becoming EXHAUSTED.. the riviera leg of my trip is killing me!

ok, so i've spent approxiately 10,000 hours in the last 3 weeks trying to find accommodations on the coast near Pisa/ CT. i've been looking at apartments from VRBO, hotels on booking.com, and all sorts of other sites! several of you have given me suggestions of areas to look into, and i've done that as well. i'm having a difficult time finding something AFFORDABLE (less than $300 per night)that is on the coastline and in an area that we can do daytrips to CT, Lucca, and Pisa. Forte dei Marmi is PACKED and booked, and so is everywhere else! Of course, I've waited until now to book a room for a family of FOUR from July 20-25th. Because we are staying 5 nights, I want it to be a good place. Will I end up having to stay off the beach and in a town? We have a car which can be helpful, but means i have to find a place that allows cars. I'm throwing this question out there as a last ditch effort for any WISDOM from you Italy folks! I think north of CT might be too far north to do easy day trips to Lucca and Pisa with 2 kids (ages 9 and 10)..
Any words of advice? Thanks in advance ;)

Posted by Gabriel
Pico Rivera, CA
206 posts

Tsk tsk! That's such a short notice. Fortunately, for you, I've found plenty of apartments for rent on airbnb.com for the dates you are looking for. I was looking in La Spezia. I'm sure there are plenty of other apartments near that area if you don't want to stay there. I was seeing average prices for La Spezia around $150. Good luck!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3349 posts

I don't know where you are looking at or what yor expectations are, but I found plenty available in Versilia for 4 people under $200 a night, both on Venere.com and Booking.com. Il Forte dei Marmi is a fancy place for the rich and famous but you can find very reasonable accommodations in some other town in Versilia. It's impossible not to find anything in July. Maybe August, but not July. Try these towns (in this order): Viareggio, Lido di Camaiore, Marina di Pietrasanta, Marina di Massa, Cinquale, Torre del Lago Puccini, Marina di Carrara. You'll find even more a little in the interior, but I would stick with the towns above. Also you should look for hotels or BandB because in that area you will not find people renting an apartment for only 5 days. Those types of accommodations require generally to rent by the week or by the month. I've always found places in July both in Viareggio and Marina di Pietrasanta. I know that was when I was living there, but considering Europeans are supposed to be in a recession, I don't see how everybody is going to the beach. Are our newspapers lying to us about the state of the EU economy?

Posted by Anita
Long Beach, California, USA
575 posts

airbnb.com might be a site to try. I have had lots of luck with last-minutes lodging and have always had great experiences with the places I've stayed.

Posted by Mike
Boston
94 posts

Tellaro is beautiful, one of the Borghi Piu Belli d'Italia. There are interesting things to do in the area, and visits to Lerici,Sarzana, Portovenere, and the Cinque Terre would be do-able from there. However, parking is a must as the town facilities are very limited.