a VirtualTourist member from Loganville
I am traveling to the Cinque Terre region in Italy next month. Looking for best driving route. Will either be coming up from Rome or Florence. Also looking for best spots to photograph in this area.
Definitely shortest route is from Florence' Stop at Lucca on the way- lovely historical town. This is the map that we used for driving in Italy. A GPS will also be a huge help
Lynn has covered the driving piece but for photography, it's all "best spots!" Seriously. Just wander around and you'll fill your memory cards in no time!
I will mention that the million or so iconic shots of Vernazza have been take from a high point on the #2 trail (Sentiero Azzurro - requires a park pass to hike) between Monterosso and Vernazza. That trail, unfortunately, is completely closed between all of the villages right now but hopefully that piece - along with a few others - will be open again by high season. The path that leads off the right of its marina (as you're facing the sea) will snag you a wonderful shot of Manarola. In Riomaggiore, there's a nice spot from a walkway to the left of the marina.
But in general some of the better places in all of them, IMHO, are from the upper reaches, where churches and cemeterys tend to be located, or on the high trails so wear comforable shoes and be prepared to do some climbing. The narrow back streets will provide other nice details for your lens so again, give youself some ramble time. A caution there? The villages are VERY busy during shoulder/peak season so plan on getting out very early in the morning for shots without a mob of tourists in them. Dusk also provides good opportunites for shots of the villages (same places as mentioned above) as their lights are turned on.
Great answer . . . all views are great views. We drove up from La Spezia and parked at the first parking garage we came to. Then we walked down to the train station and bought a couple day passes to the national park / train. We walked one way and took the train back although one section of trail was closed because of a landslide so we took the train around that. The day pass is definitely worth it.
BTW, there is free wifi at the train stations. Handy sometimes.
www.viamichelin.com is a reliable routefinder....worth checking is out nearer the time of your visit to check road conditions.
I agree absolutely with the advice to park in La Spezia and use the train to visit the villages. There are numerous trains throughout the day, fares are very reasonable indeed and...quite frankly,...parking in the CT villages can be a total nightmare at any time of year. They were not built for cars, only residents can take vehicles into the settlements and the landscape is not conducive to large parking lots outside the villages. Some parking info here:
Train times, details and fares in English on the official Italian railway website:
We were staying near La Spezia and drove to Riomaggiore where we parked in a large pay parking lot. It's watched so you don't have to worry about your car.
Thanks for all your answers. Are there some trails open for hiking from town to town?
The high trails are open right now but the #2 Blue Trail- the most popular one - is not. You can see a map and descriptions of the trails here:
Note what the colored dots mean: there's a legend at the bottom of the page. Clicking on the name of each trail will bring up a short description. As the trails are prone to washouts and rock falls after heavy rain, any of them can close at any time.
Sale of the park passes needed to access the #2 have been suspended until it's open again. I would check with park offices (at any of the train stations in the 5 villages) for most current info when you get there but I don't believe you'd need a pass for the other trails anyway.
thanks we are off today to Italy!