I’ve been contacted by numerous readers that were unable to book a parking space at my first choice parking in La Spezia (Park Centro Stazione, beneath La Spezia Centrale) as their website indicated they were sold out for those particular dates. Keep in mind that only a limited number of parking spaces are available for advance reservations at Park Centro Stazione and that the remainder (and majority) of the parking spaces will be available on a first come, first served basis. If you arrive early in the morning or later in the evening you will have the best chance of getting yourself a space without an advance booking. Oftentimes people will decide to queue up if the lots are full, waiting on a car to exit and free up a space.
If you were unable to book a parking space in advance and you’re concerned that you might find both the -1 (accessed on via Paleocapa) and -2 (accessed on via Fiume) levels of the parking garage beneath La Spezia Centrale full, here’s a Plan B option for you. Or, this could be your first choice if you are an independent and savvy traveler and prefer to utilize free parking. If you’re not a fan of streetside parking, check out my post with details on two other alternatives for public payment parking garages in La Spezia.
First things first, head to the LA SPEZIA MIGLIARINA (pronunciation: La Spetz-ee-uh Meel-yuh-ree-nuh) station. If you’re using a GPS and the railway station doesn’t come up, you can enter the following coordinates: 44° 7′ 23.16″ N, 9° 50′ 22.85″ E.La Spezia Migliarina is a secondary station and it’s pretty much deserted. You won’t find a ticket counter, TI office or personnel available like at a principal station; you’ll find one automated computer kiosk available to purchase tickets. Heads up: You will not be able to purchase the Cinque Terre Card at the Migliarina station.Here’s the good news: You’ll find 48 (yes, I counted them!) *free* white-lined parking spaces available right there at the station (just meters from the tracks). Really, it couldn’t be more convenient! And this station is so quiet that really there’s no chaos or stress.If those parking spaces are full, you’ll find lots more white-lined spaces on the road beneath the station. Don’t forget that the color coding for parking spaces is as follows: white = free, blue= payment required, yellow = reserved (like for handicap or resident-only parking).
Things to take into consideration if you park at La Spezia Migliarina station
- There’s no limit on how long you park in the white-lined spaces. For this reason, many locals park their cars in this area (so there’s not a high turnover rate like at La Spezia Centrale where all of the nearby parking requires payment).
- Do not park within the gated area you see below (even if the gate is open) as the parking there is reserved for TrenItalia employees only.
- The free parking at La Spezia Migliarina station is unguarded and there’s no surveillance. While break-ins or vandalism are not commonplace in La Spezia they *can* happen, so parking is at your own risk. This area, unlike some other free parking lots in La Spezia, is right in the middle of a residential neighborhood so I would feel more comfortable leaving my car here than in some other places. However, common sense and a bit of caution should always be used. Do not leave anything in sight in the vehicle. If you plan to leave anything in the trunk, be sure that nobody is observing you while you do so. Are your plates on your car from another country? This can make your vehicle a target. In this instance, I would feel okay leaving my car for the day but not for an extended period of time.
How to get to the Cinque Terre from the La Spezia Migliarina station
Because it’s a secondary station, many trains will require you to make a change at La Spezia Centrale. However, if you time it right, you can catch a train that will continue on and not require a change (recommended, especially if you have luggage with you). Check train times and schedules in advance at www.trenitalia.com Enter in that you’d like to leave from La Spezia Migliarina and then arrive to whichever Cinque Terre village you’d like (Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza or Monterosso). You will find on the page with the solutions to your travel query if a change is required (those with 0 changes are ideal):
It takes just 6 minutes to travel by train from La Spezia Migliarina to La Spezia Centrale. If you catch a direct train from the Migliarina station that won’t require a change at La Spezia Centrale, it will take you approximately this long to reach the following stations (I’ve also included current ticket rates for peak-season 2017):
- Riomaggiore: 14-18 minutes, ticket price €4.90
- Manarola: 17-21 minutes, ticket price €4.90
- Corniglia: 20-24 minutes, ticket price €4.90
- Vernazza: 25-29 minutes, ticket price €5.20
- Monterosso: 29-33 minutes, ticket price €5.20
Of course, if changes are required you’ll need to tack on some additional time.
I hope you’ve found this information helpful!