem of Tuscany.
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Old 02-28-2006, 11:19 PM   #8
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I'll check out other options. But I think I may sacrafice the extented travel to stay on the coast.

Another down side, however, is that the only train station is in Monterosso and it only goes to La Spezia. La Spezia, however connects to many places. Anyone ever stayed in La Spezia?
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Old 03-01-2006, 12:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by scotters@Mar 1 2006, 12:19 AM
Another down side, however, is that the only train station is in Monterosso and it only goes to La Spezia. La Spezia, however connects to many places. Anyone ever stayed in La Spezia?
[snapback]104716[/snapback]
Each of the towns in Cinque Terra have train stations. There's a single train that goes between each of the towns - back and forth. There's also trains that stop at each ones while passing through from Pisa to La Spezia. Finally, there's yet another, more express train, that skip each of the Cinque Terra towns except for the ones on the end (and continue on to pisa/la spezia). They're all pretty regular.
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