Day trip: Siena - Cinque Terre???

Oct 25th, 2004, 03:54 AM
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Day trip: Siena - Cinque Terre???

We will be in Siena for 3 days in April. While we would like to stay in CT for a day or two, it really messes up or week-in-Tuscany itinerary.

Would a day-trip from Siena to CT be satisfactory? We'll have a car and are early risers. We could leave Siena by 8AM, spend several hours in CT, head back to Siena around 6PM.

What do you think? If we do this, would you recommend concentrating on just one town in CT? What about the boat rides where you get the full view of all the towns? How long do those rides take? Thanks for any input...Fodors is a treasure when it comes to questions like this.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 06:46 AM
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Hi Jeanne,

It can be done. It's about 2 1/2 hr by car.

See or
for driving directions.
ira is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 10:22 AM
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The other option would be to do the Cinque Terre day trip on the day we leave Siena. We'll be headed to Florence that night.

We could turn in the rental car at La Spezia and take the night train to Florence, but I don't know what we'd do with the luggage while we're in CT.

Even if we keep the car and drive on to Florence, at least it would be a shorter trip than driving all the way back to Siena.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 25th, 2004, 10:31 AM
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The boat trip i wonderful. In April, I think the price is about 15 euros..goes up to 18 in high season. You get off and on as much as you like in one direction. So start at Monterosso...or even Potovenere(easy parking if you arrive early) You could top for lunch at one of the villages. It would be difficult to fit in any hiking on one day..but you could fit in the Via Del Amore(I know I did not spell it correctly!) is flat and i right along the ocean. If you end up at the end of the day at could eat there. Medusa and Tre Torre are great.
Mincepie is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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Thanks for all your useful info.

We're leaning toward this plan:

--Check out of Siena hotel early A.M. and drive to CT.

--Turn in car in La Spezia. (**Hoping car rental office will allow us to leave bags there while we're in CT.)

--Local train to Riomaggiore, pick up boat trip. Hop on/off boat thru Monterosso, taking train back to La Spezia in late afternoon. P/up luggage.

--Catch 8pm express train to Florence.

That puts us very late in Florence (10pm), but looks like the best way to work a good CT visit into the trip.

Do you see any problems or inefficiencies we haven't considered?
**If the rental office won't store our luggage, we still have the option of parking the car for the day and turn it in that evening. In that case, where would be the best place to drive and park from La Spezia?
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 05:43 AM
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Will the rental car location be open late?
Except for the baggage question, your plan is doable.
I,however, feel that you should save CT for another trip.
jabez is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 06:04 AM
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my opinion is that the only real reason to visit CT is to do the walk between all 5 villages. it is not practical to do this on a day trip as it requires a full day to do it at the leisurely pace it deserves.

I know this differs from the opinions of others but i don't consider CT a must. I had a very enjoyable walk and it is lovely but i would not bust my ___ to get there just for a few hour stay.
walkinaround is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for adding that to the considerations. One nice thing about a "day trip" is it can be cancelled rather easily. Maybe we'll just wing it once we're in Tuscany. If the weather is nice we may feel like driving over there one day. I like flexible plans anyway.

[Yes, the rental car office is open until 7pm., so that works.]
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 04:44 PM
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I just posted a trip report on our stay in Florence and Portovenere. We were staying in Portovenere which was beautiful, but unfortunatly, the seas were too rough to for the water taxies to run to Cinque Terre, which was not that uncommon according to our hotel. We had to take the bus back to La Spezia to catch the train to Riomaggorie and start the hike from there. To take a taxi from Portovenere to La Spezia is around 35 euros. If you take the bus, it's a bit of a walk from the closest bus stop to the train station in La Spezia. We were fortunate enought to meet up with some German fellows who spoke English and Italian and helped us along the way. It is really easy to catch the train between La Spezia and the Cinque Terre towns.
Vernazza was my favorite, Monterosso, my least favorite. Too big and touristy. We liked the hike from Riomaggiore to Vernazza (as I said in my report, we ran out of steam by then)and I think you can definitely do it in one day with lunch and wine in Vernazza. We took the train from La Spezia to Florence (have to change trains in Pisa), but I would think a day trip from Sienna to Cinque Terre then to Florence would work if you started eary enough in the morning
JanetB is offline  
Oct 27th, 2004, 05:01 PM
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I would think a day trip from Sienna to Cinque Terre then to Florence would work if you started eary enough in the morning

we should keep in mind that this trip is meant to be for pleasure. even if you took no wrong turns and knew exactly where you were going and parking (a big IF), this would be one killer of a day.

i would not even attempt this if you had a lot of experience driving in this area. otherwise, i suspect you have no idea how brutal this will be and are simply looking at the distances on the map.
walkinaround is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 02:48 AM
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I'm beginning to think you're right.

We will be in the heart of Tuscany. It'll be the first week of May by then, should be a lovely time of year. I suspect we will be tempted to spend that day slowly working our way through the Chianti region on the way to Florence.
JeanneB is offline  
Oct 28th, 2004, 10:40 AM
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Skip 5 terre. Tuscany is so fabulous, and 1 day with no overnight in Cinque Terre is a waste.
We drove from San Gimignano to Pisa (turned in car) and trained into 5 Terr and got there early afternoon. I cna't imagine doing it in a day!
eroz is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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We spent two nights in CT and I would consider that a minimum. A day trip just wouldn't do it justice. Even if you're not up for the more strenuous hikes the easy ones are worth doing and a big part of the CT experience IMHO.
HJohn is offline  
Oct 29th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Sure you can do it as a day trip but it would be a long one. I'd depart earlier than 8. Yes pick one town to visit and you'd have time to do a partial hike to some neighboring town(s). Go to Manarola...that gives you a choice. You probably won't have time for a boat tour. Get your backpacks and just get out and'll have fun. Enjoy the trip.
Traveler863 is offline  

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