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Mia from Irvine asked

Driving in Cinque Terre

Hi- I will be driving by car from Monaco to Cinque Terre in late August. I’ve read that cars are not allowed in any of the villages there. What is your suggestion to park the car whilst traveling and staying in the Cinque Terre? Where would one park the car while there. The hotel we are staying at has no car parking available. Thank you in advance for any advice.

Cinque Terre (Italy)

1 Answer
answered first by
Mary from Leicester
You are right that no visitor cars are allowed in the five Cinque Terre villages of RiomaggioreManarolaCornigliaMonterosso al Mare and Vernazza.
There are small paid parking areas outside each village, listed and detailed on this site (note that things can and do change so information on non-official sites may not be 100% accurate):
You're visiting at the height of the high season so the chance of finding a space in any of those car parks is imo miniscule to none. Every visitor who is staying ..or just visiting for the day...with a car will be looking for a space.  
A much better option, imo, is to use the train to access the CT villages and leave the car at La Spezia train station car park or in Levanto which has two large car parks. Leave the car when you first arrive and don't use it again until you leave: use the train to explore the villages. There are frequent train services between both places, all the CT villages and to places further to the north and south (e.g. Sestri LevanteRapalloPisa) . Italian trains are perfectly safe and comfortable enough. Use the official Italian railway website in English linked below for train times, details and fares. There's no advantage in buying tickets in advance online for the ordinary Regionale trains you'll mostly be using: just buy them at the station on the day of travel.
All those car parks require payment. Don't assume that all ticket machines will accept card payment and always have sufficient cash to hand (notes and coins).
If you are driving a rented car do be aware that any parking (e.g. invalid ticket, parking where it's not allowed) or traffic fines (e.g. entering a ZTL, being caught by an automated speed camera) will be taken from your card even if you live outside Italy, often with additional admin charges and sometimes several weeks/months after the offence.

Comments (2)

Thank you so much. Very helpful. What town did you stay in? I have booked two nights in Vernazza. Is that sufficient time? We are traveling from Nice. Thanks

I was based in Pisa (October) and made daytrips by train to La Spezia and the CT villages. It's entirely possible to visit all 5 villages in one day by train but remember that in August it will be hot and all the villages very busy with tourists, both of which may slow down your explorations.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Riomaggiore (city)
  2. Manarola (city)
  3. Corniglia (city)
  4. Monterosso al Mare (city)
  5. Vernazza (city)
  6. La Spezia (city)
  7. Levanto (city)
  8. Sestri Levante (city)
  9. Rapallo (city)
  10. Pisa (city)
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