PARKING: A great alternative for those driving to the Cinque Terre

66 thoughts on “PARKING: A great alternative for those driving to the Cinque Terre”

    1. Ciao Saltuk!

      Yes, you’re right… finding parking in Italy can be a challenge. That’s why I like this option so much (as you can reserve your space in advance so you’re guaranteed to have a parking spot).

      Best of luck!
      Amy

      Like

  1. Thank you! I googled ‘where to park a rental car in La Spezia’ and your blog was the perfect answer. We are headed to Cinque Terre May 9 and I am going to do more reading here before we travel. Thank you.

    Like

  2. I tried to reserve a parking spot in La Spezia, but the website is asking for a plate number. We will be renting a car, so do not have that information. Any advice?

    Like

    1. Ciao Dimitris!

      You can enter La Spezia Centrale train station on your GPS. Once there, the entrance to the -2 level of the garage (where you can reserve spaces in advance) is on via Fiume.

      Hope that helps!

      Amy

      Like

  3. We are trying to rent a car to drive from Cinque Terre to Alba on June 2. I just found out that it is a national holiday. The car rental places seem to be closed that day. I thought that perhaps I could rent a car in La Spezia the evening of June 1st and park in this parking lot over night and then access the car in the morning on June 2. I tried using the online reservation, but it says there are no spaces available. Would you know if this is because the parking garage is also closed for the holiday on June 2?

    Like

    1. Ciao Diana!

      First and foremost, you’ll want to check the hours for the car rental place in La Spezia as they tend to have limited hours (especially in comparison with airport locations).

      The parking garage is open 365 days a year. With it being a holiday period, I’m sure they are booked out for the spaces that are possible to reserve in advance. The remaining spaces (at the -1 level) will be available on a first come, first served basis. The automated signs for the parking are super clear and will tell you precisely how many spaces (if any) are available.

      I hope that helps!
      Amy

      Like

      1. Thank you very much for your reply! That helps a lot! I will be sure to check on the car rental hours.
        Diana

        Like

  4. Hi,
    This sounds like a fabulous option!
    However, do you know if it’s safe to leave the car there while I go and stay in one of the towns for two nights?

    Thanks Amy!

    Like

    1. Ciao Britt!

      It is a much safer option than street side parking and there’s video surveillance, keypad entry during nocturnal hours, etc. Of course, common sense dictates that nothing of value should be left in sight (use the trunk of the car if you’re leaving anything behind).

      I hope that helps!

      Amy

      Like

      1. Wonderful! Thankyou so much for the advice! We will definitely use this if we cannot organise private parking through air bnb.

        PS. Your blog is just perfect for cinque terre newbies like myself!

        Like

      2. Hi Amy,

        I just tried to reserve a space for next week and unfortunately all spots are filled.

        If when I arrive level 1 is also full, do you have any other suggestions on parking? The only bad thing about driving is that cars don’t really fit in your handbag!

        Thanks

        Like

      3. Ciao Britt!

        You can try to park at Piazza d’Armi in La Spezia if the two underground garages are full at the station. The parking at Piazza d’Armi is free, uncovered and usually a bit scarce. It’s quite a few blocks from the station (I’d say a good 10-15 minute walk). You may want to drop your luggage and one person at the station while the other goes to park there.

        Take care,
        Amy

        Like

  5. Hi, We’re driving from Lucca for a day trip to catch the ferry to see the Cinque Terre, what do you suggest is the best town to park in, closest to a ferry (we have 3 young children) and quickest and /or easiest route from Lucca? Thanks

    Like

    1. Ciao Sally!

      Based on what you’ve told me, I think your best bet will be to park in Monterosso and pick up the ferry there (even though it’s further than the other villages, there’s more parking available and because it’s flat it will be easier with the kids). Take the autostrada A11 from Lucca towards Viareggio and then merge onto the A12 in direction Genova. Exit the autostrada at the Carrodano/Levanto exit and then follow the signs for Monterosso. The trip should take you about an hour and a half.

      I hope this info helps!

      Amy

      Like

  6. Ciao Amy,
    Your blog is so wonderful – it’s by far the best and most interesting information I’ve found on Cinque Terre. Thank you for all the interesting and informative reading.

    In the beginning of July, we’re driving from Tuscany, will spend 3 nights in Vernazza and then we drive to Malpensa Airport. We want to park the car in either La Spieza or Monterosso. Which town do you think we should park in? Is there street parking in Monterosso? I’m used to parking in San Francisco so I’m used to spending some time looking for parking!!

    Part of the decision about where to park will be where we want to leave from on the morning we have to drive to the airport. The drive from Monterosso to the airport seems to be about 20-25 minutes longer (depending on traffic) than the drive from La Spieza. The 20 minutes isn’t a big deal…but curious what you think about which drive do you prefer – the drive from Monterosso or La Spieza to the airport? If one of the drives is more spectacular, it might make sense to park in that town.

    We love to hike so we’re planning on spending our time hiking between all of the villages.

    Hope that all makes sense!

    Grazie!!
    Jennifer

    Like

    1. Ciao Jennifer!

      Please pardon the delayed reply. Life has been… busy! We have TWO little ones at home now. EEK!

      In your case, I would probably park in Monterosso. There’s a large payment parking lot right down on the beach in Fegina (the newer portion of Monterosso). From there it’s an easy walk to the station, where you can hop on a train to Vernazza.

      As for the drive to Malpensa, I personally prefer going through Genoa (Genova) as it’s more scenic. Also, the other alternative (heading towards Parma) always seems to have road construction in progress (which can potentially cause delays).

      Enjoy your time here!

      Amy

      Like

  7. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for the great advice. We will be traveling to Italy in September and would like to take a day trip to CT. Do you think it is is possible to arrive at the parking lot and get a spot without reserving in advance?
    Thanks,
    Tamara

    Like

    1. Ciao Tamara!

      While it *is* possibile to just turn up and find a spot, I personally would book a space in advance (granted, I’m a planner).

      If you decide to wing it and not reserve in advance, I recommend trying to time your arrival early in the day (as you’ll have a better chance at getting a spot then).

      Take care,
      Amy

      Like

  8. Hi Amy

    You sent me a very helpful suggestion for a an itinerary around the cirque terre that didn’t start from la spezia but I can’t locate it. It was a few weeks ago but I can’t find a way to search this blog. Is there a way you can help me?

    Best wishes
    Edward

    Like

  9. Hi Amy, thank you for your wonderful blog.

    Quick question: we have two nights (24th and 25th of July) staying in Monterosso coming up and tossing up between driving to Monterosso or leaving the hire car at your suggested parking spot in La Spezia.

    From what I read, driving to Monterosso isn’t as bad or troublesome as driving through the other villages in Cinque Terra. Is this the case?

    Should I be confident in finding a parking space for two nights in a paid garage in Monterosso?

    Any help will be much appreciated.

    Like

    1. Ciao Shane!

      In your case, I would probably just drive to and park in Monterosso. Have you spoken with your host to see if they have parking available for you? Otherwise, there’s a large, dirt parking lot (payment required) right on the water’s edge in the newer portion of Monterosso (Fegina).

      It’s really important that you exit the autostrada at Carrodano-Levanto and NOT La Spezia as the coastal road connecting the villages is interrupted between Vernazza & Monterosso (only authorized vehicles are permitted to pass).

      Have a great time!

      Amy

      Like

  10. Thank you for all the great information! We are driving to Cinque Terre in early November and will decide if we should park in La Spezia or Monterosso. Can you tell me if the train and ferry schedule is different in November than it is in the summer months? Thank you.

    Like

    1. Ciao Danny!

      Thanks for following the blog. 🙂

      November is the start of our off-season so you should have no issues parking in either Monterosso or La Spezia. Just keep in mind that the 1st and 2nd of November are holidays (All Saints and the day of the dead) so they could still be a bit busy. After those two days the ferries usually stop running until the following spring. The trains run but won’t be as frequent as the summer schedule (but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to move around easily).

      Enjoy your time here!

      Amy

      Like

  11. Hello there, great site! Quick question about registering to park at La Spezia. In the ‘type of user’ it doesn’t have English translations. I don’t know if I need to select “privato”, “residente” or “dominciliato”? Do you have any insight into which? Thanks! Dave

    Like

  12. Hi Amy, we are arriving om the 19th and NO spaces available for parking, is the any other parking spaces in town or nearby, we are going to Vernazza. Thanks I’m advance for your help

    Like

    1. Ciao Stig!

      It’s important to keep in mind that there are two garages at La Spezia Centrale: one at the -1 level and one at the -2 level. Reservations are accepted only at the -2 level so all of the spaces at the -1 level (with entrance on via Paleocapa) are first come, first served. The earlier in the day, the better your chances are of finding available spaces. There are electronic signs telling precisely how many spaces are available on either level.

      If both garages are full, and you don’t want to queue up and wait for someone to exit the garage, I recommend seeking parking at Piazza d’Armi, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from the station (I’d drop passengers & luggage at the station and then go park). The spaces there are free (however, there’s no surveillance like at the station). Another free parking area is located on via Fieschi, in front of the stadium (it’s even further of a walk, though). Remember: Blue lines = payment parking, white lines = free parking.

      I hope this info helps!

      Amy

      Like

  13. Amy

    First, thank you for all of your help. I was planning on parking for 4 nights and when I attempted to reserve in advance, only the first 3 nights were available for advanced reservations.

    Are the reserved spots numbered? What would happen if I reserved 3 days and then picked up “late” on the 4th day (since there is unreserved spots for overflow)?

    Is there an alternate advanced parking option to consider?

    Thanks!

    – John

    Like

    1. Ciao John!

      No, the spots aren’t numbered (just be sure not to park in a space with a “privato” sign or ones that belong to a hotel, which are also marked). I don’t foresee problems if you reserve three nights and leave your car for four, but of course you’ll have to pay the difference before exiting. 🙂

      Hope that helps!
      Amy

      Like

  14. Doubting to reserve a parking space beforehand or to just turn up, we ended up doing the latter one 🙂 Thinking it was (mid) September it shouldn’t be much of a problem.

    Anyway getting there was a bit troublesome (because: Italian roads and roadsigns) but with our GPS we manage to find it relatively easy. The garage was full, as we kinda expected at around 13:45h, but luckily there was only one car in front of us (the cue did however grew quickly after we arrived!). After about 10-15 minutes the guy in front of us had enough and left and barely 30 seconds later someone left the garage leaving us a space! (Karma, plain luck, I don’t know :)).

    Once parked it’s indeed really easy. Simply getting the CT card and we hopped on the 14:10h train to CT 🙂 We where back around 21:00h and had to pay a little over € 10,- so that was not too bad (as here in the Netherlands parking garages can be much more expensive).

    Anyway, next time we might go this way again. However, if it’s not in off-season I would surely try to reserve a parking spot beforehand (although the website is definitely NOT mobile friendly!), because you need a bit of luck (or you need to get there really early).

    Cheers, Ronald

    Like

    1. Great feedback! Thanks, Ronald. Yes, I definitely recommend booking in advance if you plan to be in Cinque Terre during peak-season (and September is still peak-season here). Luckily you didn’t have to wait too long! 🙂

      Amy

      Like

      1. Hi I want to that you for this super useful and well written information which meant I appeared to be a travel genius when we arrived in La Spezia this July with cars driving round and round the very hot town looking for parking spaces and we were able to glide instantly into our pre-booked parking space. One thing to watch out for is that the signage is so bad that people without a booking queue in front of the barrier you need to get through – we had to ask 5 cars to reverse so we and another pre-booked car could get through.

        Like

      2. Ciao Ann!

        Thanks for your feedback and I’m so glad that I made you look like a travel genius (teehee!). 👍

        Signage in Italy is notoriously terrible. I wish I could go fix it all! Ugh.

        Take care!
        Amy

        Like

  15. Ciao!
    Stumbled across this page and feeling very grateful I did, looking forward to reading more of your information. But wondering if you can help me with a decision – we are travelling to Cinque Terre with our 2 and 4 year olds. We will stay 4 nights there (yet to be confirmed where exactly) and need to park our car somewhere prior – where is best? Monterosso , Levante or La Spezia? Or with the kids would you advise to stay outside the Cinque Terre and travel in each day? We try and travel light luggage wise, but obviously can only have so little!
    Thanks for any help you can offer

    Like

    1. Ciao Sara!

      Thanks for reading the blog!

      With two little ones + a car your best bet would be to stay in Monterosso (it’s nice & flat with easy beach access for the kids). I would book accommodations there that offer parking (or can arrange it for you). From Monterosso you can easily visit the other villages by train or ferry.

      I hope this info helps! Enjoy your time here. 😊

      Amy

      Like

  16. Hi Amy
    I can’t find translation for :
    entro le h 12:00
    depo le h 12:00
    on the reservation form for parking in La Spezia
    Please advise.

    Like

  17. Hi Amy!
    We have our accommodation in La Spezie. Is it secure to park a rented car in La Spezie on the street, near our accommodation?
    Thanks a lot for your help.
    andrei

    Like

    1. Ciao Andrei,

      La Spezia isn’t known for car theft or break-ins (although that’s not to say that it can’t happen). Unless you are particularly unlucky, your car should be just fine if you park it on the street near your accommodations. Of course, common sense says to not leave anything of value in sight. 😉

      Amy

      Like

      1. Thanks a lot Amy. It was about scratches, not break-ins. 🙂 Do you have to pay for parking on the street in La Spezia?
        Thanks for helping,
        andrei

        Like

      2. Ciao Andrei!

        95% of the street parking in La Spezia requires payment. The free parking areas are harder to come by (and oftentimes full). Door dings and whatnot are a common occurrence, as with any city.

        Amy

        Like

  18. Your site is fantastic….keep up the great work…..your suggestion of leaving the rental car in the new garage is great and has relieved a lot of stress for me….is there a limit to how many days you can park your car there….I am thinking about 3-4 days….thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Amy,
    Thank you very much for your blog! I was planning to do village hopping until I read your site! So now I am trying to reserve a parking spot at your recommended parking garage in La Spezia. However, it seems like they can only allow a minimal of 1 full day parking reservation in advance. So half day is not allowed? We are planning to just stop by in the afternoon in CT, si we will be coming in after lunch and leaving after dinner. Is this considered 1 day? thank you very much for your help. And please keep posting 😉

    Like

    1. Ciao Cindy!

      Thanks for reading the blog! It’s a labor of love. 🙂

      Have you tried to enter in that you want to arrive in the afternoon (dopo le 12:00) and pick up the same day (dopo le 12:00)? In theory, that should give you a half-day rate. If it doesn’t work for you, try emailing their customer support at: infomobpark@mobpark.it

      I hope this info helps!

      Take care,
      Amy

      Like

  20. Hello Amy,
    In addition to the free parking lot you mentioned at Piazza d’Armi there is another larger lot at Palaspezia, also free. Free shuttle buses run from there to the city center, unfortunately the drop off location is a bit of a hike to La Spezia Centrale station. But one could take a city bus from the parking lot to the station. Both lots are operated by the La Spezia city transportation service ATC. Information on the parking lots can be found here: http://www.atcesercizio.it/index.php/en/parking-areas-and-shuttle-buses

    Thank you for creating a very informative and helpful website.
    Best regards… Jack

    Like

    1. Ciao Jack!

      Yes, you’re absolutely right about the Palaspezia parking lot. I haven’t mentioned that option here because while it may be okay for parking for a few hours I wouldn’t particularly recommend leaving a car there for days. I believe there have been break-ins there as I’ve seen evidence of broken glass/windows when I’ve parked there to go to the cinema or UniEuro. Of course, that can happen anywhere, but the location is quite isolated and not overlooked (unlike the Piazza d’Armi free parking lot which is surrounded by residential apartment buildings).

      I’m sure someone will find the link helpful, thanks for including that! 🙂

      Take care,
      Amy

      Like

      1. Thanks for the tip Amy. I wasn’t planning to park there as it’s far from the station, and maybe it’s not the safest place either. On the other hand, do you have any thoughts on taking the train to Cinque Terre from the Migliarina station? The fare to any of the 5 villages is only 1.20 euros more and there appears to be free parking there as well.
        Grazie… Jack

        Like

      2. Ciao Jack!

        That’s a much better solution than parking at Palaspezia, in my opinion. Just keep in mind that for the majority of the options you’ll have to change trains at La Spezia Centrale, which isn’t ideal if you’re heavy with luggage. Use the TrenItalia website to check train times in advance (www.trenitalia.com) so you can coordinate yourselves and catch a train that won’t require any changes.

        Two things to keep in mind about Migliarina station:

        1) It’s a secondary station and pretty deserted. There’s no ticket counter there (just automated machines). There’s also no TI point or place to purchase Cinque Terre Cards, etc. (you’d have to get that at La Spezia Centrale or at one of the five villages).

        2) The Migliarina station is in a residential area (with a newly constructed shopping mall not too far away). The free parking may not be plentiful because many local residents use it for their own vehicles. There’s not a huge turnaround of cars coming and going like there would be around La Spezia Centrale. With that said, if you drive around enough I’m sure you’ll eventually find one! Just don’t park long term in the mall’s covered garage (but their uncovered spaces not within the garage would be fine).

        I hope this info helps!

        Amy

        Like

    1. Grazie mille, Jack! Your messages seeking more info on alternate parking (besides the payment parking garage at La Spezia Centrale) have inspired me to create a new post on the subject. Stay tuned! 😉

      Take care!
      Amy

      Like

  21. Hi Amy,
    I am going to visit Cinque Terre on September (19.09.2017). Is it possible to make reservation for parking in La Spezia two months advance?
    Thanks in advance.
    Kate

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s