Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Self-catering Apartments - Are They Right For You? Part 3: Riomaggiore Appartamento Giovanna

   On our first two trips to Italy we stayed in Florence and took fantastic day trips to see the sights in other towns and cities. Traveling several times by high speed trains of Trenitalia and Italotreno, it was fairly easy to visit Venice and Rome just for a day. And, if you buy your tickets online before you leave for Italy, you can save as much as 50%,  but be aware if you do that, you probably won't be able to change your ticket or your travel dates. Though trying to see Venice or Rome in just a day may seem impossible (it is), but in just two hours you can be in Venice, where you can walk around for 5-8 hours, have lunch, aperitivo, wine, take the Vaporetto on the Grand Canal to St. Mark's, and cross the Rialto Bridge. In Rome, you can see the Pantheon,  Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and have lunch before boarding your train for the two hour trip back to Florence. We just wanted to be sure to get a taste in the event that we were unable to return to Italy. Another place we saw on our first trip was Cinque Terre. We signed up for a full day hiking tour that took us by air-conditioned coach to Cinque Terre (more on the tour in another post). It's a fairly long trip whether on a tour bus or taking the train on your own. We left Florence at about 8:30 in the morning and didn't return until 8:30 in the evening. A long day, but a good value and well worth the time.

Cinque Terre scene.

View from Appartamento Giovanna in Riomaggiore..

View from Appartamento Giovanna in Riomaggiore.

   On our second trip in 2014, this one with another couple, we chose Cinque Terre as a great place to celebrate my sister-in-law's 60th birthday on September 29th. To do this, we needed a more relaxed adventure, so we rented an apartment in Riomaggiore, one of the five towns. All four of us packed small travel bags for our overnight trip. We were traveling light on regional trains! We kept our apartment in Florence, as well.

   I searched on to find a budget friendly apartment in Riomaggiore. After checking on a few places and reading the reviews, I selected a nice one bedroom apartment with stunning views of the sea and town. Appartamento Giovanna fit the bill perfectly. The cost was $162 split two ways. There was a double sofa bed in the living area along with the very nice bedroom, so the four of us were quite comfortable for one night.The apartment has a fully equipped kitchenette for making meals along with a dining and a living area (all one room). While the place was small and cozy, it was also spotlessly clean. We knew it was a fantastic choice!

Appartamento Giovanna - Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre.

Some of the provisions at Appartamento Giavanna.


Living & Dining Area. Bedroom doorway.

   Here is my review of Appartamento Giovanna:

   Location, cleanliness, amenities and extras like, wine, pasta, coffee, tea, jelly, croissants, soap, towels - everything we needed! The provisions were above and beyond! Frederika took our call and sent Paulo to lead us up to the apartment. Paulo met us at the train station and walked with us to the apartment the most scenic way. Breathtaking views. And, Giovanna was waiting for us at the apartment. She was so friendly, helpful and just plain wonderful! The apartment was bright, cheery, super clean and seemed brand new. It comes with such fantastic views. Just steps down to the center of town and the sea. Everything was perfect! We do hope to rent this apartment again for a longer stay. We would totally recommend Appartamento Giovanna!
(While we liked everything and it all worked out perfectly for the four of us, someone with mobility/physical conditioning concerns should know that it is an uphill walk from the train station (on the street, sidewalks and stairs) all the way from the town center.)

   The walk down the hill into the center of town and the sea takes about 8 minutes; going back up to the apartment takes about 12 minutes. The sights are beautiful all the way. There are plenty of restaurants,
gelato shops and pizza places to choose from as you walk. Be sure to be at the water's edge for a spectacular sunset. Plan ahead and make a reservation at one of the restaurants facing the Ligurian Sea. We had a nice lunch with wine overlooking the stunning sea view at Bar Conchiglila. We had dinner at Enoteca Dau Cilla, but were unable to get a table outside with a view. We had tried earlier in the day to make a reservation for a table outside, but we were too late. However, the unique grotto-like room where we ate our dinner was just perfect. And, we had enjoyed the spectacular sunset before dinner!
Lunch check for four.

Reserve a table for dinner in Riomaggiore.

Riomaggiore sunset!

   From our wonderful experience, I highly recommend Giovanna's apartment to anyone who desires a super clean, well-equipped, modern apartment with stunning views in a great location. I would suggest making your reservation early.

  Up in my next post - our fantastic self-catering apartment in Bologna...



  1. I'm loving these posts, and learning a lot!

  2. Karen, thanks. Be sure to click on all of the high-lighted links for a lot more info. And, if you have any questions, please ask.


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