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Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

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Green Bay, Wisconsin
posts: 6
reviews: 7
Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

Hi,

We will have a car for our whole trip in Italy. I know, I know...the trains are so convenient. It is our honeymoon and we just like the flexibility to explore and detour & not be puppets to schedules if that makes sense:) My main concern right now though is the drive from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare. How dangerous is this exactly? There seems to be mixed reviews perhaps that as long as we park the car in Monterosso and don't drive to any other towns in Cinque Terre, maybe it isn't that dangerous of a drive? Any truth to that notion? The reason I am considering doing the drive as opposed to parking the car in Lucca and taking a train is because from Cinque Terre we are heading to Lake Como. It would be a little bit of a backtrack if we had to go back to Lucca and depart for Lake Como from there. If we absolutely are crazy fools for driving to Monterosa Al Mare please let me know!! Thank you in advance for your help!

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
posts: 22,107
1. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

Take the car to Monterosso. If you use a sensible route, e,g as recommended by www.viamichelin.com (use Monterosso al Mare as your destination on the website) then the road is not too bad, though it will take longer than the website suggests.

Just don't try and drive along the coast from la Spezia, unless you have time to spare and enjoy a little excitement..

Green Bay, Wisconsin
posts: 6
reviews: 7
2. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

Thank you for your response. After driving on Highway 1 for 6 hours we surely will use the most sensible route available to us. Don't want that kind of tension on the honeymoon!

Plymouth, Michigan
posts: 45
reviews: 93
3. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

We drove to Monterosso and parked our car there for our four night stay in Cinque Terre (we also went to Lake Como when we left!) It was 18 Euro a day at the parking garage in the old part of Monterosso, and 14 Euro per day at the lot near the beach in the new part.

It is a cumbersome drive...if you are from the USA, you will probably not be accustomed to it. There are many narrow winding roads as you go up and down the mountains. Many people have described it as dangerous...I don't think the road is dangerous, but rather, it could be dangerous if you are inexperienced with that type of driving. It is work, and you will be tired and relieved to park the car. My husband is from Germany so he was totally comfortable with the drive.

Outside of Monterosso, there are not many options to park the car (outside Corniglia it seemed there was a lot of parking). Just leave the car in Monterosso. Plus, with the mountains and windy roads, it takes a long time to go a short distance so there is no sense driving between towns.

I believe you can park for free in Levanto near the train station, and that might also be an option. That town is easier to get to, so you could also park there and ride the train to Monterosso.

For what it is worth, our drive along Lake Como from Como to Bellagio was much more dangerous. It was even more narrow, and often required cars having to pull over or reverse to let on-coming trucks by. This drive really wore out my husband!

Green Bay, Wisconsin
posts: 6
reviews: 7
4. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

Thank you for your response. We are not opposed to parking the car in a town that is more accesible by car and then taking the train, we just aren't sure what that town would be. If you have any advise on that let me know. Would Levanto or La Spezia be easier to drive to then Monterossa al Mare?

Plymouth, Michigan
posts: 45
reviews: 93
5. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

Levanto is still a smaller sea side town, similar to Cinque Terre, but it is larger and easier to get to. I don't think you will have an issue navigating to Levanto. It's still quaint and very cute.

While Levanto is at the north of Cinque Terre, La Spezia is the south. La Spezia is definitely a "city."

You might want to check driving routes and see what looks better to you. Also check the train schedule based on your arrival time, so you can be sure to get a train to Monterosso within a reasonable time of parking your car.

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
posts: 22,107
6. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

The best route from the autostrada to Monterosso takes you to Levanto on the way. It's then maybe another twenty minutes or so drive, admittedly on the worst section of the route, but by Italian rural standards nothing spectacularly bad.

Edited: 10:24 am, May 20, 2011
posts: 62
reviews: 2
7. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

We drove into Monterosso from the autostrada in April, the road is ok a bit twisty but the cars are small Occasional tour bus , they blow their horn @ the turns. Make sure you follow the sign for Fegina at the top of Monterosso or you will drive into the old town,,,No parking there and the road to New town (parking lot) is closed to traffic. Have a Good Time!

8. Re: Driving from Lucca to Monterosso al Mare

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