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Where to stay where to go what to do.. COMO or CINQUE TERRE????

We are planning a trip to the dolomites and will be there from 4 nights. Then we want to go somewhere else. ANYONE have you been to lake como.. verses have you been to cinque terre. Where would you stay ( a particular hotel or apartment) and what aspeect most appealed to you.. names of favorite restaruants thank

Posted by
3 posts

My husband and I were in 5Terre last October. We have not been to Lake Como. We loved 5Terre. Stayed and ate in Manarola at da Baranin (spelling?). Clean, quiet, nicely furnished. Sylvia is very helpful and accomodating. Il Porticciolo was our favorite dinner restaurant. For breakfast and lunch we ate delicious panini and focacia from Il Discovolo.
Neither of the 5 towns were crowded in October. What appealed to us was the solitude to enjoy the beautiful surroundings (at our own pace), the ease of getting to and from each of the 5 towns (walk or train). It is a "down to earth" kind of place. There are definitely some steeeeep hills to contend with. But if the 90 year old citizens of Manarolo can do it everyday....

Posted by
705 posts

I've ony scratched the surface of cinque terre but have been to Lake Como. LOVED it. It is such a beautiful place. The peace an serenity of the place is amazing and the little towns that surround the lake are just lovely. Must see is Bellagio. Full of great shops, scenery and restaurants. We stayed at Villa Belevedere in Argengo and it was terrific. Right on the lake 2 minutes from the ferry stop, great food, clean and spacious rooms and well priced. I know it's personal preference but Lake Como is on my must visit again list. What ever you decide I'm sure you'll enjoy.

Posted by
1514 posts

I've been to Vernazza on Lake Como - it is Rick's recommended base and really ideal spot. You can take the ferry to the other towns and it's quiet at night. It's charming town to roam through - several gardens and the cemetery above town has great views. The Hotel Villa Cipressi is a nice spot
(http://www.hotelvillacipressi.it/eng/hotel.htm).

I've also been to the Cinque Terre and it's just as beautiful and lovely. The five town trail is one of the most magnificent hikes I've ever taken. Hotel Villa Steno (http://www.villasteno.com/en/) is run by a wonderful family (and they have GREAT homemade preserves at breakfast).

How are you planning to get from the Dolomites to Lake Como or Cinque Terre? You're looking at a chunk of travel time to get to either area, depending on where you are in the Dolomites. Lake Como might be closer if you don't want to eat up your short stay with lengthy travel.

Posted by
12 posts

Can't help you (yet) Fern, but we are booked to visit both places in mid-September. We couldn't decide between the two places!
Caryn, we will be staying at da Baranin too - can you tell me the best way to get to Manarola by train from Milan?

Posted by
842 posts

We have stayed in both 5 Terre and the Lake area.(actually Lake Magiore, not Como). Both are wonderful, but if you are going in the summer, stay out of 5 Terre........it has become clogged with tourists (yes...it is US!), and the magic and beauty are lost in the sea of humnity. If you go in the "shoulder seasons", 5 Terre can't be beat.....then you find the REAL 5 Terre.

The lakes are awesome in the summer.

Posted by
12 posts

Hi there to CL in Salem, Vernazza is not in Lake Como - but is in Cinque Terre. Maybe you were thinking of Varenna? Which is where we will be staying on the 17 days Italy Tour with RIck Steve's group in July.

Posted by
49 posts

I was in CT last week for 2.5 days. We stayed in a cute apartment in Vernazza. The views and te trails were beautiful. However, I would probably not return any time soon as it was so jam packed. There were tons of class trips with kids everywhere. The trash piled up and by evening the main street was overflowing with the day's trash. Vernazza is being loved to death and it seems they cannot keep up with the crush of visitors. I was also pickpocketed on the train from Corniglia to Vernazza!

Posted by
49 posts

PS....Something very fun we did in Vernazza was take the bus on a death defying scenic loop waaaaay up into the hills. It was like an Amalfi Coast drive! The bus leaves from in front of the post office (up the hill to the left behind the train station.) There are several "panoramic" routes listed on the schedule. Its a nice break and it is stunning. There are some very isolated hamlets up in the hills that the bus route serves but for tourists it is a great scenic drive. It is free with the Cinque Terre card.