Milan - Tuscany - Cinque Terre - drive or train?


New member
Three of us are visiting Tuscany and Cinque Terre for 13 days in May. We plan to fly into Milan because it's so much cheaper than any of the airports near Florence or even Rome. We're already planning to rent a car for at least one week in Tuscany.

Would it make more sense to rent the car in Milan and just drive everywhere, rather than deal with trains to Florence, then to Cinque Terre and back to Milan? Our hotel in Cinque Terre has free parking.

I'd love to hear some thoughts on this. Thank you.


The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Depends on whether you feel comfortable driving from the start - if you're staying a night or two in Milan, only rent once you're ready to leave the city. It would give you much more freedom in terms of movement, especially if you're planning to visit areas outside of the cities. If you have parking in CT, then that works out well too! The roads are steep and narrow in the area but by then you'll have gotten used to driving on Italian roads ;-).

Also consider costs - check for timetables, it also has ticket cost info. It could be you save $ by renting rather than buying 3 tickets, although do consider gas is expensive in Europe (although prices have fallen a lot this past week!) BUT if you're planning to see Milan, Florence, maybe Rome, and CT - it could also turn out to be less expensive to take trains - really depends on how much moving around you think you'll be doing. If you're including driving around Tuscany, then already can tell you then it will be better to rent ;-).