View from Hotel Porto Roca

This item appears on page 72 of the November 2010 issue.
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View from Hotel Porto Roca.

Those who have seen the Cinque Terre in Italy have delighted in the settings of the five little towns perched on cliffs or built on hills that rush down to the blue, blue Mediterranean. The awesome beauty of the mountains coming right up out of the sea, with waves exploding against the sheer cliffs and rocky shores, makes the six- to ten-mile hike through the towns well worth the effort.

My wife, Elissa, and I made our third visit to the Cinque Terre in early October ’08, splurging on a three-night stay at the awesome Hotel Porto Roca (Via Corone, 1; phone +39 0187 81 75 02, www.portoroca.it — open April 1-Oct. 31) in Monterosso al Mare. Wow, what a view!

For the ultimate experience, a stay is well worth the price, but be sure to get a room in front overlooking the sea. (We had No. 221, with a balcony, on the third floor.) Served on a patio with the same great view, a hot/cold Continental buffet breakfast was included. (2010 rates — €275-€290 [near $370-$397] for double with sea view or €550-€590 for suite with sea view.)

We walked the trail to Vernazza and had lunch at Restaurant La Torre (Via Carattino, 64; phone +39 0187 821082, www.camerelatorre.com). It’s not the food or the service that makes it our favorite restaurant but the view! For lunch or dinner, get there when it opens to snag a table on the edge of the patio. All of Vernazza unfolds in front of you, with the sea going on forever.

Order a bottle of sfuzo (local red wine), sold out of large vats or demijohns and poured into bottles that you bring (or the restaurant supplies). Try the ultimate Caprese salad, some pasta and any of the fresh fish dishes and settle in for a few hours of Slow Food-style dining. — RICHARD FINERMAN, Palm Springs, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.
View from Hotel Porto Roca.

Those who have seen the Cinque Terre in Italy have delighted in the settings of the five little towns perched on cliffs or built on hills that rush down to the blue, blue Mediterranean. The awesome beauty of the mountains coming right up out of the sea, with waves exploding against the sheer cliffs and rocky shores, makes the six- to ten-mile hike through the towns well worth the effort.

My wife, Elissa, and I made our third visit to the Cinque Terre in early October ’08, splurging on a three-night stay at the awesome Hotel Porto Roca (Via Corone, 1; phone +39 0187 81 75 02, www.portoroca.it — open April 1-Oct. 31) in Monterosso al Mare. Wow, what a view!

For the ultimate experience, a stay is well worth the price, but be sure to get a room in front overlooking the sea. (We had No. 221, with a balcony, on the third floor.) Served on a patio with the same great view, a hot/cold Continental buffet breakfast was included. (2010 rates — €275-€290 [near $370-$397] for double with sea view or €550-€590 for suite with sea view.)

We walked the trail to Vernazza and had lunch at Restaurant La Torre (Via Carattino, 64; phone +39 0187 821082, www.camerelatorre.com). It’s not the food or the service that makes it our favorite restaurant but the view! For lunch or dinner, get there when it opens to snag a table on the edge of the patio. All of Vernazza unfolds in front of you, with the sea going on forever.

Order a bottle of sfuzo (local red wine), sold out of large vats or demijohns and poured into bottles that you bring (or the restaurant supplies). Try the ultimate Caprese salad, some pasta and any of the fresh fish dishes and settle in for a few hours of Slow Food-style dining. — RICHARD FINERMAN, Palm Springs, CA