From Cinque Terre to Milan (or vice versa): a road trip itinerary


Cinque Terre are one of the most precious pearls Italy has. Every year million tourists come from all over the world to admire these five little villages and once they have decided to include Cinque Terre in their Italian holidays, the first question they ask is how to get from Cinque Terre to Milan… or vice versa.

Milan Malpensa is the biggest airport for international flights in Northern Italy and it is very frequent for incoming travelers to plan a trip from the capital of Lombardy to Cinque Terre. No matter how much time your journey should last, let’s plan your itinerary. You might even visit Cinque Terre on a daily trip from Milan, but taking time to explore more Liguria is that kind of gift you will remember for decades.

How to get from Cinque Terre to Milan by car

Milan is 230km far from Cinque Terre and if you drive straight there, it will take about two hours and a half.  There are two possible routes to follow, both on highway “Autostrada” in Italian, which requires tolls. The drive itself is easy and safe, but when crossing the Apennines the road becomes curvy and winding, so be careful, especially if you have manual gear and you are not used to it.

These are the two possible itineraries:

  • A7 highway until Genova + A12 until Monterosso or La Spezia
  • A1 from Milan to Parma + A15 until La Spezia

Between the two, we highly recommend to choose the first one (including Genova among the stops) because Liguria has so many hidden treasures that you can’t get enough after a trip to the Cinque Terre. Enjoy the Italian sweet “Dolce Vita” in front of the sea, tasting delicious food and Sciacchetrà, the local wine often paired with cheese or desserts, while kids play at the beach.

From Cinque Terre to Milan crossing Genova

The Tigullio Gulf

We have left the beautiful Cinque Terre behind. A new journey is about to begin. After the check-out at Cinque terre, we drive North-West towards Genova and our first stop is 66 km far from Monterosso. In one hour we reach the beautiful Rapallo, where you can rest a bit before exploring the city of Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino and the mesmerizing Paraggi, a little bay framed by green hills and pure crystalline water. This area is better known as “Golfo del Tigullio” – Tigullio Gulf -a succession of marvellous inlets, beach resorts and docks. Within Cinque Terre, this is a very popular destination.

Discover more of Portofino with kids

Camogli and Recco

Our second stop is 13km far from Portofino, on the opposite part of the Tigullio Gulf, where tourists can’t miss the villages of Camogli and Recco, the capital of Ligurian cuisine! Recco worth a visit at lunchtime to taste the yummy Focaccia di Recco, a special Focaccia with cheese that kids will adore.

focaccia di recco

The Yummy Focaccia di Recco – Photo Credits M. Ursino on Flickr in CC

The city of Genoa

With the narrowest “caruggi” ever met – maze of alleys that can be met in the Old Harbor area – Genoa can be very charming for families. The city of Christopher Columbus has many interesting attractions related to the Maritime Republic and the history of Italian Navy.
Genoa was even loved by Flemish painters in the Renaissance and thanks to one of the major aquarium in Europe, is a magic place for art, history and nature lovers.

Discover more of Genoa with kids


Serravalle: A bit of shopping or a dive at the aqua park

Finally we drive North towards Milan on A7 highway and 50 km far from Genoa, we reach the city of Serravalle Scrivia. It’s a quite famous place in Italy – and especially abroad – for fashion addicted as in Serravalle there is one the biggest outlet design of the whole country. Special coaches (departing from Milan Central Station) are even organized for tourists on a daily shopping trip there… so if you are driving along A7, think about it.
But in Serravalle you can have fun with children either, as there is a nice Aqua Park named “Bolleblu”, opened from June to September.

Have fun with kids at the Aqua Park

Arriving in Milan

One hour and a half drive from BolleBlu Aqua Park and you get to the city of the Duomo. At the end of highway A7, get through the toll and drive for less than 5km. Our road itinerary from Cinque Terre to Milan is completed. You have reached your destination: the beautiful Milan.
Now, the easiest way to discover the city is to park your car at Famagosta parking lot (you can find it on your left  when you are approaching the city) and then take the underground line 2. Pencil these two stops and get off at Porta Genova to visit the Navigli area and Cadorna to visit Sforza Castle and the major CDB attractions.

Do not miss the Duomo rooftop tour


From Cinque Terre to Milan by train

A quick note, but it is a must: if you are only doing the Cinque Terre (no other need or desire for car) take the train. It’s easier, cheaper and much more comfortable. There is a fantastic intercity that will take you from La Spezia (or Monterosso) to Milan Central Station in three hours. No need to change. You get on at the sea and you get off at the city!

Check the itinerary on the map and plan your trip from Cinque Terre to Milan. You will not get tired of Italy, I promise!


From Cinque Terre to Milan

Caricamento delle mappe in corso - restare in attesa...

Golfo del Tigullio: 44.329900, 9.196480
Recco: 44.369700, 9.149240
Genova: 44.441400, 8.893050
Serravalle Outlet & BolleBlu Aqua Park: 44.723800, 8.849590
Famagosta Parking lot: 45.436800, 9.168000
Cinque Terre: 44.159600, 9.661060
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Golfo del Tigullio
Santa Margherita Ligure Liguria, Italia
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Recco Liguria, Italia
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Genova Liguria, Italia
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Serravalle Outlet & BolleBlu Aqua Park
Serravalle Scrivia Piemonte, Italia
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Famagosta Parking lot
Famagosta Lombardia, Italia
marker icon
icon-car.png Fullscreen-Logo KML-Logo
Cinque Terre
Monterosso al Mare Liguria, Italia

About Author

I was a convinced single & traveller, then I met a Toad and we packed we travel in 4, as a toddler & a pet joined the team!