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Since all the hotels in Cinque Terre seemed to be booked, and Pisa seems to be rather limited, we're thinking about staying in Lucca and taking the train to the Cinque Terre towns for the day. Is this realistic? Thanks!


Posted by
1890 posts

Lucca is about 1 hour 45 mins by train from Monterosso.
We took the train for the day to was pretty rushed for us...we had to get back by 6PM to go sea kayaking.

Going to the CT for "a day" is certainly not enough time to see all 5 towns, or really get a feel for the region.
You might be able to explore one or town...or if you plan, you could hike the 5 towns, have dinner and head back to Lucca. But in reality you cannot "do" the CT in one day.

Posted by
3313 posts

When are you going, Gina? There may be more suggestions for how to book a room in the CT unless you're planning on a really busy time. There are a lot of places without websites.

Lucca is great, but not a good base for multiple day trips to the CT. It takes several train connections. So, let us know when you want to be in the CT and I'll bet you get more help.

Posted by
304 posts

Summer weekends are always a problem in the CT. If possible, dont give up on the Cinque Terre. Did you try Riomaggiore in the CT? Everyone, including Rick, seem to only mention Vernazza, as the best place to stay. Vernazza is beautful, but for me my heart is in Riomaggiore. Check out the Rick Steves recommended Edi's Rooms.

Posted by
12172 posts

I'm also wondering when you are going. Not every room in CT is bookable by internet (or even phone).

First try different options Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, Michelin Green Guides for other lodging choices.

We got a room when we arrived without advance booking but we were shoulder season.

Posted by
1589 posts

Tourist visitation in Italy is down over 35% this year, so the rooms are available in any of the CT towns. As others have expressed, don't worry- rooms are available as long as you arrive by 10 am, are willing to climb steps and aren't too fussy!

Have a great trip!

Posted by
5687 posts

Have you checked the town of Levanto? It is not one of the Cinque Terre towns, but it is the next town up. You can catch the CT train from here.

Posted by
8 posts

I just booked a quad room in Levanto in July for 100 euro (Ospital del Mare) per night. It seems to be close to CT and has a larger beach. Only minutes by train to CT.
Try that perhaps?

Posted by
632 posts


We had a similar problem with booking a room in the CT in Sep 2007. Instead we stayed in two towns near the CT...2 nights in Santa Margherita Ligure (which is a great small city on its own merits, but is within walking distance of Porto Fino...) then two nights in Sestri Levante (at the Grand Hotel Villa Balbi...

We did an easy day trip to Vernazza (less than 30 minutes on the train)...but more importantly, we really enjoyed Sestri Levante itself...believe it or don't have to go to the CT to find a great small coastal town on the Italian Riviera.

Posted by
73 posts

We stayed in Cinque Terre last summer and also had a hard time finding a room. We did get lucky and found that il Pirate in Vernazza had rooms available just up the street from their restaurant. Lucca and his brother that own il Pirate are really very nice. If you look in RS book on Italy, you can get the info on il Pirate and contact them. The room was small but, quite affordable, its own bath and very clean.

Posted by
73 posts

You might also check out Camogli. We took a day trip by boat to check it out because it had been recommended by someone who lived in the area. Its a nice little city and hotels are less expensive then CT.

Posted by
1540 posts

I would also recommend Levanto. We walked to the Levanto train station, bought our train ticket and CT pass (you need a visitor pass to walk the CT) and it was about a 15 minute train ride to the south end of CT.
We then walked to the north end.
A wonderful day and a fabulous lunch in Vernazza.
Levanto is a small beach town with lots and lots of small hotels.

Posted by
267 posts

My Italy trip was in mid September of '08. We stayed in Lucca two nights and daytripped one day to Pisa and the Cinque Terre. It was certainly not enough time to really get to appreciate the C.T.! The trip to Pisa from Lucca was about 30 minutes; from Pisa to Riomaggiore was a good hour and a half. We finally got to the C.T. around 3:30 PM. We walked between Riomaggiore and Manarola, then took the train to Monterosso to go swimming at the beach there. Unfortunately, the sun was ducking behind a hill to our right (you are looking south as you look at the sea in Monterosso) and it was too cool to really go swimming.
I would advise staying a few nights in or near a Cinque Terre town and daytripping to Lucca and Pisa as there is so much more to see in the Cinque Terre than in either Lucca or Pisa.
Have a great trip!

Posted by
120 posts

I'm planning a trip to Cinque Terre in early May, and over the last 3 days have amassed close to 100 different rooming options in CT. Prices range anywhere from 45 Euros/night for a double with private bath to upwards of 200 Euros/night. Rooms are definitely available though. Send me a message if you would like me to forward some of my correspondences.