I am reading Rick's 2007 book and he suggests to not book rooms ahead of time for Cinque Terre. We are going there on Sept 9-12 (Vernazza) and I am concerned this strategy will backfire. Has anyone done this successfully at this time of year?
Kyle - I am not sure about showing up without reservations. Here is our experience - we have been ther before with reservations and everything worked great. We are going again in October 2007 - and when we inquired about reservations in late March our favorite hotel (Villa Steno) in Monterosso was already full with a waiting list. Take that for what it is worth. RS has seldom steered us wrong but I'd sure like to have a reservation. Have fun!
Kyle.. I'm afraid I do not agree with Rick on this one... We were just in Italy for the month of May- In the Cinque Terre the last week in May. We had reservations in Vernazza which, by the way, we made 10 months ahead of time. We were there for 1 week photographing and, during that time , met a lot of people who showed up without reservations and were disappointed. There were many people in Vernazza trying to help them with rooms and on several nights there were none. Another thing to remember... in the Cinque Terre, people all too often do not show up or show up very late for their reservation. This is very unfair to the person with the rooms or apartments. Somtimes they will give the room to someone else late at night if you are too late. Since a lot of the hotels in Italy now have computers, we email ahead of time from Italy confirming our arrival time. They appreciate it. Jane
I also disagree with Rick on this one. We stayed in Vernazza in mid-May, I e-mailed at least a dozen CT places trying to get a room. Lots of people did show up witout reservations and by mid-afternoon all the tiny mom and pop places had "completo" (no vacancy) signs up.
I did see a guy meeting the trains on multiple days who was offering a room. CT is really a jam packed mob scene so I would recommend getting an advance reservation.
I booked a room in Riomaggiore recommended by RS. We didn't like the accomodations, so we moved. We walked into the rental office next to the laundromat and booked a really nice apartment for 55 euros a night.Riomaggiore is very quiet, so if you are looking for nightlife, perhaps another 5T city is a better choice.
If you know when you will be there, make a reservation. Several times I arrived without reservation (in Monterosso) about 10 am and was able to get a room in my favorite place (Mueble Agavi). This year I just happened to call them up a few days in advance only to discover that the place was booked for the week because of the holidays--the week April 25 to May 1. Each of the five towns has rental offices or a "pro loco" (Monterosso) where you can get same-day reservations. Travelers are firmly advised, by posted signs, not to book accommodations with people on the train platforms.