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Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 #288952
09/23/2022 10:54 AM
09/23/2022 10:54 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
B
BEERMAN Offline OP
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BEERMAN  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
Northern Italy 2022, (September 3-14)


We went to bed around 11pm and set our alarms for 7:30 am. I usually survive on 5-6 hours of sleep, but I slept a solid 7.5 hours this night! Our check out was at 10am and check-in wasn't until 3pm in Santa Margherita Ligure, so we spent a couple hours walking around Milano. I put some of those pics in the last post, but boy did it feel wonderful to wake up in Italy!
Fyi, we did keep one Verizon cell phone on the entire trip costing $10 per day, money well spent in the end. We checked train schedules during breakfast and realized our options were thin and departure times one hour apart, most trains had multiple stops taking 4-1/2 hours! With a little patience and research our daughter found a train leaving at noon that was DIRECT, 2 hours 4 minutes to Santa Margherita-Portofino. I believe she used the Omio app, the site said 4 ticket remaining, we purchased immediately! I think we paid around $70 for 3 tickets, bargain if you ask me! We didn't unpack much, so it was easy to get ready to walk to Milano Centrale. Knowing we had 2 hours before the train it allowed for a relaxing walk to the station. Thank you daughter!


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The train ride was pleasant with only one disappointment, there wasn't a beverage car, I was just happy to be on this non-stop train! Masks were mandatory on this train, but most people seemed to disregard policy, letting the mask hang precariously from one ear or perhaps just warming ones chin. Our airbnb host kindly asked that we send them a text when we were 30 minutes out, we did. 2 hours and 10 minutes later we exited the station greeted with the most amazing sight, the Mediterranean/Ligurian Sea!!! With the wheels of our luggage bouncing along the well worn cobble stones we joyfully worked our way down to city center, absolutely beautiful.



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We chose an airbnb in the center of town. I read that our location could be noisy, it was, lots of scooters racing around, there were. But once we were in our airbnb it was surprisingly quiet especially at night, great windows and air conditioning. We stayed just a few meters from the ferry dock, perfect central location for us ( I circled our apartment windows in red below).. 2 bedroom, 1 bath, well equipped kitchen, large private back yard with stone walls and lemon trees, and from the front of the apartment a view to die for. The host left us with an amazing amount of fruit, crackers and beverages, the unit was very well equipped with most things we would need.


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After unpacking for our 3 night stay we walked to a charming side street to grab a late lunch, basically just a really good panini sandwich! Sitting outside at a picturesque cafe on cobblestone is perhaps my favorite thing in the world. To be honest we really didn't need the panini with the generous snacks this place provided.


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With our bellies full we walked around the town, venturing beyond the marina loaded with amazing boats and yachts. Found a COOP close by and grabbed a few provisions, including inexpensive beer and wine. We dropped off the provisions and wanted a drink. decided to try a small wine bar, Bar il Vernissage. It sat conveniently right next to our apartment, this would be our regular go to spot! Friendly staff, great drinks and another generous snack of olives, meats, cheese, ripe cherry tomatoes with mozzarella and chips! They had a few tables with excellent views, but they also put large pillows along the ancient walkway giving it a little "bohemian" feel, awesome.


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Around 9pm we were looking for a restaurant and found a table at Da Michele. It was in a little square off the main drag. Just enough room in the square for maybe 3 restaurants to be nicely separated. We enjoyed gnocchi, pasta, prawns and filet smothered in porcini's, love porcini's! Our waiter was very personable, liked this guy. After dinner we poked around the corner and found the wine bar closed at midnight, good thing I was exhausted. Off to bed to be rested for our first hike of the trip....ciao!


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Last edited by BEERMAN; 09/23/2022 10:55 AM.
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Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #288954
09/23/2022 11:32 AM
09/23/2022 11:32 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 209
Maryland
S
ScottW Offline
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ScottW  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 209
Maryland
Great reports. Pictures are beautiful. Can't wait for the next installment.
Scott

Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #288959
09/23/2022 01:07 PM
09/23/2022 01:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 83,268
Central Florida!
Carol_Hill Offline
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Carol_Hill  Offline
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Posts: 83,268
Central Florida!
What beautiful pictures and an amazing place to stay! I hope you will provide more pictures of the apartment, or a link to it. Carry on!!


Carol Hill
Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #289265
10/05/2022 07:03 PM
10/05/2022 07:03 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,623
originally Long Island, NY/now...
irish1223 Offline
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irish1223  Offline
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originally Long Island, NY/now...
Beyond fabulous! And I must say, Italy had the best food I ever tasted!


Robin & Ed

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. - Henry Miller

Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #289662
10/18/2022 06:54 PM
10/18/2022 06:54 PM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,992
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
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The_Lurker  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,992
Connecticut
Wow!!
I'm so wanting to get back to Italy.

We are not use to the trains and feel a little intimidated.

Your pictures are great!!

Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #289667
10/18/2022 07:44 PM
10/18/2022 07:44 PM
Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 590
Lake Norman, NC
EllenS Offline
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EllenS  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 590
Lake Norman, NC
Maybe if you could explain what intimidates you about the trains, people could help you.

There certainly are many factors with public transportation. Navigating the station, crowds, how to get tickets, schedules.

Just a thought.

Italy certainly is a beautiful and yummy place.

Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #289669
10/19/2022 02:24 AM
10/19/2022 02:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
TomB Offline
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TomB  Offline
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Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,455
Virginia wishing STJ
Concur with Ellen
A train or a bus is the best way in Europe if you are going to cities.

No problems at all. Do arrive earlier than you normally would at home just to reduce some anxiety.

Driving in Europe is not bad either... but parking that is a story within itself.


“Every time I open a bottle of wine, it is an amazing trip somewhere!” José Andrés
Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: The_Lurker] #289670
10/19/2022 07:02 AM
10/19/2022 07:02 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
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BEERMAN Offline OP
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BEERMAN  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,493
VIRGINIA
Lurker, I get that it can be intimidating, but if you have time you could practice planning an itinerary and see that it isn't as difficult as it seems.

There are basically 3 types of trains REGIONAL are slower with many stops, INTERCITY with some stops and I think the high speed direct trains are called FRESCCIA?

We used the OMIO app to research schedules and purchase tickets on our cell, tt worked well. They have a website you can look at without purchasing the app to experiment. There's also the Italiarail and Trenitalia websites to practice looking at schedules and pricing. Prices are about the same online and in person.

Purchasing online was convenient when we knew which train was best to get where we wanted to be, such as this Milan to Santa Margherita trip. It also allowed us to choose seat assignments for this longer leg, my wife prefers to face forward!

Buying tickets at the stations can be done easily with the ticket kios system, user friendly and they offer English. Or just go to the counter, English may not be spoken but at least knowing the name of your destination will be enough to get a ticket.

Now knowing where you're going sounds simple, but larger towns/cities may have multiple stations spread out around the city. With google maps we would find the station that was the most convenient to our airbnb's, example this trip from Malpensa Airport the kios showed departure from Malpensa T1 or T2, confused we asked an attendant for help and realized we were in "Terminal 1". Milan has many stations, we googled and found Milano-Cadorna was closest to our airbnb so we chose that regional train. We could have gone on a faster Intercity train to Milano Centrale but it was a longer walk.

When we do day trips we still check schedules and then arrived a little early to use the kios, takes cash or credit. Short regional trips don't require seat assignments, but longer Freccia's did. The ticket shows your car number, We always arrive early and watch the big train schedule board like at an airport. Once they post the track or Bin number that means the train is there and ready for you to board. With luggage it's good to be early to ensure a convenient rack to put it in. Sit down and relax, a conductor will soon stop by to scan your ticket either paper or on your phone. Eazy Peazy!

Re: Northern ITALY 9/22, part 2 [Re: BEERMAN] #289674
10/19/2022 10:40 AM
10/19/2022 10:40 AM
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,992
Connecticut
The_Lurker Offline
Traveler
The_Lurker  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,992
Connecticut
Beerman, I knew there were so many different names and trains!
I guess we have to do some homework and look into it.
Right now, it doesn't sound easy. The only time we took a train was from Sorrento to Pompei
and within Cinque Terre.


We have been driving, up to this point, and really enjoyed the freedom of having a car.
I just think that we should leave the driving to someone else now that we are
getting older.

Thanks for the info---it should be easier with all the new apps --or bring a teen to help with it. LOL


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