Hiking Cinque Terre with 10month baby during holiday week
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Mar 7, 2013 8:02 PM Last Post By: frodos
Mar 5, 2013 11:32 AM
Hiking Cinque Terre with 10month baby during holiday weekHi,
I am in the middle of planning our 2wk trip to Italy April 20-May2 this year and came across a couple bumps.
1. We were planning to go to Cinque Terre for 3days/4nights to hike and relax, but realized we will be there during Liberation Day and read about how crowded it can get. Will transportation be an issue? Will restaurants be closed?
2. I also just checked the link below in Cinque Terre for trail closures, and it looks like the most favorable coastal trails are all closed. I am wondering if they will open back up by late April? Are there other trails we can hike that will just as worthwhile? We will have a 10month old baby with us on baby carrier, so we arent planning to do the extensive hikes... but reason for visiting CT is definitely to do some hiking and see the beauty Ive heard so much about.
And also, if it does rain during our stay in CT, is there other things to do?
3. Is 3days/4nights too long of a stay in CT? During our trip, we will also be doing 3 nights in Venice, and 4-5 nights in Florence. Since we have a baby with us, we are trying to minimize the number of checkin/out of hotels/apts and thinking we can have Florence as our base, and plan day trip to Sienna and maybe Pisa. We've been to Florence before and love the city but are open to any "must see day trips" outside of Florence.
All insight appreciated, thanks!!
Mar 5, 2013 1:22 PM
1April 25th is a holiday (lots of shops,offices etc. closed) but I don't see why it should be particularly crowded in the CT...where did you read that? Transportation and most restaurants etc. will be open and running.
Lots of the trails are closed afaik,and I don't think there is a fixed timetable for opening them.Some hiked remain open of course.There is little/nothing to do there if it rains.
Personally i'd cut down to a couple of nights there and either add on days to Florence or stay somewhere like Lucca (in fact,maybe spend the time in Lucca and just have a day trip to the CT).
Mar 5, 2013 2:02 PM
2Cinque Terra is wonderful, but it is getting too overtouristed for its size/scale. Add to that the problems with trails being closed.
Given that, I'd say look for other areas with wonderful hiking opportunities. There are fantastic hiking all over the country. Here's just one list, and there are many more beyond this list:
Mar 5, 2013 9:26 PM
3Thanks Lucapal and Daveelmstrom.
L - I think I had read that on tripadvisor or frommers, cant recall now, but definitely great to know that it wont be an issue :) Lucca definitely sounds like a place Ill be adding to our itinerary.
D- Wow those hikes def sound amazing, but a bit too lengthy and challenging w/ baby this time. I am drawn to CT since it sounds like the perfect balance of beautiful coast, light hike, culture, and relaxation. Any suggested alternative to this?
Is this common for so many of the trails to be closed at this time of year, and for it to rain in Italy end of April? Is it worthwhile for me to continue monitoring trails in hopes of it opening up by then and still going to CT for less nights?
Mar 6, 2013 12:41 AM
Mar 6, 2013 4:25 AM
5The days between April 20th and May 1st will be quite crowded in any touristic zone in Italy, because many people try to 'bridge' the few days between holidays, and some schools might even be closed for the same reason, so: more and more people around, much more than in a typical weekend in April or May. I'd avoid going to Venice on April 25th or on May 1st, just because it has happened once and I remember well the crowds. It shouldn't be so extreme in CT, mainly if you use public trasport and avoid motorways.
As for CT the others have explained; in the area there are other beautiful trails, for example from Portofino to San Fruttuoso.
Mar 6, 2013 6:50 AM
6"Any suggested alternative to this?" -- Yes, all of those areas listed in the link above have great day hiking opportunities. I'd say most of the hill towns in Tuscany, for instance, have wonderful hiking opportunities. You certainly don't need to do the full length of the Anello del Rinascimento trail, for example. I'm not as familiar with the Dolomites, but I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem finding light day hikes that are easily accessible. I'd actually say you'd probably have to struggle to find an area in Italy that doesn't have some good walking/hiking areas. Good god, you could probably spend weeks exploring the hiking and walking opportunities around Lake Como.
Mar 6, 2013 6:22 PM
7I did a great deal of research - including the LP Walking in Italy - and it's difficult to find places that are as easy to get to by public transport and with such accessible trails for pleasant countryside walking (rather than mountainous hiking - I live in the mountains and have no interest in visiting them on vacation). I did some rewarding walks in Tuscany, but they were much more complicated to arrange than Cinque Terre and all included unpleasant bits near motorways.
The same trails in CT were closed 2 years ago but it was still possible to go around by the higher trails above the steep slopes. But I enjoyed exploring the little car-free CT towns more than the trail walking. I wouldn't call it hiking, and if you go expecting some type of wilderness experience you'll be disappointed.
I went early April, and it was not at all crowded compared with Florence and Venice.
Mar 7, 2013 8:02 PM
8Hallo greetings from Belgium,
Just came back from a three week spell of which we spent 10 nights in the "greater CT" basically a stretch of coast starting south of genua and ending roughly near the sarsana exit on the motorway(GENOVA-LA SPECIA-LIVORNO-ROMA) The Sarsana exit is
the first after the interesting portcity of La Specia. I would call it the working port of Genova. Added bonus is the proximity from harbour to city, their next to each other. La Specia could appeal to budjet travellers wanting a good base with an added bonus of
some attractions of their own. The northern boundery of the CT national park is Levanto access is possible by boat,foot,car and
public transport. From here on it becomes olmost impossible to secure parkingspots unless preboot for a hefty price.
Into the park acess iss limited to boat and on foot. A train connect the 5 CT villages and departs in La SPECIA every hour trip takes 30min. Southern boundery of the CT park is the beatifull Portovenero cape. South of La Specia is another spectaculer coastline
less known than CT fragile in a way that it can't handle more people due to its steep mountainslopes and narrow streets.
Some villagecenters can not be reached by car! When we stayed there last month we had to carry the luggage 800m to our rental house. This entire area is worth at least your 4days planned. Go to Massa on a rainy day and find the magic cript in one of their churches. La Specia comes cheaper for wining and dining. CT is jetset expenses!
Venice should be avoided on public holidays. Try to avoid crowds go early morningstrolling before breakfast and late evening.
Consider staying on the mainland or Padova (30min) train or bus , a city interesting in itself. Make a boattrip in Venice....
As for florence follow the guidebook and the openair museum , it's some city. Many small villages abound in the area.
Hope to have been of your service and sens me a mail if you want more info on specific walks in CT
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