a VirtualTourist member from Hong Kong
Hi all, A visit to the Cinque Terre in June has just come to my mind. I would like to get some ideas from you guys, before working hard in guide books. Here're my questions: 1) I am an expenericed solo traveller and had been in Italy 10 years ago. It was not that safe there, how about now? Will it be ok for a female traveller go alone? 2) I have about 8 days. I think I will explore Milan and around, spend 3d2n in the 5 Terre Any other places are recommended to go nearby? Will it be too rush to include 2 nights in Venice? 3) I know that it's getting busy early in June, will it be safe to hike through the villages alone? Besides, will it be fine to go without reservation in accommodation? What price should I expect? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
Yes it will definately be OK for a solo female traveler, considering they are small, some what secluded towns, just use extra caution. Yes it would be a rush to include Venice, and actually after settling in to the coastal small town atmosphere,I don't think you'll even want to rush to Venice. The trails are for the most part quite active. I would use extra caution on them, but I would'nt worry so much more about people as I would the other expected dangers of hiking. During June,I would recommend making reservations,if possible. If not,make sure to arrive early in the morning to reserve for that night. Prices:20-150 per night. Monterosso has many traditional Hotel accomodation, and RioMaggiore has many shared accomodation. The only hostel is in Manarola and is nearly impossible to get walk-in accomodations. Enjoy!~
What part of Italy was "not that safe" 10 years ago? Italy (Rome and south) used to be bad about single women walking the streets, especially at night, but that was 30 years ago. You can spend a lovely 8 days just going up and down the Via Emilia (a modern highway that parallels the ancient Roman road). Cities include Milan, Cremona, Parma, Piacenza, Bologna, Modena, even Ravenna. I haven't been into the Cinque Terre themselves (we went to Portovenere instead), but I would imagine (1) in June, there will be far too many people around for hiking to be unsafe, and (2) reservations might be a great idea (see other VTer's note)... Bill
Italy unsafe? Well, I could imagine you might get that feeling if you walked around Genoa or Bari alone after dark, but the 5Terre are thoroughly benign little villages geared almost entirely toward taking care of you. Don't give your safety another thought. BTW, young men looking at you and making little hissing noises are totally harmless. I'd say enjoy the compliment. I know Milan has its partisans, but I don't care much for it. I think if you're going to be in 5Terre you could spend your time better if you hopped over to Florence from there, although the very nice towns of Bergamo, Cremona, Mantova and Brescia are all close enough to Milan to be done as daytrips. Even Verona for that matter. Venice makes sense if you leave out the 5Terre, as it's easily reached from Milan. Otherwise you spend too much time on the train. When I went to the 5Terre I actually stayed in the pleasant enough town of La Spezia, a 5 minute train hop from the Terre. Accommodation there is cheap and easy---we had a perfectly decent double with bath for about EU50, with no advance booking. That was two years ago.
We were in Cinque Terre in October and it was still so crowded walking the paths that you were shoulder to shoulder. I can't imagine having a safety issue under those circumstances. There had been recent rain and parts of the trail were closed because of landslides. That might be a more present danger but it will be well posted. We also stayed near La Spezia and spent 40 euros a night for a double with bath and breakfast. In June, reservations would be safest but you probably could find something without them.
For June, I'd make reservations in advance, unless you want to have to perhaps go to several places to find room at the last minute. Italy has been 'hot' for several years now, and small areas like the CT get overrun in the summer months. Best wishes, Sally Watkins
Thank you all. I got a clearer picture in my head now. Think about not doing reservation, is due to uncertain dates of travel. Anyway, once I fix the route and date, I'll start looking for place to stay and make advance booking if possible. Thank you for the info again. py