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Driving to Cinque Terre........

Chicago, Illinois
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15 posts
6 reviews
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Driving to Cinque Terre........

We are five adults and two....bambini's....4 and 1 years old traveling in two cars. We will be staying in Lucca and taking day trips to places in the region.

One place we really want to see is Cinque Terre. I've seen confusing information in the forum about driving to CT. Some say drive to La Spezia and take the train from there. Others say avoid the place. One said drive to Lavanto and park there. Where is the best place to drive to and park to see the rest of CT?

Also, we would like to go by boat for some of our tour just to see the coast line and view from the water. Is this a good idea? Any idea of cost and is it best to book ahead of time?

You people are so knowledgable and helpful. Thank you ahead of time for your suggestions.

Mentioned in this post
Lucca
Lucca
Province of Lucca, Italy
Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre
Italian Riviera, Italy
La Spezia
La Spezia
Province of La Spezia, Italy
Rome
Level Contributor
121 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: Driving to Cinque Terre........

Personally I would advise you to drive to La Spezia, park the car as near to the station as possible, and then take any of the trains (local trains) that leave from there to CT and beyond (Levanto, Sestri Levante, etc.). CT were not meant for cars, and the train is a good option. As you maybe already know, CT are five small hamlets: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso - in this order starting from La Spezia westwards. You may stop at any of them (local trains stop at all stations); if you have time, there are beautiful trekking routes leading e.g. from Corniglia to Vernazza, they are really worthwhile. And the train is fun, especially for kids. All stations are inside tunnels (or mostly inside tunnels), which was always a thrill to me when I was a kid. Then you have to climb stairs to get up to the village, and this can also be fun. I like Vernazza best, personally.

Sorry I cannot help you with your idea of touring by boat. La Spezia is a fairly large harbour with lots of ships, and navy ones too. All the CT have small (tiny) harbours, except for Corniglia which is perched high on a cliff. I think you had better book ahead just to be on the safe side. Maybe some of the other contributors to this forum can help.

Mentioned in this post
La Spezia
La Spezia
Province of La Spezia, Italy
Levanto
Levanto
Italian Riviera, Italy
Sestri Levante
Sestri Levante
Italian Riviera, Italy
Manarola
Manarola
Cinque Terre, Italy
Corniglia
Corniglia
Cinque Terre, Italy
Vernazza
Vernazza
3,056 Reviews
Vernazza, Italy
Michigan
Level Contributor
43 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Driving to Cinque Terre........

We drove to Riomaggiore 2 weeks ago. The drive up from La Spezia is absolutely stunning! It will forever remain in our memories. Somehow, we missed the main road and took another one maybe 350 meters down the road (we were being directed by a portable GPS system) and the winding drive up to Riomaggiore is beautiful beyond description. We parked in Riomaggiore and then navigated by foot from there (no trains that day, another rail strike day). We only had a few hours and would definitely have liked more time. The boat tour would give a totally different perspective to this fabulous area.

Mentioned in this post
Riomaggiore
Riomaggiore
Cinque Terre, Italy
La Spezia
La Spezia
Province of La Spezia, Italy
3. Re: Driving to Cinque Terre........

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