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suetibu Jul 7th, 2014 10:21 AM

Day trip to Cinque Terre (on way from Milan to Montaione,FL)
Hi, We will be driving down from Milan (plan to leave Milan ~ 11 AM) to Montaione, Fl on a Sat. We would like to visit 1 town in the cinque terre by parking car, and taking train.

I understand there are several places I could do this but would like opinions on the easiest - we will have 4 adults + 1 toddler so ease is very important.


Jean Jul 7th, 2014 12:17 PM

Have you checked the driving time? Milan to, say, Riomaggiore, is at least 3 hours, plus time to get from the parking area to the town (and return). Close to 4 hours altogether. Then, it's 2.5-3 hours to Montaione.

(I don't know what the chances are that the Riomaggiore parking lot will be full around the time you arrive. Perhaps someone else can comment on that aspect of the logistics.)

If you don't leave Milan until 11:00a, spend only an hour in Riomaggiore and don't visit any of the other CT towns, you still won't arrive Montaione until about 7:00p. If you stop for lunch before Riomaggiore, it could be 8:00p or later before you reach Montaione.

I would either leave Milan much earlier or skip the CT.

Jean Jul 7th, 2014 12:18 PM

Info on parking for the CT towns:

sandralist Jul 7th, 2014 12:46 PM

If you are going to attempt this on a Saturday when the weather is nice, you might do best to go to La Spezia and look for parking near the train station.

If you are going in summer, you will encounter holiday traffic and filled up parking lots, which could add considerable time to the overall journey and delay your arrival in Tuscany.

If you are not going in summer, you will have shorter daylight hours, and if you aren't leaving Milan until 11 am, you could end up trying to find your Tuscan accommodation in the dark, which can be difficult.

Jean Jul 7th, 2014 12:59 PM

I believe the OP's trip is this month. Sunset will be at about 9:00p.

suetibu Jul 7th, 2014 01:02 PM

Hi, Yes, we are going at the end of this month. We are in no hurry to get to our destination :) BUT want this to be a comfortable trip so will not push it IF we are running late etc..

bobthenavigator Jul 7th, 2014 02:17 PM

Drive to Portovenere, and enjoy the most charming of all the villages on that coast---you can thank me later.

sandralist Jul 7th, 2014 02:25 PM

or curse him if you try to get in there on a summer saturday with a car.

suetibu Jul 7th, 2014 05:34 PM

Is the road from the autostrada to La Spezia/Levanto also narrow and winding? i.e. even getting off the highway to get to train station?

suetibu Jul 7th, 2014 05:46 PM

Would Genoa be an easier alternative? i.e. on way, park car, explore?

Jean Jul 7th, 2014 07:13 PM

Does the stop have to be on the coast?

jamikins Jul 7th, 2014 09:54 PM

Given the length of the drive to your Tuscany location and the fact that you have a toddler with you I would skip the coast this trip and just get to my rental. To us the time / effort to fight summer traffic for a few hours on the coast wouldn't be worth it. But of course that is just us.

sandralist Jul 8th, 2014 12:05 AM

>>Is the road from the autostrada to La Spezia/Levanto also narrow and winding? i.e. even getting off the highway to get to train station?>>

From the autostrada to the train station in La Spezia it is not. In Levanto, yes.

>>Would Genoa be an easier alternative? i.e. on way, park car, explore?<<

No, because heading to the southern end of the Riviera Levante is the shortest route to the Mediterranean. Also, Genova is a busy city with a lot of confusion driving in and out. Your toddler is too young to care about the pricey acquarium there, and in a short visit, you will not easily locate the historic sights of interest. (Nor is the seaside port pretty.) Heading down the coastal autostrada from Genoa to Tuscany on a Saturday in July, you could be slowed repeatedly by traffic bottlenecks.

sandralist Jul 8th, 2014 12:10 AM

suetibu Jul 8th, 2014 05:24 AM

Hmm, this is not as easy as I thought..

1) Is parking in La Spezia very hard to get? Had our heart set on seeing Cinque Terre :(
2) Is there another alternative on the way down? We are heading to Montaione for a conf (will be there for 3 days) so not in a rush to get down there so would like to not waste the entire day..We would have spent a previous couple days in Milan.


rogandgee Jul 8th, 2014 05:47 AM

My wife and have just returned from the Cinque Terre. What I suggest is this. Stay in La Spezia as we did. Take the train to Monterosso and the ferry back. First find out where the particular ferry stops since they do not all stop at every village. We had lunch at Vernazza but I must tell you that while that village enticed us to go, it was actually Riomaggiore that captured us once we got there. It may be different for you but that was our recent experience.
I agree with another commentator on Puertovenere. Definitely stop there before returning to la Spezia which would be the next stop.
You can check out my blog on the Cinque Terre by going to
I hope that this helps.

Jean Jul 8th, 2014 06:44 AM

Why can't you leave Milan earlier?? If you have your heart set on seeing part of the CT, why would it be "wasting as entire day" to give yourself enough time?

Where are you going after Montaione?

suetibu Jul 9th, 2014 08:40 AM

Thank you rogandgee.

Jean- There is a possibility of leaving earlier - if that makes things easier.. We are going to Siena for 3 days and then lake como for 7 days.

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