a VirtualTourist member
going to park here and do day trips as the whole carless thing is hard and i have a ton of crap i have to lug around as i am doing a long work trip before and after in florence and a few other big cities. i want to see cinque terra but not be in the heart of tourist land. ADVISE ME WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF. ; )
Ummm....use public transport and your feet?? I don't think being carless is hard in Italy, because Italy has such an excellent and extensive railway network and also excellent bus services.
CT, I'm afraid, is very visitor-popular...especially since Rick Steves publicised it, and especially in the coastal areas. But even so, using your feet to get away from the major sights/sites should ensure that you can spend time away from the majority of other visitors.
will give you train times, details and fares in English. As well as the 5 CT 'towns' (actually villages) ....all easily accessed by train....I suggest you explore La Spezia, which has a couple of very good museums but is very much an ordinary working town.
You can walk in the CT park and, as long as you keep away from the coastal path, I suspect you won't come across too many people. Paths here (scroll down):
and more info/itineraries here:
Passes, maps and lots of information from the various park information booths etc in the CT villages and at La Sp.
I would also suggest that you make a point of visiting locations which are not particularly well-known to visitors, by train and by bus. I always enjoy doing this...it's surprising just how interesting and enjoyable wandering around an 'ordinary' place can be. Have a look at the bus routes which serve Sestri Levante to give you an idea of possibilities (there are lots of those):
You don't *need* to speak Italian to cope, by the way.
Take a small phrasebook/dictionary with you (Berlitz do chep, pocket-sized and very good ones) and use it for menus, timetables etc.
Learn at the basics before you visit...please, thank you, sorry, excuse me, numbers, 'how much?', 'where is'? It is common courtesy to do so and will be appreciated. Many people, especially younger ones, do have some English...many have very good English indeed...but it would be wrong to assume or expect that to be the case in any non-English-speaking country. So have the basic language tools to hand before you go.
You will soon find out that being carless in that area is not such a tragedy. I was myself in Sestri Levante for a week some years ago and had a car but ended up leaving it at the hotel parking lot as it was much more convenient to go around by train.
Sestri Levante is a great base to venture around, you can use the train to visit the Cinque Terre, you can go to La Spezia and than catch a bus to Porto Venere that it is truly beautiful. You can visit Rapallo and the other villages along the cost.
trains timetables and rates here
You can use the boat service and visit Portofino and San Fruttosio. I did the Sestri Levante-Portofino trip at night and it was fascinating to be out at the sea with the dark and look at all the costal villages going by, also the approach to Portofino was great. much better than driving there, struggling to find a parking lot and ending up paying a fortune for two hour underground parking!!
You can read more about the boat service here
I can assure you that, of all places in Italy, you will be in one where you will not really need a car.
take a train :)
from Sestri to Cinque Terre, beside the highway A12 and few miles of via Emilia Scauri (better known as via Aurelia), all other roads in Luguria are narrow and are going up and down, also when you leave the highway.
LBNL by car, once you arrive to destination, you'll find just a few and very espensive park places, nearly always full!
There is no land for roads, so do you think there's place for car park?
You could also take a train and explore Genova, which is an interesting city but does not easily disclose itself to foreigners.
The city council offers walking tours to discover the place: turismo.comune.genova.it/spi...
Parts of interests could be:
City centre: the old port
Via Garibaldi, also knowns as Strada Nuova, with three museums in Palazzo Bianco, Palazzo Rosso and Palazzo Tursi.
Architecture: Renzo Piano Buildings, e.g. the acquarium and the city of children (città dei bambini)
Museums: Galata del Mare, which tells the history of the shipyards in Genova and the tale of explorers such as Christopher Columbus;
The National Museum of the Antarktis with numerous displays from the Southpole
Cinque Terre also offers interesting hiking trails:
we took the ferry from camogli ( a lovely little town) to San Fruttuoso and then hiked over the hill to Portofino. Then we took the bus to S. Margharita and the train back to Bogliasco where we were staying. Great day out.