Hi, we are driving from our B&B south of Lucca to the Cinque Terra for just a day trip. We are unable to walk the entire way so would like suggestions of where to start/park to make the most of the day.
There are 5 towns all connected by train and walking paths. The easiest parts which are pretty flat and doable by foot are between Riomaggiore and Manarola and to Corniglia....although Corniglia is at the top of a hill and requires lots of steps to get up to the town. The train station is at the bottom, so even if you took the train and wanted to get to the town, you have to climb the steps... if they aren't doable for you, I'd say to get there and take the train to Vernazza, skipping Corniglia. The path between Vernazza and Monterosso is really tough - steep steps all the way up and then down the other side of the cliffs, so also take train between those two... so there you have it, whether you start at Monterosso or in Riomaggiore, you know which parts to walk and which ones where train is better ;-)
Ah, the part between Riomaggiore and Manarola is called "la Via dell'Amore" or "Way of Love" - it is very romantic to do at sunset, so you might want to start the day in Monterosso so that you work you way down to Riomaggiore in the evening