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Villages of Italy— spinner wheels on luggage or no?

This question could be asked of every tour, but am specifically wanting to hear from people who have done this itinerary. We’ve done 5 RS tours and have not yet updated to spinner wheel luggage. We are doing Villages of Italy in October and are considering a new luggage purchase.

Posted by
1243 posts

I have done this tour with a two-wheeled bag. As time passes, I contemplate more tours without wheels, though that may be delusional. What makes spinners so great? Why specifically are you contemplating them and yet hesitating re this tour?

Posted by
59 posts

Pulling a two-wheeler sometimes puts weird pressure on my elbow. Not horrible, just a bit uncomfortable.

Was hesitating to consider spinners on this tour not just because of the uneven cobblestone streets throughout Italy, but also because I wasn’t sure if Cinque Terre might also be a location where we have a longer walk with luggage to our hotel.

Posted by
1860 posts

I also did this tour with a 2 wheeler from Rick Steves. It seemed to work better on uneven surfaces. In Cinque Terre I remember we had our bags delivered to the hotel from the bus.

Posted by
59 posts

Very helpful info.

Additional question….. are athletic walking shoes adequate for Cinque Terre, or should I get some low cut hikers? Years ago in Greece, I wore some good quality sandals with good tread (Keens? Another brand?) that were surprisingly slick on the bottoms when we were on smooth rocky surfaces.

Posted by
1243 posts

Hi again. My group stayed in Levanto so arriving and leaving was less strenuous than in some locations. I also spent my free day on the beach as did a fair number of tour members, so not much help with the shoes. This was the first week of October. It is a lovely tour. Orvieto, Lucca, just great.

Posted by
1259 posts

are athletic walking shoes adequate for Cinque Terre, or should I get some low cut hikers?

Pretty much depends on your abilities and tastes in footwear. Find a trail locally and see how you do with your existing footwear. If you are traveling lightly, unless you are carrying a loaded pack on sketchy ground or have ankle issues, boots are an unnecessarily heavy and bulky luxury item.

You can find many Cinque Terre video clips on the yootoobs, lots of advice and experience (some is terrible). And you can see the footwear folks are wearing on the trails.

For me, Altra Paradigms are good for all terrain types but the Altra Olympus is a more robust trail shoe.

Posted by
737 posts

Everyone has a completely different experience and take on this issue.

My partner and I used backpacks for quite a few years but now that we're 60-somethings they are getting rather difficult for long periods.

I used 2 wheeled carry on bags when I traveled domestically for work many years. That was over flat and or easy terrain. I preferred the experience of the 2 wheeler bag behind me. I tried spinners and I just dislike the experience of pulling the bag beside me.

We tried both 2 wheeled and spinners over the rough terrain of cobblestone in Europe. I definitely prefer pulling a 2 wheeled bag behind me. I had to pick up the spinner several times when it just wouldn't negotiate unusually rough spots. My partner also liked the 2 wheeler better as well but could manage with the spinner fairly well. I like being able to maintain a "single file" when needed with the 2 wheeler. For us the spinners were more awkward in tight spaces.

It seems very difficult now to find a 2 wheeler in any of our stores here. It does seem that spinners have become the runaway favorite?

Posted by
59 posts

This feedback is great. Really wanting to pack as light as we can, but need happy feet.

To those who have been on this tour….
On other 2-week RS tours, we had a great laundry drop-off opportunity at around the halfway point. Same on this trip?

Posted by
585 posts

I opted out of the walking tour of Lucca to do laundry. At the launderette met a very pleasant couple from Brazil and enjoyed chatting and coffee with them and really clean clothes! Launderette was close to our hotel and just outside city walls.

Posted by
1860 posts

I walked 4 of the 5 towns wearing tennis shoes and did fine. However, I did retire them after that hike.

Posted by
15552 posts

There are people who like spinners.

There are people who like two wheeled bags.

There are people who like no wheel bags.

And you get those opinions.

As to which is best, well, that's personal opinion.

Posted by
139 posts

Have done Cinque Terre twice - I do NOT believe you need hikers, but good walking shoes. We didn't have anything special and walked a good bit on the trails.