Cinque Terra from Lucca

Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 10:39 AM
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Cinque Terra from Lucca

OK, 2last questions for now: would it be possible/worth it to do a day trip to Cinque Terra if we were staying in the Lucca area and had a car? Are there beaches that are day-tripable?

You all are so amazingly helpful! I can't thank you enough! I promise to do an indepth report when I get back so I can pass on what I learn.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:03 AM
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Absolutely! Lucca is 2 hours away from the Cinque Terre. I have always taken a train to and from and it is very direct and easy to do. Driving into/out of and parking in the CT is difficult, so perhaps you might consider leaving your car in Lucca and taking a train too. The trains leave every hour and go through either Viareggio or La Spezia and then to the exact CT town you want. The Cinque Terre coastline resembles the Big Sur area of northern CA so rugged and rocky. Monterosso al mare (the northernmost of the 5 towns) is the only one with a beach, per se.

If you want a "true" beach (lots of sand to lay out on), I would recommend going to "Il Terrenia" the area between Pisa and Livorno. The local Italians go there and it is a beautiful beach area with miles of sand.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:22 AM
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Thank you Huitres! That is exactly the info I needed!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 11:49 AM
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If you drive as fast as I do, you can make it to Levanto (gateway to the Cinque Terre) in just over an hour from Lucca. Park at the train station in Levanto, buy the day pass and travel to any of the five towns. Perhaps go to Riomaggiore first (about ten or 15 minutes by train) and take the easy hike from there to Manarola. The Manarola to Corniglia hike isn't tough either, unless you go up the three million stairs into Corniglia.

If you just start on the hike from Manarola to Corniglia, look back at Manarola. Very cool views. Take the train to Vernazza for lunch. Hikes from there are pretty strenuous, but if you go five or ten minutes in either direction, the views back at Vernazza are spectacular.

If you start toward Monterosso you get an unbelieveable view of the little harbor. If you start off for Cornigli from there, you get the spectacular view of Vernazza jutting out toward the sea. It doesn't even look real.

Take the train to Monterosso. It's the only one of the towns that has any semblance of a beach. To me it is also the most touristy and my least favorite of the five.

Then hop on the train for Levanto (about two or three minutes. Levanto actually a cute town with a castle and a beach also. Good restaurants, too. Get in the car for the easy drive back to Lucca. Then drink lots of wine and enjoy the night. If you get a pretty early start, this would be a fun day.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 03:32 PM
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Tom youre confusing me!!! You mean La Spezia dont you???? not Levanto????

were leaving next week!!!

Karen
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Hi,
No, I think Tom ment Levanto. It is a wonderful town next to Montersso going towards Genoa. It is about 15 minutes off the highway that you will travel on coming from Lucca. You can keep going and drive to Monterosso, which is another 15 minutes. There is a parking lot as you enter town. Levanto has a wonderful beach and restaurants. I have spent 2 vacations in this great little town. Monterosso also has a beach. This is doable from Lucca, but a long day. Have a fabulous time.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:39 PM
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Thanks Maitaitom!
I was checking out how we would do the Lucca to CT day trip and you have given us great directions.

Somewhere I read that the hike from Levanto south to Monterosso was more scenic and enjoyable. It was under a canopy of pine trees and through oak groves and olive tree farms. It sounded nice because we will be there in early July when it could be real hot. Have you done this?
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 04:39 PM
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We did the Cinque Terra in a day this March. But from Florence. Took a direct train to La Spezia in 2 hours, got the CT card at the station, and jumped on a train. Went to the end -- Monterossa. Then backtracked. We trained to each spot except the last where we walked (EASY) between Manarola and Riomaggorie. Had a wonderful lunch at Ristorante Marina Piccola on the cliff looking out to sea at the end of the street at Manarola. The day was warm-- unusual for the month -- and we were back in Florence by 6. We knew we would come back some day to do some of the hikes. Enjoy.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2004, 09:25 PM
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I think the Levanto - Monterosso hike might take too long for your day trip, but I am not sure. The other two hikes I mentioned are easy and scenic.

And yes Karen, I did mean Levanto. You might remember in my trip report I actually caught a train that did not stop in Vernazza like I had planned and we ended up in La Spezia by accident . Also Karen, how 'bout my Padres!

By the way Bride 2004, be sure to get the schedule at the Levanto station and read more carefully than I which trains stop at all the Cinque Terre cities. Every once in a while, you'll get one that skips a couple of towns. Have a great time.
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 01:16 PM
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Topping this with a twist:

We will be staying in San Gim and have an extra night before heading to Florence. We've left it open because this will be in February and, depending on weather, we'd like to do one night in Cinque Terre.

Would this be reasonable? Leave San Gim 8:30 a.m. Arrive in Monterosso around 11. Hike around the towns, assuming it gets dark by 5:30. Spend the night, drive to Florence the next day.

Do you recommend parking in Monterosso?
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Old Jul 22nd, 2004, 02:49 PM
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well we went and drove to Roma....what the heck is the name? The first one going the toher way.. easy drive in,and parking in a parking garage. You have a long day ahead of you,but we did get there around 11 and hiked,and lunched through to Vernazza. Didnt get to Monterrossa..Anyway not sure if there was someplace you really wanted to stay but going to Mont. would be going the furthest north.
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