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Genoa 1/2 day excursion - touring Genoa vs. Portofino/Santa Margherita?

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I am looking for some advice here.  Our cruise ship stops in Genoa next summer.  This is our first time in the Mediterranean, so everything will be brand new.  We're a family of 4, with 11 and 13 year old children.

 

We have a very port-intensive itinerary, so I'm hoping to make Genoa our easy/light excursion day.  It's the half way point of our cruise, and it is sandwiched between Livorno and Nice.  I really hope to keep our excursion at about 4-5 hours that day so that we can sleep in and still get back early enough to have a relaxing afternoon on the ship.

 

We have already booked Papillon for a private excursion out of Livorno, and they have a lovely 5 hour excursion out of Genoa that includes Portofino/Santa Margherita/Camogli.  This may be just about perfect for us.

 

On the other hand, I'd love to see a few highlights of Genoa as well.  St. Lawrence Cathedral looks gorgeous, for instance.  

 

There is a tour that combines all of the above, but it's 8 hours - just too long for what I was hoping to do this day.

 

So if we have to decide between touring Genoa and touring these cities on the Italian Riviera, what do you recommend please?

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We very much enjoyed going to Santa M and Portofino.  In our case we did it 

OYO and it was quite simple.  It also allowed us to spend as much or as little time as we desired.  We boarded the train from Genoa to SM.  Simple, as it is a short walk to the station from the port.  From SM to Portofino we walked the beautiful coastal trail.  Basically flat, along the water and with places to stop for pictures or food if desired.   Did some sightseeing in Portofino and then had lunch.  Took the ferry back to SM and wandered a bit there before grabbing a train back to Genoa.  Easy, pleasant and unbelievably inexpensive when compared to an organized tour.  Met a bunch of others on the train who were basically doing the same itinerary although not all used the walk.  Some did buses or cabs or ferry both ways

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I would recommend the excursion to StM and Portofino.  As for the cathedral in Genoa, it pales in comparison to others you may see in your cruise, eg., Florence or Barcelona (and I mean the Cathedral in addition to Sagrada Familia).

 

wheezedr has a good plan for DIY, but the private excursion you are being offered is probably doing it all by boat, which would be my choice.  BTW - you can also do the boat on your own: http://www.golfoparadiso.it/en/go/green-line/

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On ‎12‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 5:51 PM, wheezedr said:

We very much enjoyed going to Santa M and Portofino.  In our case we did it 

OYO and it was quite simple.  It also allowed us to spend as much or as little time as we desired.  We boarded the train from Genoa to SM.  Simple, as it is a short walk to the station from the port.  From SM to Portofino we walked the beautiful coastal trail.  Basically flat, along the water and with places to stop for pictures or food if desired.   Did some sightseeing in Portofino and then had lunch.  Took the ferry back to SM and wandered a bit there before grabbing a train back to Genoa.  Easy, pleasant and unbelievably inexpensive when compared to an organized tour.  Met a bunch of others on the train who were basically doing the same itinerary although not all used the walk.  Some did buses or cabs or ferry both ways 

This sounds like what we want to do when we stop there in April 2019. We are there from 9am to 6pm, is that enough time to do this? How long and difficult is the walk from SM to Portofino?

Thanks,

Tony

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That is plenty of time.  The walk is not hard, but it is over 1 hour each way.  You may not want to spend the time doing it.  The ferry is not expensive and it takes only 15 minutes. Here is the link. 

http://traghettiportofino.it/en/lines-and-trips/line-1/#ad-image-0

They don't have the 2019 schedules out yet, but it should be the same as 2018.

http://traghettiportofino.it/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/04/Linea-1-INGLESE-2018-web.pdf

They do have the 2019 prices:

http://traghettiportofino.it/en/line-fares-rentals/line-fares/

 

Edited by marazul

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On 12/9/2018 at 1:17 PM, disneykins said:This sounds like what we want to do when we stop there in April 2019. We are there from 9am to 6pm, is that enough time to do this? How long and difficult is the walk from SM to Portofino?

Thanks,

Tony

That would be plenty of time.  I would suggest the walk in the direction of Portofino with the ferry back.  That is how we did it.  We were in our late 60’s at the time.  I have problems with hills when I walk but this was easy as you are right at sea level.  There is an interior path that is technically shorter in distance but more effort as it is hilly.  We did the walk not because of cost, but for the pleasure of getting out for a nice stroll.

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I think I read somewhere that after the (fairly) recent storms in the area, that there had been slips/landslides and that there was no road access to Portofino. Might be worth checking with the local tourist board.

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12 hours ago, donizetti said:

I think I read somewhere that after the (fairly) recent storms in the area, that there had been slips/landslides and that there was no road access to Portofino. Might be worth checking with the local tourist board.

Thanks, I did read something about that a while back. I think it was the path that was impassable but the roads had re-opened. We'll check closer to the day.

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We just did a MSC cruise and visited Genoa and found it one of the mot interesting ports on our itinerary. We stayed entirely in town and loved wandering about on the narrow streets. One of the highlites that might appeal to your kids is, we took the funicular, up to the highest point with magnificent views of the entire city. They also have a cable car that also takes you to the top of the city, but we preferred the funicular.  

I know the need to get 'out of town' but were really found Genoa very charming and again, it was one of our favorite ports.

Cheers

Len

Edited by Giantfan13

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19 hours ago, Giantfan13 said:

We just did a MSC cruise and visited Genoa and found it one of the mot interesting ports on our itinerary. We stayed entirely in town and loved wandering about on the narrow streets. One of the highlites that might appeal to your kids is, we took the funicular, up to the highest point with magnificent views of the entire city. They also have a cable car that also takes you to the top of the city, but we preferred the funicular.  

I know the need to get 'out of town' but were really found Genoa very charming and again, it was one of our favorite ports.

Cheers

Len

 

Thank you, Len.  The funicular does sound like a lot of fun.  Everything I've researched about Genoa looks genuinely interesting.  I'm glad to know you enjoyed it so much!

 

AAAGGGH . . .   I want to do both!!  Seriously!  

Edited by Disneyfriend

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We just got back from our MSC cruise last week (December 2018).  We booked a private guide since we are a family of 6 and it was more economical than a ship excursion.  I can highly recommend our tour guide if you would like let me know.  I am sure she would tailor to your time allotment.

 

I can say that Genoa was my favorite stop of the cruise.   Personally, I would not let this be your "short" stop.   We did all 3:  SM., Portofino, and old Genoa (which is very close to where our ship docked.)    I think on your own is doable, but with a local guide, they can really get you on the train, ferry quickly since they know the ropes, and schedules, etc.  There are express trains vs. trains that stop between Genoa and SM as an example - our guide exchanged tickets from one to the other to help save time and get a better time, etc.

 

You will not be able to walk along the coastal road between SM and Portofino.  It is gone in at least 2 places.   Our guide indicated they are hoping to have it repaired by Easter 2019, but I sensed that people are not optimistic on that date.   We saw the construction equipment (cranes) which have been located in the damaged areas so that means they have at least begun the work, that is good news.

 

If you have to decide between Genoa city and making the trek to SM and Portofino, I would do Portofino - although I recommend all 3 stops. 

 

Have fun..... 

 

 

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34 minutes ago, CCJack said:

We just got back from our MSC cruise last week (December 2018).  We booked a private guide since we are a family of 6 and it was more economical than a ship excursion.  I can highly recommend our tour guide if you would like let me know.  I am sure she would tailor to your time allotment.

 

I can say that Genoa was my favorite stop of the cruise.   Personally, I would not let this be your "short" stop.   We did all 3:  SM., Portofino, and old Genoa (which is very close to where our ship docked.)    I think on your own is doable, but with a local guide, they can really get you on the train, ferry quickly since they know the ropes, and schedules, etc.  There are express trains vs. trains that stop between Genoa and SM as an example - our guide exchanged tickets from one to the other to help save time and get a better time, etc.

 

You will not be able to walk along the coastal road between SM and Portofino.  It is gone in at least 2 places.   Our guide indicated they are hoping to have it repaired by Easter 2019, but I sensed that people are not optimistic on that date.   We saw the construction equipment (cranes) which have been located in the damaged areas so that means they have at least begun the work, that is good news.

 

If you have to decide between Genoa city and making the trek to SM and Portofino, I would do Portofino - although I recommend all 3 stops. 

 

Have fun..... 

 

 

 

Thanks for posting, CCJack - I really appreciate your input.  

 

It's especially helpful to talk with someone who has recently been.  I knew there were recent floods that had partially destroyed the road to Portofino, but I had not been able to figure out how much has been repaired in the last few months.  

 

How did you get to and from Portofino, then?  I would love to hear any and all details about your day, as much as you would like to share.  🙂

 

Yes, I would be very happy to get the name of your guide since you were so pleased with her.  We too are a huge fan of private guides for a variety of reasons.  We economize in lots of areas in our life, but don't mind splurging on a good private guide when traveling - especially to these places were are likely to visit only once (or twice max) in our life.  

 

Thanks again for posting!  I'm glad you had such a good trip.  Where else did you visit on your cruise, if I may ask?  I'm surprised Genoa was your favorite stop - that's great!  What made it your favorite?  🙂

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1 hour ago, Disneyfriend said:

 

Thanks for posting, CCJack - I really appreciate your input.  

 

It's especially helpful to talk with someone who has recently been.  I knew there were recent floods that had partially destroyed the road to Portofino, but I had not been able to figure out how much has been repaired in the last few months.  

 

How did you get to and from Portofino, then?  I would love to hear any and all details about your day, as much as you would like to share.  🙂

 

Yes, I would be very happy to get the name of your guide since you were so pleased with her.  We too are a huge fan of private guides for a variety of reasons.  We economize in lots of areas in our life, but don't mind splurging on a good private guide when traveling - especially to these places were are likely to visit only once (or twice max) in our life.  

 

Thanks again for posting!  I'm glad you had such a good trip.  Where else did you visit on your cruise, if I may ask?  I'm surprised Genoa was your favorite stop - that's great!  What made it your favorite?  🙂

sure,  can you send me a note my  address is 21jackj at geemail and I will reply

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1 hour ago, CCJack said:

sure,  can you send me a note my  address is 21jackj at geemail and I will reply

 

Thank you!  I just sent you an email.  🙂

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:07 AM, CCJack said:

We just got back from our MSC cruise last week (December 2018).  We booked a private guide since we are a family of 6 and it was more economical than a ship excursion.  I can highly recommend our tour guide if you would like let me know.  I am sure she would tailor to your time allotment.

 

I can say that Genoa was my favorite stop of the cruise.   Personally, I would not let this be your "short" stop.   We did all 3:  SM., Portofino, and old Genoa (which is very close to where our ship docked.)    I think on your own is doable, but with a local guide, they can really get you on the train, ferry quickly since they know the ropes, and schedules, etc.  There are express trains vs. trains that stop between Genoa and SM as an example - our guide exchanged tickets from one to the other to help save time and get a better time, etc.

 

You will not be able to walk along the coastal road between SM and Portofino.  It is gone in at least 2 places.   Our guide indicated they are hoping to have it repaired by Easter 2019, but I sensed that people are not optimistic on that date.   We saw the construction equipment (cranes) which have been located in the damaged areas so that means they have at least begun the work, that is good news.

 

If you have to decide between Genoa city and making the trek to SM and Portofino, I would do Portofino - although I recommend all 3 stops. 

 

Have fun..... 

 

 

Thanks for this informative post. Just sent you an email to get name of guide. Would love to hear any other tips you might have from these ports.

Tony

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On ‎1‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 10:07 AM, CCJack said:

We just got back from our MSC cruise last week (December 2018).  We booked a private guide since we are a family of 6 and it was more economical than a ship excursion.  I can highly recommend our tour guide if you would like let me know.  I am sure she would tailor to your time allotment.

 

I can say that Genoa was my favorite stop of the cruise.   Personally, I would not let this be your "short" stop.   We did all 3:  SM., Portofino, and old Genoa (which is very close to where our ship docked.)    I think on your own is doable, but with a local guide, they can really get you on the train, ferry quickly since they know the ropes, and schedules, etc.  There are express trains vs. trains that stop between Genoa and SM as an example - our guide exchanged tickets from one to the other to help save time and get a better time, etc.

 

You will not be able to walk along the coastal road between SM and Portofino.  It is gone in at least 2 places.   Our guide indicated they are hoping to have it repaired by Easter 2019, but I sensed that people are not optimistic on that date.   We saw the construction equipment (cranes) which have been located in the damaged areas so that means they have at least begun the work, that is good news.

 

If you have to decide between Genoa city and making the trek to SM and Portofino, I would do Portofino - although I recommend all 3 stops. 

 

Have fun..... 

 

 

 

By chance you are still following this thread, I am also interested in contacting your guide.  Let me know CCJack and will provide my contact info.

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We just returned from 3 week diy land trip around northern Italy, including Liguria.  Genoa was the only big disappointment of the trip.  We were only there for a night, as we didn't think it was worth more than that, but we want that night back.  Genoa is dirty, smelly and we often felt unsafe.  I don't know that I've ever said that about any place we've been, and we have lived in and traveled quite a bit of the world.  The prostitution and drug dealing right off of Via Garribaldi is unreal.  That is a UNESCO site!  The old town is largely boarded up buildings and wreaks of urine.  And no site there could hold a candle to the sites we had already seen during our vacation.  

 

I would suggest you avoid Genoa and enjoy a day in lovely Portofino and SM.  

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