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Opinions please---car or train to Monterosso from Portofino

Opinions please---car or train to Monterosso from Portofino

Old May 9th, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 531
Opinions please---car or train to Monterosso from Portofino

Hi Everyone,

I'd like your opinion on day 2 of our trip to Italy and France this summer. We arrive in Florence on Friday, June 27th in the afternoon. We have reservations to pickup a car and then drive to Portofino where we're staying at the Hotel San Giorgio. We stay in Portofino for just one night. We've never been and I think of it as a place I just want see. For us, one night should be sufficient.

Here's my dilemma. On June 28th we're scheduled for one night in Monterosso at the Hotel Margherita. The hotel does not have parking so I was directed to the public parking lot. I assume where it's a Saturday and in the summer, this parking lot will fill up quickly? My fear is, what do we do if we get to Monterosso and there's no place to park? We've never been to the area so I have no idea how big this parking lot is or how quickly it fills up in the summer. So with that said, I was considering dropping our car in Rapallo and taking the train to Monterosso. If we do this hopefully the train isn't too far from the hotel but I haven't researched that part yet. The drawback to doing this is, I wanted to go to Lucca on our way into Florence on Sunday. We've toured Tuscany fairly extensively but, have never been to Lucca. We'll obviously have luggage so if we don't have a car, we can't stop in Lucca, we'd have to go directly to Florence on Sunday.

What do you think we should do? If there's a HUGE parking lot in Monterosso, this would be a non-issue because we'd just drive. I just thought the towns are small so I couldn't imagine have a massive parking lot. I really would miss seeing Lucca but, I know it would probably be a lot easier if we skipped it.

If it's of any help to those responding, I would *guess* we'll probably get to Monterosso around 10:00am.

Any thoughts?

ILUVPARIS is offline  
Old May 9th, 2008, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
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Just off the top of my head ILUVPARIS could you email your hotel in Portofino and ask if you could park your car there while you are overnight in Monterosso (offer to pay for the parking of course) and also ask if they would be kind enough to let you leave luggage at their hotel while you visit Monterosso (I have had hotels do this for me without any problem). Then you could train to Monterosso with just a small overnight bag, train back to Portofino, pick up your other luggage and your car.
LoveItaly is offline  
Old May 9th, 2008, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If I'm reading correctly, you arrive Florence on Friday and return on Sunday (via Lucca) after 1 night in Portofino and 1 night in Monterosso?

If this is correct, you don't need a car until after Sunday (if at all). It would only be a hassle.

I would do all of your stops by rail, then, if you're away from cities after Sunday, pick up the car upon the return to Florence.

Otherwise, there is plentiful parking in Monterosso (filling up as the day progresses), and the parking lot is easy to reach.
Chicago_Heather is offline  
Old May 9th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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Thanks to you both for weighing in. LUVITALY--I just think it sounds a bit inconvenient to take the train back to SML and then a taxi to Portofino to get our car and then drive to Lucca. I would imagine that would take at least 2 hours of backtracking? Conceptually it sounds like a great idea---I just wish it wasn't so far to backtrack.

Chicago-Heather--if we did this by train we'd have to take a train from the FLR airport into the centre (which is in the opposite direction) and then it's about 3 to 3 1/2 hours from Florence to SML and then a taxi or bus to Portofino. Timewise that'll just take SO much longer than just renting a car and driving directly to our destination. If it wasn't our arrival day, I'd consider it.

We leave Boston at 9:35pm on Thursday, June 26th and land in FLR around 2:45pm on Friday w/one connection in Zurich. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.) It's so much traveling---I know I'll just want to get to Portofino at that point so, I think a car is faster and easier for us.

The point you did make about parking in Monterosso leaves me very hopeful. You made the lot sound fairly large. So if we got there around 10am on a Saturday morning do you think we would likely get a spot? Even in the summer? Where the Cinque Terre is a hiking destination I imagined people arriving early and leaving their car for the day. I didn't imagine alot of coming and going.

ILUVPARIS is offline  
Old May 9th, 2008, 01:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Was in Monterosso in Jan and they were expanding the parking lot that is on the sea and seemingly on reclaimed filled in land

and there was a smaller lot elsewhere in town

I thought if you were staying in a hotel in Monterosso you would have priority in parking- have you asked?

and i think many day trippers use the lot so at night i don't see why there would not be ample room. Hotel should know

If arriving by train all hotels have to be a fairly short walk from the station as every part of town is.
PalenQ is offline  
Old May 9th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Hi Palen Q--no, I have not asked. I wasn't aware that hotel guest were given priority but I'll certainly email the hotel to inquire.

We're driving from Portofino to Monterosso in the morning on Saturday. We'll leave the car there all day and night and depart on Sunday morning for Lucca. So we will need a place to park our car during the day AND at night.

For those CT experts---is it possible to see all 5 villages in a 10 hour period without running from village to village? We were thinking of maybe using the train in-between villages for a few of the less scenic paths and hiking some of the more scenic ones. And yes, I have the recent CT compilation thread bookmarked. Great info!!!
ILUVPARIS is offline  
Old May 10th, 2008, 06:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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this Jan i took the train from Florence to Cinque Terre and took the train between each of them - walked around the (tiny) towns, all five of them so it is very possible

I did not go to Corniglia however as that town is hundreds of feets above its seaside train station

there is a tiny bus however that goes from the station up there in case you don't want to walk the stairs

boats also go between the 5 Lands in summer regularly
PalenQ is offline  
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