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Old 01-18-2005, 03:20 AM   #1
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Alright, I've heard a lot about this area, but wanted some info on it from people that have been there.
First, what's the best way to get there? What major city is best to go into, and is train or coach the best way in?

Second, now I might sound dumb here, is this place any good in February? I'm working abroad right now and I have a week vacation in feb. I don't care too much about 'cool' weather (right now im in the cold) but i dont wanna have raindays all the time =/. Our last plans were shut down, and are now being re-worked, so I suggested Cinque Terre, but I don't know if it will be worth going there now VS waiting till early summer (before its too busy)

Third (shoulda asked this first), I'm spelling it right, right? And what towns make up Cinque Terre again? I was told its like 3 villages, and which is the suggested one to stay in? Further, any specific place I should stay, hostel wise?

OK, last one, i think =)
What are suggested things to do/see there? I hear mention of a 'hike' to do, which I guess goes through each town. What is the area like (besides being 'heavenly' like ive been told). Its in hills/mountains? Nice beaches? How much worry is non-italian speach? (we've got a lil bit of spanish skills...)

OKOKOK, thx all in advance. I'm gonna spend the day browsing for info and ideas, and any help is great. ALSO-- if feb is no good, then I'll go somewhere else. Any suggestions? I might go to paris (been there, but other ppl havent) but i wanted to go somewhere smaller/different. I think italy would be great, if maybe South Italy would be better if there's any nice gems there. Hell, maybe greece, but damnit, I do have a budget, so I'm only plannin on going like 1 place for 4-5 days.

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Old 01-18-2005, 08:55 AM   #2
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Well, despite 3 trips to Italy, I haven't made it to Cinque Terre, yet. My friend went there on his honeymoon, and he and his wife said it was their favorite part of Italy. Their photos showed a hilly, coastal region with lots of hiking, quaint little towns and a slow pace of life. The closest city to fly into internationally would likely be Milan, but I am completely unware of the best way to get to the area itself. As for the number of villages, cinque is 5, but you probably knew that!

As for language, neither my friend nor his wife speak Italian, and they mentioned no problems. It's pretty popular, so I imagine those you'll run into (hotels, restaurants, etc.) will speak enough English for you to get by. And weather-wise, Italy is supposed to be a Wet/Dry Mediterranean climate, which would mean it would tend to be wetter in winter. Now, that particular area, well, maybe a good guidebook could give you a clue on that...

Feel free to ask any specifics I can relay to my friend...

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Old 01-18-2005, 12:29 PM   #3
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Again, this isn't first hand experience, but I had a friend who was there this past December and said it was great. No problems with it being in the winter.
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Old 01-18-2005, 01:59 PM   #4
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I heard it was a lot of fun! haha it was in Europe from a Backpack.
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Old 01-21-2005, 12:10 AM   #5
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Okey dokey, I went to the Cinque Terre this summer and can tell you anything you want if you PM me but I'll answer your questions first.

1) Train is the best way in. Go from La Spezia in the south. You will hit the towns in this order: Riomaggiore , Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterrosso

.....you know what, just go here Scroll down on this page for links to the Cinque Terre then check out the different links, there should be 6 of them.

I stayed in Riomaggiore at a really cool hostel. Though it wasn't really a hostel, it was basically an apartment made out to be a hostel. We had awseome roommates and in 3 months, the Cinque Terre was in my top 5 places. Rick Steves, the guy who's website that is, says to stay in Vernazza, but I had a great time in Riomaggiore.

There is only one sand beach and that is in Monterrosso, the most "touristy" of the towns. I use the word touristy loosley because this place still doesn't get too many tourists, mainly because it can't hold that many.

There is a hiking path between all 5 of the towns, each leg at varying distances and difficulties. I think Rick Steves talks about it in one of those links.

The picture of Vernazza is a good example of what the place looks like. If you took 5 tiny towns and smashed them up against cliffs, this is what you'd get. The best thing to do there is just hang and enjoy real small town Italian life. Kids playing soccer in the streets, laundry being hung up to dry, fisherman bringing in their daily catch. It is an amazing place. Knowing Italian isn't too necessary, I only know extreme basics and did fine, but I'd brush up on your numbers and stuff: Uno, due, tre, cuatro, cinque, seis, sete, oto, nove, dice.....things like that.

If you PM me I can give you more info, like the name of the guy who's place I stayed at. I can't remember it right now, but I'll ask my cousin, she knows.

so anyway, there you go. Let me know if you need anything else.

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