First, I want to say a big thanks to you for your advice about Lerici. It was a wonderful place to be along the Ligurian coast. Our stay at the hotel was perfect. The staff couldn't have been more helpful. We were disappointed at first that our room was not directly facing the ocean. The building is tall with three units facing front on each floor. The rest of the rooms have side balconies which are perfectly nice, but you have to go outside onto the balcony to see the sea. We had booked for four nights, which meant it wasn't possible for them to find an ocean-facing room for that many days. So, we decided to switch to three nights on the oceanfront with the option to switch to another room for the fourth night.
I'd rate this hotel very highly. It is pleasant and well-maintained with an understated elegance. Our room was small but the bathroom was new and everything was freshly done and very clean. Breakfast was abundant and excellent. The pastries served were among the best we've had in Italy. The location was extremely convenient, and there was parking for our car (right next to a Ferrari belonging to another guest).
Lerici is a lovely town filled with mostly Italian families on vacation. It was a place well-loved by the romantic poets such as Byron, but because it has no railway station it never became a well-known tourist stop. We ate at Bontà Nascoste twice, which was excellent. One night there was a free concert on the water. Another night there was a charming (preciously very low-tech) show for children in the main piazza. Even though we weren't with children, the people-watching was especially fun.
The beach is sandy (rare to find here) and there are the typical umbrella and chair places to rent. Surprising to us, there was also open space on the beach where people set up their blankets for free and stay as long as the tide allows -- not what you typically find on Italian beaches. Walking along the harbour at night was beautiful. Lots of families and young and old people out strolling until late. The view of the lights across the water and in the surrounding mountains was breathtaking.
We spent one day taking the ferry to Portofino (the abbey at San Fruttuoso is worth the trip) and one day hiking in the Cinque Terre. We got a great tip to go up to the Sanctuario della Madonna di Montenero just beyond Riomaggiore. Not easy to find but worth it (GPS definitely helps). A steep hike uphill afforded gorgeous views through vineyards overlooking the mountains and sea. It was quiet up there -- a big contrast from the five towns which were overflowing with hot and tired tourists. Still, the towns were beautiful to see.
Getting to Cinque Terre: We drove and parking was a challenge. But if you arrive very early, you shouldn't have a problem. We tried to park in Riomaggiore at about 11:00 a.m. but the lot was full. We were sent to Manarola where there were still plenty of spots available (so you might want to start there). We ate at Marina Piccola, sitting down at noon, just before the crowds began to line up to get a table. The hiking path was closed between Manarola and Corniglia that day, so we got tickets for the train. Be sure to check the signs as you enter each town to see if any trails are closed. That evening, as we stumbled back to the parking lot after hours of walking up and down hills and stairs, we had dinner at Da Billy, an excellent trattoria in Manarola. Again, we got there just as dinner service was beginning, so we were given a table that had been reserved for later. Remember that Italians tend to eat out late. 9:00 p.m. is the usual time and there is no concept of rushing guests. Once you've got your table, it is yours for the whole evening.
Thanks again to the In Italy staff for your assistance. If you can get specifics from the hotel about the room location (really facing the ocean, or with a side balcony), it would be a big help to your clients.
Our trip was wonderful. We very much enjoyed France as well as Italy. Lerici was a delight and a hidden treasure, as you had said. The hotel was beautiful, clean, and absolutely perfect. My only regret was that we didn’t stay there longer. We did do a day of boating and that was very enjoyable. There were many other things that we could have done, such as Cinque Terre and Portofino, but we just didn’t have time. The towns of Lerici and San Terenzo (hope I have the spelling correct) were idyllic. Very beautiful!
The Vatican tour was very good and our tour guide was excellent. The cooking class was also very enjoyable. This trip was very different from the last but very enjoyable and I would not hesitate to consult you again for advice and accommodations. Thank you for your expertise.
We had a fantastic time thanks to all of the efforts of the staff at In Italy Online.
The accommodations at Florence Ciompi, while spartan, were adequate and very centrally located. Walking to everywhere we wanted to go was always a pleasure. Our tour with Elisabetta was quite informative and she even asked our favorite Uffizi guitarist to play at her wedding.
The Lerici Seaside Hotel was great. Fourth floor views to the water and just far enough on the edge of town to make for a beautiful evening stroll to town for dinner. The hotel was clean and well maintained and everyone was very helpful. The fact that it is family owned and operated certainly helps. We took a day trip to Carrara to visit the marble mines where Michelangelo selected his piece for David. Quite a process.
Palazzo Bandino in Tuscany was centrally located for day trips to all of the sites. We did take a trip to Deruta for majolica pottery. Watching the hand throwing and hand painting gave us a better appreciation for the pieces we purchased.
Campo de' Fiori in Rome was again right in the center of ancient Rome. Easy walking to everything and we visited many of the sights several times. We had plenty of time to sit, relax, and enjoy the scenes around us. Hassan, who oriented us at the apartment, left no stone unturned in describing everything about the apartment and the surrounding area. He was quite helpful, although we noticed there was no soap or paper towels after he left. Massimo gave us the Vatican tour with early entry to the Sistine Chapel. He was very knowledgeable and went into great detail. The early entry is the way to go as there were 500 people there when we passed through later on our way to St. Peter's. Eva, an archeology graduate, did a good job with the Colisseum and Forum tour.
The car rental, garmin rental, and phone rental went off without a hitch.
In the end, we had another wonderful trip to Italy. Friends can't believe that everything could be done online without talking to a single person. Modern technology, isn't it great. Now if someone can just do something about that long plane ride. Thanks again for the help. I will recommend you to anyone planning a trip to Italy.
I'm finally writing to tell you about our fabulous trip! We were so pleased with your services and would highly recommend your website.
We began our trip in Tuscany and then made our way to Florence, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, and Venice. We stayed at Palazzo Bandino in Tuscany and enjoyed our little private cabin "Noce House". We especially loved our cooking class with Chef Luciano and Emanuela. Due to the daily rain we had and getting lost everyday in our rental car, we feel it might have been better for us to have stayed somewhere more central like Siena perhaps. We did have an amazing day when the sun finally peaked out and we drove to the Altesino winery in Montalcino. Our favourite restaurant was in Chiusi called "L'Osteria La Solita Zuppa". Absolutely fabulous! We enjoyed a half day at Terme Di Chianciano Spa. A perfect thing to do on a rainy day.
Our favourite spot was Cinque Terre. We stayed at Lerici Seaside Hotel right at the water. From there we boated, went by train, or walked to the different seaside towns. We had 2 amazing dinners not far from the hotel. One was at "Golfo Dei Poeti" and the other, "Straluna". We also loved a seaside restaurant in Portofino called "Delfino".
We spent the last 2 days in Venice and wished that we had a little more time there. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner at "Trattoria Da Gianni".
Thank you Kristin for always being there when we needed you. You were always ready with suggestions and information ( and directions !!!!).
Two very important lessons we learned were:
1) Have good directions and maps
2) Research some of the history and architecture before you begin your trip.
There was so much beauty that would be more meaningful if you did your homework. Thanks again Kristin and In Italy!
Last week we returned from an amazing trip in Italy. All the hotels, the food, and the locations were exceptional. The Lerici hotel was excellently located, allowing us to enjoy Italy away from the tourist crowd and at the same time explore the Ligurian coast. The Villa a San Gimignano was paradise! We experienced superb customer service at the Villa, which made our stay there much more comfortable. Marco was very friendly and made us feel right at home. I was so happy to follow your advice to stay for 4 nights at each site. We had enough time to sightseeing and relax. Thanks so much for all your help, that made our vacation in Italy more pleasant and enjoyable.
We are back home now and had a fantastic trip. The two places that I booked with you were all HUGE successes with all members of my family. In Venice the Castello B&B was BEAUTIFUL!! Such a great location away from the throngs of people but with its own little canal and bridge right outside. The room was lovely and larger than we expected, beautifully appointed and again with wifi. But Breakfast was the true highlight. The dining room is exquisite with its antique furniture and pressed white linen tablecloths and napkins, a fresco on the ceiling dating back 300 years, beautifully restored and the food is delicious. Cappuccino, fresh croissants, fruit, cheese, cold cuts and cereal. We felt truly spoiled and it was wonderful to meet the owner Nicola who takes great pride in his hotel.
Lerici Seaside Resort was another wonderful experience. This lovely hotel overlooking the beach has been run by the same family since 1963. The rooms were small but the view was amazing. Breakfast each morning in the dining room was also delicious as we overlooked the Mediterranean. The small town was a perfect starting point to reach the Cinque Terre. but we also enjoyed just staying at the beach right in front of the hotel.
I have recommended your site to everyone that I have met since we were there and I know I will us it again if we ever return to Italy.
Thanks so much,
Excellent trip - Lerici Seaside Hotel was great - very clean, very friendly, great service. The ladies at the desk were outstanding. Your service worked as advertised - I will use your service again.
Our stay in Rome, booked through Price-Line, was not great. The Hotel (Atlante Garden) overbooked, tried to put us in a poor apartment, lots of hidden charges, poor service, etc.
Your recommendation to stay in Lerici rather than Cinque Terre was excellent! Thank you!!! Lerici Seaside Hotel was perfect with an amazing view of the beach, ocean and castle. Taking the ferry to Cinque Terre from Lerici was great fun and allowed us to see more than if we were to go by car.
We booked our own arrangements in the Tuscany area afterwards and, although had fun, it wasn't as special as the Villa was a bit close to the hwy. Next time we go to Italy, we'll use you based on your excellent recommendations.
Once again we had a lovely trip to Italy. On this trip we visited the Italian Riviera and the Bologna area – places we had not been to before. We absolutely loved Santa Margherita on the Riviera. It is a deceptive little town because it really isn't so little – once one starts walking you just keep going and going. We found the town very peaceful with lots of interesting restaurants, street vendors, and local culture. We stayed at Lerici Seaside Hotel – a wonderful experience. The town of Lerici was lovely and we had great food there as well – we really enjoyed the sense of family the town offered – families constantly walking up and down the waterfront on the wonderful sidewalks. The hotel was great; while the room was quite small, the balcony was lovely and the hotel had a wonderful breakfast. We appreciated the small bar area and free access to the internet.
The one thing I would change on this part of the trip was our visit to Cinque Terre. One full day is NOT enough, particularly with the enormous crowds. While we did make it to all 5 towns, it was through sheer determination. We started out going by water, but that didn't work due to rough seas. So we were going to take a train from La Spezia , but were told by hotel staff that parking would be very difficult in La Spezia. So we ended up driving to Riomaggiore and easily found parking there. The walk from Riomaggiore to Manola was very crowded, but only about 15 minutes so it was tolerable. We took trains from then on since the trails were closed and there-in the crowds, late trains, and impatience ensued. Definitely plan at least 2 days to visit Cinque Terre.
We also went to Parma and Bologna and enjoyed both cities – fabulous food everywhere. I only wish In Italy Online had preferred accommodations in those areas!
I have been meaning to take a few minutes all week to send a great big thank you.
All the hotels/bed and breakfasts you booked for us were wonderful:
The Verona Winery was awesome! Our apartment was lovely and Paolo made us feel very welcome. Their wine was exceptional (we brought some home) and breakfast each morning was very nice. We were very happy that they had a pool since it was 35C the day we did our day trip to Venice. We arrived on Sunday & Paolo recommended the local restaurant that was a 700 m walk from the B & B (Al Ponte Ferrazze). I was surprised that this place was not on your list of recommended restaurants: it was tiny and the menu was limited but the food was excellent, the staff so friendly despite the fact that no one spoke English. They tolerated our sad efforts at Italian and we would have gone back the Monday if they had not been closed. It's always nice not to have to drive to and from dinner.
Locanda del Lupo was very pleasant as well. Our double suite was much nicer than our friend's single suite, however. We had eaten a very heavy lunch so were not very hungry at dinnertime. We were sitting in the courtyard and asked if we could have an appetizer plate out there instead of going in for dinner and the wait staff were more than happy to accommodate us. The town itself really did not have much to offer and in hindsight if we had realized the actual travelling time from Verona area I think we probably would have gone straight to Lerici from Verona.
The Lerici Seaside Hotel was awesome! What a view. Again, however, the single room was not nearly as nice as the double room. The town of Lerici is lovely and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. It was convenient for our day trip to Cinque Terre and the local restaurants were great. We tried the recommended restaurant, Ristorante Golfo dei Poeti but felt it did not live up to your review. It was a satisfactory meal but not exceptional. We did have exceptional seafood at another restaurant close by, La Mano di Fatima. The homemade ice cream bars that were available right next to Ristorante Golfo dei Poeti were to die for!
The staff everywhere was extremely courteous and helpful. We would recommend any of the places we stayed at and feel that we got excellent value for the money spent.
We didn't take your advice about buying local maps in advance and I would definitely make sure I had them next time. Fortunately we had a GPS and it really helped us because we never would have found the Verona Winery just using the map we had. On the way to Canelli, we stopped in a small town (never got the name) and had an awesome three-course lunch, including wine for 11 euros per person.
We found ourselves with lots of time to spare before being able to check into Verona so on the way we took a detour along the eastern shore of Lake Garda, stopping off for lunch in the town of Garda. It was a true gem of a town: very picturesque.
The car rental went off without a hitch (at least we haven't been billed for anything extra as of this moment in time.)
I will recommend your services to anyone I know going to Italy. Kristin helped me plan the itinerary and we were thoroughly impressed by all your properties. It was nice to know in advance the quality of the accommodations. We wanted a trip that was a little more rural and you helped provide it. Thanks again for your assistance in making our holiday so memorable.
Lerici Seaside Hotel was excellent, Lerici is actually a much better place to stay than Cinque Terre. One thing we did was rent a small private motorboat (only cost 150), then we drove to Cinque Terre and saw all 5 places, it is a much faster more fun and cheaper way to do it.
We got back on Sunday from our fabulous trip to Italy. We really enjoyed Lerici Seaside Hotel which was an absolutely lovely place. With the ferry running it was very simple to get to the Cinque Terre from there, and we also enjoyed just lying on the beach after 10 days of touring. The only disappointment there was that the solarium was closed for renovation, but the beach served us just fine.
To the folks at In Italy Online:
Lerici Seaside Hotel was quite a delight as was the town of Lerici. The trip to Portovenere was terrific; the trip to the castle had good views, but the main attraction was the fossil and dinosaur exhibit, a bit unexpected. The staff at the hotel were truly gracious and their restaurant recommendations were excellent (Stra Luna and Osteria del Mare). The breakfasts were very good.
We had a great time--Loved Lerici!! Hotel-location-family-food!! The entire trip was perfect--lots of photos--Miss the food and wine already!!
Dear Julie and all at In Italy,
First of all, hope your holidays were joyful, we wish you much health and prosperity for the new year!
Our trip to Italy can be described in one word: "FANTASTIC". Borgo del Chianti was wonderful. What a beautiful and serene place! Our special thanks go to Veronica: if not for her and her knowledge of the area we would have never made it there or much less discovered all of the wonders of Tuscany. (We got lost a lot and she was a true lifesaver!) One place we strongly recommend is Il Toscano in Mercatale, the food is marvelous and the staff and service is A1. Thanks to Veronica's recommendation we spent a lot of time there. The accommodations at the villa were very comfortable although the rooms were quite warm, the scenery compensated for the heat!
Our stay in Lerici was totally amazing. (My husband has a strong desire to retire there!) Lerici Seaside Hotel was very comfortable and the view from the room was beyond our expectations. WOW! My husband would wake up early in the morning just to take pictures of the view! The staff were very professional but also made us feel very much at home. We have repeatedly recommended this hotel and In Italy to all of our friends and family traveling to this area. The only complaint, we should have stayed more time here! (I guess there's always this year?)
Our most sincere thanks to you for your professional services and suggestions and most of all for making our first trip to Italy an unforgettable travel experience.
Gilda and Joaquin O.
It has been a month and a half since our return from Italy and we are still talking about it to anyone who will listen. Despite living in the UK we had never travelled to Italy before and we both fell in love with the country and the people.
We used the train. On the suggestion of my wife's brother-in-law, we booked all our tickets in advance. We went First Class and in total our 5 train journeys cost £130 for the 2 of us (£65 each - you could hardly get one First Class 3 hour train journey for this price in the UK!). The trains were all on time & our reserved seats clearly marked - it was a joy to travel. We also found that Italian buses too are reliable and very cheap - 45 minute bus journey from Lenno to Como (all down one side of the lake so great views) cost under 5 Euros for both my wife & I.
What a beautiful town Lerici is, set in a glorious bay with a fine sandy beach. Everything you could want from a Mediterranean holiday. The hotel is perfectly placed about half a kilometre beachside walk from Lerici town - this means it is quiet but within easy reach of the town and harbour with its restaurants and beautiful centre. Best to get a front room overlooking the beach - the hotel is literally across the road from the sandy beach. From our room you looked directly over the beach and to the left you could see the dominating Lerici castle which is spectacularly lit up at night. Breakfast was very good but there was no restaurant in the hotel for an evening meal. However, this did not matter as Lerici is absolutely full of fantastic Italian restaurants with most at reasonable cost. Those closest to the harbour tend to be more expensive but are worth it for the overall experience. The different coloured houses and clever architecture make Lerici a delight. Get out on the boat to Porto Venere & the Cinque Terre - both are a must see experience.
All in all we had a wonderful 18 night Northern & Central Italy tour. It was relaxing but also exhilarating - leaving us wanting more. In Italy - your website and hotel details were very accurate & we thank you for all the help you gave us. We will be using you again - probably to book our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Venice. Any recommendations?
John & Jo (UK)
We booked Lerici Seaside Hotel through your service. We were happy with how you represented the hotel and the accurate cost. All is as advertised. It was a quality three star hotel. On the very positive I would note the staff was exceedingly helpful. Particularly two ladies at the reception. They provided useful information about the area and were always there with the extra towel or whatever we requested. For future guests I would let them know that the better beach is at the four star hotel five minutes up the block. You need to pay to get in. For our family of five it was about 40 euros per day. The other beach across from the hotel was cheaper but not nearly as nice and much more over run.
Take care and good follow through.
I want to tell you how amazing the owners of the hotel are in Lerici, Italy. We had terrible car problems driving from Paris to Italy. Long tedious story. However I called and we thought we would arrive about 11 PM. But there was a tunnel closed and we got lost did not arrive until 3 AM!!!. They were kind thoughtful and forgiving. We even wanted to stay another night but they did not have the rooms for us. However they found us another hotel that was perfect!! The problems were ours they were great. I would highly recommend their hotel and your service. Please feel free to use this or when I am not so tired I could write it up much better.
Thank you thank you.