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Cinque Terra as a day trip

This summer we are driving throughout Europe on a 75 day road trip. Basic agenda is to spend 3-7 days in a given area and fan out on day trips. Currently we are considering 2 days in Cinque Terra, but are unsure how practical it is with the car. Mar Mar web site says the parking cannot accommodate vans. Some options I see:

1) Switch our Renault Espace to a Renault Grand Scenic. Easier in town, but less comfortable for 75 days.
2) Stay outside of Cinque Terra and take a train in on 1 or two days. Where would be a convenient location to daytrip from? Perhaps Pisa or Florence.

Posted by
12154 posts

We parked our car in La Spezia during our three days in CT. I didn't like the parking lot by the station and it was packed. I ended up parking near the Naval base which was a little hike to the station but free and seemed safer. When we returned the car was fine.

Posted by
7 posts

Pisa and Florence are too far away to day trip and I would recommend staying in La Spezia and taking the Cinque Terra train which is very convenient. It stops at the five towns and there are local buses that will take you into the town proper for additional sightseeing if you do not want to walk between the towns. If you are a good walker, it is worthwhile to walk between the towns along the waters edge. The views are spectacular.

Posted by
1358 posts

We were traveling by train; so we spent a week in Vernazza; I wouldn't recommend staying outside CT.

The train is easy to ride between the 5 villages and you can't drive into most towns; so you have to park outside and walk into them. RR is convenient because the station is in the center of each town.

There is no convenient location to daytrip into CT because the trains are slow and stop at every village. Florence and Pisa are too far away.

I would plan to stay in Monterossa and park your car there and train to the others. The towns are about 5 minutes apart. But each one is different so you want to visit all of them.

Posted by
6898 posts

Larry, Not a good idea to take a car to the CT. With very limited exceptions (a few hotels have their own parking lots), tourist cars are not permitted in the CT. However, there are two parking lots - one above Riomaggiore and one above Monterosso. Reportedly, there is a 3rd on above Vernazza but it may be the Monterosso one. There is also a private and guarded parking lot at the beachfront in Monterosso. These lots are not that big. During the busy season, these lots fill up and they often close off the roads to these lots (says so at The closest place to leave your car is at two lots in Levanto (shown is RS' book) but these can fill up as well. Or, La Spezia. Brad from Gainesville, VA seems to have a great idea to park near the naval base (the La Spezia train station fills up also). It's a hike back to the train station, but...