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Santa Margherta Ligure, Rapallo, Portofino....

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Has anyone been to these towns on the Italian Riviera? I have been to Italy 8 times but not to this area. Is it very similar to the Amalfi Coast (which I LOVED)? I am thinking Santa Margherita is the best town to stay but would visit the others plus Camogli. Fly into Genoa.

I do not want a big sightseeing trip - just a nice hotel, a bit of beach/swimming, stroll and take pictures, poke about shops, sit at a café, take in the views.... But with the cost, the complexity of getting there, the anxiety about leaving my cat - I want my trips to really be wonderful (not that most of them were not wonderful; I dont' regret any of them).

Any experiences with the area or specific hotels? I am considering the Best Western Elena Regina which is 1/2 mile from the center of Santa, or the Imperial Palace if a friend goes and we can split the cost. I'm not a foodie but appreciate breakfast, good coffee, gelato, and pastry.

There is a $600 difference between flying from JFK and my home airport (Harrisburg, PA) so would probably take the train to NY and then LIRR and Airtrain to JFK.

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