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Help needed on best location to drop off rental car near Cinque Terra.

Help needed on best location to drop off rental car near Cinque Terra.

Jan 8th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #1  
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Help needed on best location to drop off rental car near Cinque Terra.

Hello everyone,
Looking for some help on the best location to drop off our rental car. We will be driving from Siena and will be staying four nights in Monterosso al mare. This is our third trip to Italy, but our first visit to the Cinque Terra. Would it be better to drop off the car in Siena and take at train to Monterosso la mare. All suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you, Louie.
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Jan 8th, 2008, 09:39 AM
  #2  
 
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I faced the same options in '06. We dropped our car off at La Spezia, and then took a taxi to the train station. The rental office was difficult to find - allocate extra time to drive around & search for the office.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 8th, 2008, 09:54 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Stu,
I was thinking about La Spezia as a drop off point. Do you catch a smaller train that takes you to the 5 towns along the Cinque Terra. And, do you know how long of a ride is it from La Spezia to Monterosso la mare?
Thanks, Louie.
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Jan 8th, 2008, 10:00 AM
  #4  
 
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We buzzed by all the Cinque Terra towns on the way to Nice. It's a short trip. There are frequent trains - check

http://www.reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/en

Dates are in DD/MM/YY format - and schedules for summer may not be loaded yet - pick an April date if not.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 8th, 2008, 10:09 AM
  #5  
 
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Perhaps unrelated question, sorry:
What is the best way for someone to see Cinque Terre withOUT hiking the paths, or facing loads of steps.
How far into the towns can one drive, or are cars prohibited.?
OR: is it better to go by water?
If the trains go to each town, is there a LOT of walking to most hotels?...
Mainly interested in car situation, which we usually rely on., but this question of turning in the car at La Spezia has triggered my thoughts.' We've traveled in FRance and ITaly a lot, but never to this area.....and am wondering if we are too "old" for Cinque Terra.
We're fit?, just don't do a lot of steps,,,but "could"!
We thought it might make a nice "drive" up from Provence and the coast of France over to Cinque Terre. I can do research on the driving situation once one gets to CT, but it's always nice to have tips from people who have experienced this personally.
Thanks
mari5 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 10:18 AM
  #6  
 
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The drive from the Riveria into Italy is horrible - I avoid it if I can. There are about 50 tunnels (seems like 100) that you must go through. There are also good opportunities to make a wrong turn & find yourself on the surface streets of Genoa.

Trains go to all the towns on the Cinqa Terra. On one town, however, there are very steep steps from the train station to the town. The walk from the southern most town is paved and flat. I think most of the other paths are dirt - but I don't recall any stairs except from the train station/path to the one town I mentioned (sorry - can't remember which town - one of the middle ones & not the one next to Monterosso).

Stu Dudley
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Jan 8th, 2008, 10:48 AM
  #7  
 
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IMHO the easiest way to see the 5 towns is by parking someplace like
Levanto and just hopping on the local train(s) - getting off and on
at each town. Lots of scheduled
trains and not all that many steps.
Easy-peasy.
llamalady is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 10:50 AM
  #8  
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Stu,
What would your recommendation be for train transportation from Monterosso al mare to Venice. Do we take the small train to another city and then catch the Euro train to Venice? Thanks, Louie.
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Jan 8th, 2008, 11:23 AM
  #9  
 
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We've never tried that route. Use the site I posted to find the options.

Stu Dudley
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Jan 8th, 2008, 05:16 PM
  #10  
 
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Rescue,

As for hiking between the Cinque Terre towns, we did 4 out of 5 starting from Riomaggiore to Vernazza.

Riomaggiore to Manarolo (I think I'm butchering that, can't remember the spelling) is paved, easy and short.

Manrolo to Corniglia is unpaved, a little rough, and has hundreds of stairs at the end. You can wimp out and take the little local shuttle bus that goes from their train station up to town.

Corniglia (had a memorable lunch here) to Vernazza is much longer and has some more "real" hiking up and down through olive groves and around cliffs. Lovely wildflowers! Lots of stairs down into Vernazza.

That's where we pooped out - too hot and humid, didn't start early enough - had a gellato and trained back to SML. Boats were not running that day between Vernazza and SML.
Dayle is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 05:18 PM
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Re; the connecting train. I would think you would take the local train that stops at all 5 towns and go to Pisa to take an ES to Venice.
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Jan 9th, 2008, 07:38 AM
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There are 3 ways to get into Cique Terre. Via train from La Spezia which is a 15 minute trip. Via ferry from Lerici or Portovenere. Via auto. The quickest simplest is the train. The ferry ride is beautiful and it's easiest to leave from Lerici. You can drive into all of the villages. It took us about 30 minutes from La Spezia to Vernazza. The road is narrow and high on the hill then drops down to each village. When you drop down it is very very narrow. There is limited parking and it's controlled by a parking guy (thats in Vernazza, we always stay there because it so quaint and beautiful) There is a van that takes you down to the town, so not a lot of walking but these are hill towns to there are some steps.

We've driven in a couple of times, taken the train in a bunch and the ferry once. Last year we drove to Lerici to catch the ferry only to find that the seas were to rough so the ferry was not running. No problem !! We'll drive to La Spezia and catch the train.... trains were on strike that day. So we drove in and it was fun and pretty easy.

Rescue, If you are done with the car and will be on trains after cinque Terre then I would suggest that you drop the car in Pisa. It is very convient to take the train from Pisa to La Spezia and then into the villages. It takes about 1 hour to drive from Siena to Pisa....then an hour train from pisa to la spezia and to the villages 15 minutes or so. Go to this site and you'll see the train schedule coming out: http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html To get from Monterosso to Venice via train it's almost equal to go back to Florence then up or go the other direction.

If you want to keep the car, drive into Lerici where you will find a very large SAFE parking lot (it is not safe to overnight park in La Spezia) then take the ferry to Portovenere then change to the CT ferry. Reverse coming out and drive up to Venice. It will be a 4 hour car trip thru some very beautiful country.








jnjfraz is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 07:44 AM
  #13  
 
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Mari,

If you can walk with some incline and do a few steps then you are not too old.

Personally I think the drive from France to Italy on the A8/A10 is really easy and quite pretty. If you go consider stopping in St Paul de Vince (by Nice) and there is a wonderful town called Camogli (other side of Portofino pennisula)
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Jan 9th, 2008, 12:37 PM
  #14  
 
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We drove through the Cinque Terre in November 07 and of course it was pretty much buttoned up for the winter by then. We found that we were able to park at the "top" of each town and then were able to stroll down to the water front. Now some of these are pretty steep inclines so the trip back up to the car can be a bit of a huffer, but unless you are really unable to walk very far you can do it.

In season I agree that the train would be better. The main reason we decided to do it by car is because we had to drive on to Milan and did not want to backtrack to get the car.
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Jan 9th, 2008, 01:57 PM
  #15  
 
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Hi, perhaps an answer is in another posting,but this thread seems to be on the track. We are going to be in CT for a week in early May with our hiking club, then leaving on our own for a week-plus in Siena, Florence and Venice. We wanted to rent a car the last day in Monterosso, drive to Siena and keep it for touring Tuscany, then drop off the car in Siena and take a train to Florence and onto Venice. Does this sound possible? We prefer not to drive into Florence. Thanks.
snorklesue is offline  
Jan 9th, 2008, 05:13 PM
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Get it in La Spezia and drop it at the Florence airport---why train?
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Jan 9th, 2008, 08:36 PM
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jnjfraz; Your ideas and options are encouraging...and my husband and I are not concerned at all about the drive from French Rivera into Italy. We've driven many kind of roads in our travels, including lots of tunnels,narrow roads etc and we are both very good navigators.
Thanks EVERYONE for your input and I really appreciate your ideas.
A couple of you have mentioned the town of Lavanto as a "parking the car town"(and prodeeding by train), and in doing research it looks to be lovely. The rest of you mentioned La Spezia. Are they similar?
We WILL be continuing on with the car after visit Cinque Terra for 2 or 3 days (we tend to keep "on the move",,,it's just the way we travel.) Then I guess, after a few places we haven't seen like Lucca etc (and maybe return to Sienna which we like very much), we would return the car back to France.
Well, we'll see how it works out,,,and I do appreciate your personal ideas. THANKS!
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Jan 10th, 2008, 03:15 PM
  #18  
 
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Mari,

I have not been to Levanto but it sounds nice. The comparison would be a small nice italian viallage and La Spezia is a Navy Port... rough and tummble
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Jan 10th, 2008, 08:08 PM
  #19  
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Grazie to all that responded to my post. Your travel information on the Cinque Terre is very helpful to plan a nice vacation. Also, its great that other travelers were helped by all your postings. Having traveled to Italy with my wife twice before I have also replied to other travels that needed travel information.
A big thank you again for all your help. Ciao, Louie and Vera.
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