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Looking for a room in Cinque De Terre

My husband and I are taking 3 weeks in Rome, Florence and Tuscany and have 3-4 days before we fly out of Rome .We will have a rental car and were thinking of driving to Cinque De Terre area and staying 3 nights before flying out. Do we need to book ahead for Sept 29-Oct 1 or could we take a chance on finding a room? What is the best City to hike to and from and the easiest to get rooms in? We are avid hikers and seasoned travlers who don't mind a few steps to a hotel room with a view as we would really like a sea view or balcony. Also is it best to park the rental car and take the train? What city has good parking?

Posted by
32224 posts

Kathi,

As you'll be travelling by car, I'd recommend either Monterosso al Mare or Riomaggiore, due to parking availability. Parking won't be a problem in Monterosso (it's the largest town of the five), and I believe there's a car park at the top of town in Riomaggiore.

Locating in either the most northerly or most southerly town is also a bit more convenient for hiking the trails. As you're avid hikers, you shouldn't have any trouble completing the hike in one day (it took me two, as I was having some "foot problems"). At the end of the hike, just jump on the local train for the ride back to your "home base".

I'd also recommend pre-booking accomodations, as that part of Italy can be busy in the "shoulder season". Check Rick's Italy 2007 guidebook for lodging choices.

Happy travels!

Posted by
6898 posts

People traveling by car to the CT towns should always be cautioned on the limited parking. Tourist cars are mostly prohibited in the five towns but both Monterosso and Riomaggiore have pay lots. They are usually quite full in the high season. You might check with www.cinqueterreonline.com. Click of "Travel Tips" and scroll down to "parking". You might email to check on conditions. You may be alright in late September. As for hiking, there are four trails between the towns along the water. The first two walks north from Riomaggiore to the Corniglia train station are really "walks" - they are not hikes. The trail between Corniglia and Vernazza begins higher up in the town and takes 90-120 mins. This is more of a hike. The last trail between Vernazza to Monterosso is more challenging. Higher up beyond the towns, there are more trails up to the tops of the hills. When you arrive in the CT, get a CT map. All the trails are shown.

Posted by
3580 posts

It's harder to find lodging on weekends. If you can arrive early in the day, finding a room may not be too difficult. It's probably a good idea to reserve in advance. The subject of parking has been covered quite a lot on this Graffiti Wall--Monterosso has a large public parking lot in town. Some people park in Levanto and take the train south to the CT towns. I like to stay in Monterosso. Vernazza may be more your style. From Vernazza hiking either north or south to the next town is a challenge. Not for the faint hearted.

Posted by
555 posts

Kathi

Looks like you'll be getting there as we are leaving. I've tried for weeks to find accommodations in Vernazza without success, mainly because I was looking for Rick's "back door". In the end we're going to get a "hotel" hotel in Monterosso and explore from there. They seem to have a better selection of properties there and rooms are available, although pricy, and we're leaving from Monterosso to catch the overnight train to Paris. Good Luck, and if you find something and they have rooms on the 27th and 28th, please let me know.

Jim

Posted by
711 posts

Kathi... We did something like you are doing only in May of this year. We flew into Venice for a while, rented a car, drove thru Tuscany and Umbria while staying at a castle, but then we dropped off our car in La Spezia, and took the train to Vernazza. We stayed there for 7 days and photographed all the villages.Then we took the train to Pisa and flew home Pisa to Rome and Rome to Cincinnati. We really liked Vernazza and Riomaggiore. It is difficult to find rooms in all the villages. We booked 10 months in advance.We liked Tonino Basso's rooms at the top of the town. He only has 4 rooms , bit they are nice. Air-conditioned and a computer in each room for you to use to email. Jane

Posted by
4 posts

Hi, We are not flying out till 2 days after the last day at Cinque De Terre. We will probably spend a night further down the coast nearly to Rome and another night right in Rome by the bus station before we fly out. Any suggestions?

Posted by
4 posts

Hi, We are not flying out till 2 days after the last day at Cinque De Terre. We will probably spend a night further down the coast nearly to Rome and another night right in Rome by the bus station before we fly out. Any suggestions?

Posted by
16 posts

Kathi -

I just returned from 3 days in Cinque Terre and thus far it's the highlight of my trip - been here for 3 weeks, two more to go. Absolutely well worth the time to get there. Vernazza is simply the best of the towns. I hiked to all, manageable and if you're avid hikers, no problems at all. Try Annamaria Meregoni - I rented a room from her in Vernazza. It was wonderful and the most comfortable bed I slept on it all of Italy. She speaks wonderful English and her rates can't be beat. [email protected] You can hike to all from Vernazza. It's smaller but with the most character. No views from her rooms, but a two min walk to the harbor and she is right on a lovely stream. The rooms with views can get quiet loud into the evening - and the harbor is magical in the evening and plenty of room to be outside and enjoy. Happy to answer any questions.

Best of luck -
Laurita

Posted by
5 posts

Kathy,
I have recently booked a room in Vernazza. I started by checking the web-sites in Rick Steeves Italy guide, or on his web-site. Each time someone would tell me they had no rooms they would suggest I contact their friends and send links or phone numbers. Or you could ask them to recommend somewhere. It took a while but I did find a place.

Good luck!

Posted by
21 posts

My wife and I just spent 3 nights in the CT 2 weeks ago...it was great...we stayed in Monterosso which is probably the best for car parking and hotel choices...if you're looking for a hotel, I'd recommend a couple Rick Steves' suggestions, the Hotel Pasquale with an seaside location or the Hotel Villa Steno with a higher up location but with seaviews, just chewck their websites and email a request...we stayed at the Hotel Pasquale and were very happy with everything, especially the beachfront location right in the heart of everything in the old part of the city...as for hiking, the train is very easy to take to any of the other cities and it is only about 15 minutes from Monterosso to Riomaggiore, where you can catch most all of the hiking trails...the hikes vary in length and skill level required...please don't miss the CT...it is truly a special place to visit...