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Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

Washington, DC
6 posts
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Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

I would like to take a trip to the Italian Riviera and need a good town to have as my base camp. When I went to the French Riviera I stayed in Nice, which was perfect because of the train station with frequent trains, and the city itself is fantastic. What is a comparable city (town) in Italy that will provide the same amenities (decent hotels, frequent train service, close towns for day trips)? I want to see the Cinque Terra, definitely, but I'm a little clueless as to how long it takes to travel between the Italian towns. Thanks!

Watford
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9 posts
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1. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

I agree with you about Nice, we have visited twice and are going back in October to take my Mum for her 60th Birthday. Italian Riviera - in 2 weeks time we are flying to Genoa and staying in Camogli (we've rented an appartment in a converted watermill - 650 euro's for 2 weeks - not bad) which is a 30 - 45 minute train journey along the coast.

If you're looking for a city then Genoa is probably your best - saying that I haven't ever been there, just read up loads in various guide books and websites and it sounds like a working town that has a great atmosphere, also from there you're about 2 1/2 hours to Pisa by train or if you really fancied it you could go back along the coast to monacco and Nice within a couple of hours by train!. Otherwise there are loads of towns on the main railway line, if you picked one a little further along the coast you'd be close to the Cinque Terra and within an hours train journey of Genoa and Pisa. At the moment for me this is all guesswork - after the 19th September I'll be able to tell you much more! If you want to email me after my trip for more info, I don't mind - Schazzshulver@yahoo.co.uk

I hope this helps, Schazz.

st lucia
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2. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

Santa Maria Ligure is a nice location and right next to Portofino but with lower prices as far as hotels and restuarants are concerned.

Genova is also easy to visit from there.

You couls also do 5 terre in a day.

So all in all not a bad base from which to explore.

Ottawa, Canada
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3. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

Try Ventimiglia which is on the border of France and Italy. I just returned from my trip and went from La Spezia (Cinque Terra) to Ventimigia in a few hours by car. The train system is great and is in the centre of this town. It's smaller than others around but very close to Monaco and Nice. We stayed at the sea gull hotel (on ocean) and away from busy town. Town is walk able throughout and this hotel is a gem! It is much cheaper to stay there than San Remo and especially cheaper than France. It was a nice break from the busy cities.

All of these towns are pretty quick by train or car and you can train it to Genora and take the local train through Cinque Terra. (A must see!)

Have fun!

Milan, Italy
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69 posts
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4. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

First of all, let me say that 90% of the towns on the Riviera (Liguria to be precise) are beautiful. Secondly, if you want to visit the marvels of Cinque Terre, I'd suggest you stay in Santa Margherita Ligure or Rapallo, which are bigger than most towns, offer several accommodation and shopping opportunities. Santa Margherita Ligure is a bit more expensive as it's considered, by Italians, a "chic" holiday place (you can tell it also from shops selling brand products). I'd also recommend Sestri Levante if you want to stay in a small and quiet place (see other reviews on TripAdvisor).

I'd stay out of Genova, because it's a big city and might not be that safe, especially at night.

I hope you enjoy your stay in my beautiful country!

Genoa, Italy
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5. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

My suggestion is stay in Sestri Levante ..it's a nice village ..not as lively as Nice of course but a good camp base for the riviera..

it is 30 min from Genoa and its airport and 20 min away from 5 Terre and Porto Venere.. abaout 45 min away from Tuscany if you wish to go there.

Genoa it is also worth a visit (I don't live there anymore but it is my home town) ..it has the biggest historical centre in Europe.. even if some areas look dodgy the city is not dangerous at all .. it is just enough you don't hang around in the dark hallaways around the port with a big rolex at your wrist and a diamond necklace..

Saint Marys, Ohio
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6. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

I'll throw my vote in for Santa Margherita Ligure. We stayed there in 2001 and really loved that town. Easy to get to Portofino, Genoa, Cinque Terre, etc. Good restaurants, nice hotels, great promenade for a walk in the evening. I don't think you would be disappointed.

jerryott@dtnspeed.net

Washington, DC
6 posts
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7. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

Thanks for all your help!

Washington, DC
6 posts
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8. Re: Nice base camp for seeing the Riviera?

Can anyone recommend a decent budget hotel in SML that is in a good location? I won't have a car. Thanks!