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Cinque Terre, Italy

We drove to Manarola. It was not the best choice! We should have follwed Rick's advice. but then again the trains were not running regularly. It is a very steep and winding drive. When you arrive in Manarola you drive up to a gate. You must leave your,luggage and park. In our case the gatekeeper got into the car with us and drove us a short distance to a piazza where he left me and the luggage. My husband drove back to the gate and up the mountain to park where the parking was free. The rental car had a standard shift. My husband is an excellent and fearless driver thankfully. Our room was on the third floor of a private home. It was a steep climb up and down the stairs. Although the room was clean and the owners very sweet, it was a long walk up and down to get meals. In fact everything in Manarola is a steep climb up and down. The views were spectacular! However, the coastal trails were closed. This was not what we had read in our preparations. The mudslide damage had not been repaired. The trails that were open were the more steep and difficult ones. The walk (Via Del' Amore) between Manarola and Riomaggiore was open but 2 weeks prior some Australian women were hurt there by a rockslide and it had been closed! The trains between the towns were on strike while we were there. Italian trains go on strike for several hours or more in a random pattern. There were many many tourists, mostly Americans. We felt the place had been oversold.
If you have bad knees or fear of heights, be forewarned. And check on what's working before you go.

Posted by
8510 posts

Susan,
It sounds like these days were wasted for you except for the nice views. How long were you committed to staying in Manarola? What do you think you would have done differently. Thank you very much for a very realistic post that will certainly help others.

Posted by
3 posts

We were only staying two nights. If I were to do it again I would stay around La Spezia and take a bus or train into Riomaggiore. Then I would walk the Via del'Amore if it was in good condition and take the train, boat or maybe walk from town to town. I would certainly check multiple sources on conditions in the Cinque Terre and verify my information just before traveling there. The trains are just a crap shoot. Hey, it's Italy.
The food was good, but you have to work really hard to eat badly anywhere in Italy.

Posted by
3 posts

PS No day in Italy is a total waste! We enjoyed the experience-- it was certainly different and addsdrama to our stories!

Posted by
501 posts

I had discussed RSteves opinion about driving to CT, but my Son-in-law did so anyway. Looking back I'm glad we did, just for the experience. We could have taken the train, but it all turned out nicely. My take-away, I wouldn't be afraid to drive it myself in the future. Was there a particular reason you chose Manarola?