We are planning an upcoming 2 week summer trip (July or August) to the Ligurian Coast, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda, and possibly train down to Puglia's coast. We will most likely fly into Genoa. We will also have a rental car as an option. Pardon the spelling errors, typing fast.
We have travelled many time to Italy from the US. We have done Rome, Milan, Naples, many beautiful interior locations and villages. I visited Cinque a Terre 15 years ago with a group of girlfriends and loved it. My husband and I also spent 5 nights in Positano at the Sirenuse and 3 nights in Capri. We spent 5 nights on Lake Como at the Serbelloni in Bellagio. So trying to get some advice based on what we have previously liked......being by the sea and that village sort of feel with dramatic and stunning views. We also like traveling by boat ideally from place to place. So all that said.....
We had originally thought about staying in Portofino before heading (driving) to the lake area but after some research there appears to be limited accommodations, 7 hotels and as much as I would love to stay at the Belmond, its not in the budget. The Picollo looks nice but no pool. It sounds like from many TA reviewers that what makes the most sense is to base yourself in Santa Margherita Legure?
We are most interested in finding a hotel to explore the area that is on the sea with a beautiful view and terrace, with a fantastic pool. We don't care if it's dated or has a bad breakfast (which appear to be important to many) Budget is $300 - $500 euro per night.
So first question, which towns, in order would you visit / stay in that surround Portofino? How much time should we allocate...thinking 4 nights. Also, should we expect Cinque a terra's 5 towns to be the most beautiful? (like Liguarian's Positano) or are there other villages equally as stunning or fishing village charm?
Here are a few towns we have come across.....
5 villages of Cinque a Terra (keep in mind we've done this)
Apricale (hill town)
Monterossa el Mar
If we travelled further South we could split our time and stay at a second hotel to explore last 3 villages listed.
Other places ideas?
Thank you very much, appreciate your time!