Hi everyone, My fiance and I are planning our honeymoon, which will be from July 15 - Aug 7. It's high season and all of the Manarola lodging we have looked at online is booked! It seems that there are many private rooms for rent, and I was wondering if anybody has had experience booking a room on arrival. Thanks!
Yes, I know people have had experiences in booking on arrival. But my question is do you "really" want to spend your European HONEYMOON meandering around WITH luggage for a room that might or might not materialize? And if one does materialize why isn't it already booked up? Perhaps it's not a desirable room. Good luck in whatever you choose.
Hi Fellow Berkeleyan, Please don't take offense, but I think you're crazy to even consider such an idea. In fact, I think you're crazy to want to visit the CT at that time, unless you love being in intensely crowded places which don't have the tourist infrastructure to support such crowds. We were there a few years ago, in June, for the second time. My brother and sil insisted on it, because they had never been. They wouldn't listen to my advice. It was beastly, and they hated it. Seriously, do some research and find some wonderful, less frantic places. Italy is full of them. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding,
David, It's going to be difficult to find lodging at that time of year, but you may be able to find something. I'd suggest starting with Monterosso, as it's the largest town and therefore has the greatest number of lodgings. The following website should give you some places to try: http://www.rebuildmonterosso.com/p/visitors-information.html The Italy Guidebook also has listing for accommodations in all five towns. If you can't find anything in the five towns, you could also try Levanto. Given the short notice, you'll probably have to take what you can get at whatever price. For a honeymoon, I'd suggest Hotel Villa Steno or Hotel Pasquale, but they're likely booked solid. As an alternative, you could also look at Hotel Porto Roca if the budget would allow. Another suggestion is Villa Adriana. Regarding travel to the C.T. at this time of year, it will be busy but I would still recommend going. I've been in that area in "busy" times (most recently a few weeks ago), and while it's crowded in the daytime, conditions in the evening are more relaxed. Monterosso has a number of music concerts and other events planned in July, so it would be an enjoyable time to visit there (I'd go back there tomorrow if that were possible). If you do manage to find something in Monterosso, I can provide some restaurant recommendations (if you're interested). Congratulations and happy travels!
David, there are many small residences and places to stay in the CT that do not have websites. When we were there, there were nice older ladies in the train station trying to get you to come see their nice available rooms. We've seen posts on this site by travelers scoring some really great small rooms. Wonderful owners. In past books, Rick Steves has supported this method of finding rooms in the CT. Also, we past a storefront in Monterosso (I believe it was Monterosso) where people with available rooms call in. This shop refers you to these available rooms. All of this being said, you couldn't pick a worse time to be adventurous in the CT. When we walked by the storefront, there was a line hanging out the door. I tease that most of the people in line had travel books with a blue cover and yellow titles on it (Rick Steves books). The big question is why show up and spend much of your morning or afternoon dragging your luggage around trying to find a room. I'm betting that if you tried the Continental Hotel, Hotel Birillo, Hotel Astoria or other hotels in La Spezia, you might find them full as well.
I agree with the consensus that taking a chance at that time of year may risk an otherwise enjoyable trip. If you do decide on doing that, follow Larry's tip and check with the "nice older ladies in the train station"
A source I've always had good luck with is TripAdvisor. Just enter Manarola and you will get lodging ratings, but no indication of availability. You may also think about other nearby towns?
Have you tried Booking.com? Enter your dates and it will show you what is available.