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Vernazza OR Riomaggiore

I am so torn between these towns.Can anyone give me their opinion.Vernazza is far mor expensive ,

Posted by
108 posts

We stayed in Riomaggiore last year and loved it. There's a great local restaurant that serves inexpensive meals and an ice cream parlor right next door (but don't get breakfast at the ice cream place unless you like uncooked eggs!). Rick mentions this place in his book it is run by a guy who used to live in San Francisco and he caters well to the American tastes. We used the Edi's room service also mentioned in Ricks book and while we didn't have a view our place was great, clean, safe and relatively inexpensive. I liked Riomaggiore a lot and would stay there again.

Posted by
2023 posts

We loved Vernazza and would stay there again. The restaurants are good and there is a cute grocery market and great sunsets. We were there in May 2004 so I am not up to date on hotel costs but we stayed at Francamaria and it was not expensive at that time. We did not have a view but our room was comfortable, clean, and quiet--except for some cats fighting in the alley outside of our room.

Posted by
37 posts

Hi Pat,
We stayed in Vernazza for 4 nights last year and altho it is a wonderful place with tons of character, we found the train noise horrible!.....and it was noisy 24 hrs a day....... The train station is practically situated in the middle of town with most of the accommodations in very close proximity so definitely take this into consideration if you decide to stay there.

Posted by
32244 posts


I prefer to stay in towns other than Vernazza, mainly due to the fact that Vernazza is so very popular with other travellers and especially tour groups. While it has lots of good points, I wanted something a bit "less busy" so chose Riomaggiore last time.

I had a great stay and don't remember the train noise being a problem. However, my room was in the vicinity of Bar Centrale, so the noise from the "bar crowd" was quite noticeable in the evenings (too many Mojitos were consumed, resulting in impromptu Karoake sessions which mostly featured old Eagles tunes). My noise cancelling earphones were a big help and I had no trouble sleeping!

I wouldn't hesitate to stay in Riomaggiore again, although I'm a bit curious about the lodgings in Manarola so may try that next time.

Good luck and happy travels!

Posted by
14 posts

Hi Pat,
My husband and I stayed 4 nights in Vernazza this past Aug/Sept at the height of tourist season. We loved it - arrived on a Sat evening with no reservations and had help from a local in finding a room - by Romanda (sp?). 110 Euro per night - private bath, no sea view. It was wonderful - I don't remember ever hearing a train to be honest but the tracks are near. The restaurants were very good (Il Pirata - fabulous) and, like a previous poster said, the market is also good. We had prosciutto, olives, fresh mozzarella, and wine one night for dinner while perched above the city overlooking the sea. Who knew dinner on a park bench could be so wonderful. There are lots of ways to make this trip less expensive. Vernazza also served as a great point to start hiking between towns. On our first day we headed north to Monterosso (get the pesto lasagna at La Cantina!!) and the following day we headed south all the way to Riomaggiore, which is an easier hike. You can easily take the train between towns in minutes but the views from the trails are spectacular. I'm sure you could enjoy any of these towns but my choice is definitely Vernazza - I can understand if $$ is an issue but don't let the hype scare you off. Have a great trip!!

Posted by
100 posts

We stayed 4 nights at francamariarooms in Vernazza and it was a dream! It was I think 85 euros/night. Our room overlooked the entire piazza and part of the inner harbor as well. Our full length window looked right out at the church's clocktower - awesome at night. We were there in late Sept/early Oct, so perhaps the bar noises weren't so bad. We were no where near the train, but could hear the ocean some when the water was choppy. Every night we had our evening gelato at the same place and had 3 of 4 meals from the grocery and wine picked up from the enoteca at the end of town. Awesome! I did like Riomaggiore - we hiked to them all. Riomaggiore had the feel of Vernazza some, but bigger. Our room was spotless, tons of closet space, tv, frig., plates/glasses/utinsels/clotheline out the window.

Posted by
46 posts

Just got back from Cinque Terre one week ago. Great lodging in Riomaggiore at Edi's. Large apartment, clean, nice people. Fun little town. Be prepared to get a workout, lots of fun hill climbing.
Stay away fron Il Grottino, if you can. Great atmoshere and decor. Waittress, maybe owners relative, was the worst ever! This is a fish restaurant. When I asked about the fish see rudely stated that she did not like fish. When I asked if she could ask the chef a specific question, she said "No". I ordered the fresh "local", they came frozen in the center. It went on, but I will suggest to try somewhere else or I hope you have a better experience.
Wherever you stay or eat, the towns are so close and easy to get to by trail or trail.
What a paradise!

Posted by
63 posts

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