Subject: Coastal towns of Liguria (was: summer trip)
Dear Sherry, You asked:

> Portovenere or Santa
> Margherita Ligure? What are the pros and cons of each?

We visited Portovenere in September and I definitely have some thoughts about it. It is a charming town, very small, and not easy to get in and out of by car. The drive in and out of the town through La Spezia is difficult, unattractive, and fairly time consuming. Also by boat, it takes much longer to get places (other than the CT) from Portovenere than it does from SML. The views from the harbor at Portovenere are sometimes charming, but most of them include the naval and industrial sights of the harbor of La Spezia, which aren't all that attractive. I would also say that because Portovenere is so small, your options for places to stay would not be that great.

And believe me, I did like Portovenere for a daytrip. I just don't think it is great for a base. Too small and too inconvenient, and the views on the La Spezia side of the town are not what I would want to look at every day.

You know my feelings about SML: I love it. Strolling the waterfront in the evening is so much fun. The town that sits back from the main waterfront street is also filled with wonderful local food shops and bakeries. There is a good range of accomodations and the scene for young people at night is very lively. Good food, good hotels, great views, great rail and boat connections.

>From SML you can be in Camogli, Portofino or visit San Fruttuoso in minutes by boat. Those interesting and lovely places are enough to keep you busy for a few days. Hiking at Portofino is easy, fun, and provides gorgeous views. The train connections at SML are also good.

I hope this helps, and I am anxious to read what others have to say. Ciao, Debbie in Pittsburgh