Driving to the Cinque Terre
Train remains the best way to reach the Cinque Terre, unless you’re on an Italy road trip or you’re a very skilled driver and your travel partners do not get carsick.
Honestly the roads to get to 5 Terre by car are absolutely breathtaking, a fun drive, and a way for you to discover more of the landscape (terraced vineyards climbing from the sea and some interesting small villages), but they can get really winding, cars are forbidden to enter the towns, and if you’re lucky enough to find a spot in a parking area, the fares aren’t exactly cheap.
So, if you cannot avoid leaving your car, here some useful tips to survive.
You need to know where to park in the Cinque Terre. Parking areas are usually outside of the towns and require some uphill walking from town to get to; be ready for a walk with your luggage. Free parking is only available further, outside the villages.
Once you’ve settled in, moving from one village to the other will be so easy: it takes just a few minutes to move by train between towns, whether you’re going from Manarola to Corniglia or from Corniglia to Vernazza or Monterosso.
A simple alternative if you have a car is to use the La Spezia train station parking area or the Levanto train station parking area. (Check the bottom of the article for more information.)
Both towns have an highway exit, and train stations at these towns are quite easy to reach.
Parking rates are slightly better. Again, the best way to visit the Cinque Terre towns is using trains or ferries.
In Italy, the color of the lines on the parking space indicates the type of parking: white is for free parking, blue is for paid parking. When you park, be sure that you do not park in areas reserved for residents, marked in yellow (check the signs designating certain areas for resident only parking or disabled people).
IF YOU HAVE A CAR IN THE CINQUE TERRE, HERE ARE SOME TIPS AND INFORMATION ON CINQUE TERRE PARKING AREAS, TOWN BY TOWN.
MONTEROSSO PARKING AREAS
Where to park in Cinque Terre – Monterosso
Check this article if you want more info on how to get to Monterosso by car.
Of all the Cinque Terre villages, Monterosso has a parking area that’s the closest to the center of town.
There are two parking areas in Monterosso, so depending on which part of the village you’ll be staying in, Fegina (new side) and Loreto (old side), choose one or the other for parking.
The new side and the old side are really very close to each other, but since the center of town is traffic free, to get from one side to the other, you’ll find yourself driving up and around the town (uphill) to get from one side to the other.
Parking Loreto (old side) (arrival point for access to the historical center of the town). The parking lot is newly built and open all the year.
Daily rate 18.00 / 15/.00 euros per day.
Parking Fegina (new side) is open during the tourist season (from March to October). Daily rate 18.00 / 15/.00 euros per day and weekly rate is 65 Euros.
VERNAZZA CAR PARKING
Where to park in Cinque Terre – Vernazza
Together with Corniglia, Vernazza is one of the more isolated villages in the Cinque Terre — not so easy to reach by car.
The parking area for non-residents is about 1KM above town and there is a shuttle that runs between the parking lot and Vernazza (€1,50 or free with the Cinque Terre Card). There are about 50 spots available. We’ll update the parking fees as soon as possible, but to give you a sense of the prices, last year’s parking fee was about 23 Euros per day.
The last part of the road to get to Vernazza is narrow and goes downhill — we suggest taking it slowly since two cars can barely fit at same time.
No vacation rentals or hotels in Vernazza offer parking spots — it’s not worth asking around. Cars are completely forbidden in the village; even vans making deliveries to the village have just a 1-hour early morning window to get in and out of Vernazza.
CORNIGLIA CAR PARKING
Where to park in Cinque Terre – Corniglia
Together with Vernazza, Cornigia is one of the more isolated villages, not so easy to reach by car.
Corniglia’s parking area is 20-25 km from La Spezia highway exit.
Access to the village by car is reserved for residents only, for loading and unloading deliveries, or for owners of private parking spots.
That being said, in Corniglia, there’s a useful area at the entrance of the village, where residents and villagers can temporarily park their cars and stay for 30 minutes, so that they can take their baggage to their booked property and then return the car to public parking afterwards. There are also public car parking spots along the road, usually sufficient for all the visitors arriving by car.
Most of our Corniglia properties have private car parking spots to rent; book them when you confirm your reservation.
MANAROLA CAR PARKING
Where to park in Cinque Terre – Manarola
Like the above villages, Manarola is closed to car traffic. That means no one (not even residents!) can enter the town with private cars, except for short periods for loading and unloading vehicles.
As you approach Manarola, it is possible to find FREE parking along the road, so, if you find a spot there, take it!
When you arrive at Manarola, you’ll reach a traffic bar preventing you from going further down into the village. On the right of the traffic bar, there is the paid parking.
Parking fees are around 25 Euros per day (to be verified)
It’s not a big parking area, so spots are limited, especially during summer’s weekends.
If you get to Manarola while the little parking kiosk is open, you can ask (very gently) the officer if he or she can open the traffic bar to get to a second traffic bar further along the road, just to unload your car. (You’ll see additional parking spots between the first and second traffic bars, which are reserved for residents) If you get permission, make sure you immediately take the car back uphill after unloading your bags.
RIOMAGGIORE CAR PARKING
Where to park in Cinque Terre – Riomaggiore
From La Spezia highway exit, once in town, proceed along the seaside following the signs for Cinque Terre – Portovenere. At a certain point, these two directions will divide: you will proceed straight up the slope in the direction of Manarola-Riomaggiore. The last 12 km are a beautiful, panoramic road bringing you past Riomaggiore and then to Manarola.
In Riomaggiore, as in Manarola, you will have to park outside the village, in a parking lot managed by the National Park. There is a shuttle service down to the centre of Riomaggiore.
While approaching the village, in the last kilometer, you’ll find free parking spots on the side of the road.
We suggest unloading the car at the entrance of Riomaggiore, by the paid parking entrance and going back to find a free parking spot. Even from the free parking spots, the road to get in town is long and really steep, so always ask for the closest shuttle bus stop.
LA SPEZIA TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING AREAS
La Spezia Centrale Train Station Garage
Google 44.110996 9.813848
The Park Centro Stazione car park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Daily tickets are available and the cost is 15 Euros. You can even book your spot in advance at www.mobpark.it clicking on “park centrostazione”.
The car park can be entered from Via Fiume (P-2) or from Via Paleocapa (P-1) without any difference in fees or time. From the highway exit, just follow the signs for the train station.
La Spezia Migliarina Train Station
Google 44.123383 9.840323
It is a secondary train station for La Spezia, but some trains serving the Cinque Terre villages depart from here
There is quite a large FREE car parking area here, so please check your train schedule and if the train you chose departs from here, that could be a good place where to park your car and save money
La Spezia Piazza D’Armi
Google 44.107338 . 9.808184
This is another good option for parking your car in La Spezia. This car parking has 250 FREE spots and a shuttle bus that frequently serves the train station(the stop is close to the station, so you will have to walk a little while to reach the tracks). Remember to ask the driver to show the stop for the station.
LEVANTO PARKING AREA
You’ll find two parking area attached to the train station. The road from the highway exit to the village is a bit long but the train station is one of the first things you’ll see driving towards the town.
Levanto is also a beautiful town, so parking there could give you the chance to visit it.