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Camogli or Santa Margherita for visting Cinque Terre with...

Los Angeles
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Camogli or Santa Margherita for visting Cinque Terre with...

We would like to visit Cinque Terre and use either Hotel Cenobio dei Dogi or Hotel Continental Santa Margherita as a base. Which is nicer? Or Porto Venere? Or should we just stay in Cinque Terre?

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1. Re: Camogli or Santa Margherita for visting Cinque Terre with...

I have visited only the 5 towns of the Cinque Terre, and I strongly recommend them.

If you have children, I expect you will want a beach. The only sand beach of the 5 is at Monterroso, but I found that town too crowded and too touristy for my taste. And too expensive.

I would recommend Manarola, Vernazza, and Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore has a nice beach, but it's pebbles rather than sand. (However, the train trip to Monterroso is only a few minutes if you feel like a sand-beach outing.) We got the three-day National Park passes, so we were able to ride the trains whenever we wanted to and use all the trails as well. Very economical.

You don't mention how many children or their ages. I went to Cinque Terre with my 12 year old son and my 21 year old nephew. Both loved the five villages/town of the Cinque Terre.

We all enjoyed the village-to-village strolling along the sea. Whenever we got tired, we could go by train to the next village in minutes. (From one end to the other, the train ride from the first village to the last is about 20 - 25 minutes, as I recall.)

Manarola is only about a 15-minute (maybe 20 minutes) easy stroll from Riomaggiore, or a 2-minute trainride. We would go over to Manarola just for dinner, from Riomaggiore where we stayed.

We really loved the Cinque Terre Residence in Riomaggiore. There was plenty of room in our apartment, plenty of beds (our room had 2 twin beds, a double bed, and room for additional cots), great (safe, if you have little ones) terraces with lovely views, wonderful breakfasts, and a reasonable walk to the restaurants and beach.

It also had a television, but most programs were in Italian, except CNN news.

Plus, these apartments have little kitchenettes, small fridge and cooktop, plus dishes and pots/pans, which would be especially useful if you've got kids and you don't want to eat out all the time.

I washed out some clothes and hung them to dry on the sunny terrace -- they dried in no time at all -- lovely sun and breezes.

And the village of Riomaggiore has nice grocery shops, wine shops, bakeries and wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables on display. And lots of shops selling prepared foods (pastas, salads, roasted meats, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, etc.) -- all the shops in a row along the one main street.

Plenty of little trattorias and bistros, too, if you don't feel like cooking.

Carla the manager speaks excellent English and was able to arrange anything we needed.

I was chagrined that my 12-year-old son was so excited to see the computer in the breakfast room, and I wished he had not been so happy to play computer games for a few hours, but it made him very happy to play when I wanted to rest on the terrace and enjoy the sun and the view.

There were evening gatherings of teenagers and college kids on many nights in the village center -- which my college-age nephew enjoyed. Lots of backpacking Australians and Europeans (few Americans, though) for him to meet.

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