Frequently asked questions

  • Communication
    • To whom should I direct my comment?
      We welcome and appreciate all feedback and constructive criticism. Contact Claudio, Bianca or Nicola by email or through our form. We shall address your concerns as soon as possible.
    • Can I change my reservation?
      Yes, but new reservations are contingent upon availibility. No penalty shall be paid.
    • We don't speak Italian, is this a problem?
      Between all of us at "A Casa" we speak English, Italian, French, Spanish and Portuguese. We offer our cooking classes and wine tastings in these same languages. As for the rest, we are glad to act as intermediaries between you, home owners and service suppliers.
    • How do I contact the owner of the apartment we are staying in?
      After making a reservation we will give you all relevant contact information.
  • Formalities and Logistics
    • What time is check-in/check-out?
      Check-in begins at 3:00 PM. Check-out must be by 11:00 AM on the day of departure.
    • The prices seem too good to be true, is that what we pay?
      The listed price does not include the €1 "tourism tax". The Imposta locale di soggiorno per finalità turistiche (pdf link). came into effect in January 2015 in the Cinque Terre. The law requires all persons overnighting between March and October to pay a tax of €1 per day to a maximum of €3 per person. The fee is paid at check-in to the operators of commercial lodging services (such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, hostels, Airbnb and similar). Minors up to 10 years of age (inclusive) are exempted. Besides the aforementioned tax, our lodging prices are all-inclusive of consumables, such as water, climate control (if any), room cleaning after your departure and a fresh set of linens and bath towels upon arrival. For special circumstances, you may request a cleaning of linens at no extra cost.
    • Do you require a credit card to make a reservation?
      All transactions are between the guests and the respective service suppliers, preferably in cash. In certain situations, such as for large groups and long room rental, we may ask for a deposit. Situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. For you security, omit all credit card information with the online form. As payment is made directly to the house supplier each supplier can choose their method of payment. However, we are a team of house owners, not a hotel, so some suppliers do not have credit card payment available.
    • We do not know the time we will be arriving, can we communicate it later?
      Yes, please keep us informed. Make sure we have your updated contact information and arrival plan in advance so we can prepare for your reception. If you miss a train or encounter a delay please call; We are probably wondering what happened to you and wondering if you have abandoned your reservation (Too many times has this happened!) We provide you with cell phone numbers for emergencies and last minute changes. Most guests arrive by train; A helpful resource is the Trenitalia website.
    • How do we arrive from the airport?

      Train from Genoa Airport: Take a €6 shuttle bus (Volabus) or taxi (approx €8/person min 3 people) to Genova Brignole train station. This is a 10km tranfer. At the Genova Brignole train station, take a regional train to the Cinque Terre village where you are staying. The trains are referred to by their final destination; trains that stop in Cinque Terre are labelled for La Spezia, S. Stefano di Magra, Pisa, or Livorno. Consult schedules on the Trenitalia website.

      Train from Pisa Airport: From the airport you can take a shuttle bus or taxi to Pisa Centrale train station, 1 km away. The PisaMover shuttle bus (€1.30) runs every day between 6 am and midnight, approximately every 10 minutes. From Pisa Centrale train station you can buy tickets and board a regional train with final destination of Sestri Levante, Genova, Savona, or Ventimiglia. If the train's final destination is La Spezia, you will have to stop there and transfer to another regional train. Consult schedules on the English Trenitalia website. Free paper train schedules are available at the Cinque Terre Park info desks in La Spezia.

    • We will be arriving by car and will need directions.
      If you arrive by car refer to a GPS map service for directions. There are parking lots located at the top of each village. Cars are not allowed into the villages. With special permission (ask the parking attendant) you may temporarily drive your car a bit further to drop off bags and luggage. Parking closest to the entrance is subject to payment whereas parking farther away on the road is free.
    • Someone in our party is mobility impaired, please advise
      Stairs, steep inclines and uneven footpaths are part of the particularity of the Cinque Terre. There are bus shuttles and elevators in some, but not all, of the five villages. Each situation and village is unique; contact us directly so we can evaluate your needs on an individual basis.
  • Activities and Classes
    • What is the best time to call?
      Please be mindful of possible differences in time zone. We are in the Central Euopean Timezone (CET), or UTC +1:00. UTC+2:00 during summer season (approx. March 28 - October 30), for daylight savings time.
    • How far in advance is it necessary to request the organization of a special activity?
      Activities should be requested as far in advance as possible. This will ensure ample time to organize and fix your chosen dates. If you are more flexible with dates then we can attempt to squeeze in an activity within a few days' time.
    • I want to take the watercolor class, should I contact the artist?
      A Casa will organize the event for you. We will organize everything and accompany you to our lovely Manarola watercolor location.
    • What skill level is the cooking/painting class geared towards?
      The cooking and art instruction classes are each specially adapted to the skill levels of the participants. The activity leaders are professional chefs, artists, architects, and sommeliers who are adept at breaking it down or nerd-ing it up.
    • We would like to schedule a class over a holiday weekend, will this be a problem?
      Not a problem, but be sure to book in advance, as days around holidays like Easter, May Day, and Assumption Day (Ferragosto) tend to book up fast. For more on Italian national holidays see this list.
  • Do you know...?
    • We have a car, please advise.
      If you are driving to the Cinque Terre you can be reassured that there is parking at the top of the villages. Because of the small size of each town, however, cars are not allowed to park inside. During certain times of the day cars may be allowed to drop bags and luggage in a designated spot on the main street. Ask the parking lot attendants for permission. The parking area closest to the entrance of the village is subject to a fee. Free parking is offered farther away. Other options include parking in the lots near the trainstations of Levanto or La Spezia.
    • Can you reccommend lodging and/or activites outside of the Cinque Terre?
      Yes, we are happy to share and exchange travel information. Perhaps over an espresso at the café?
    • Can you describe the neighborhood around the house?
      Most accomodations offered are located in the village centers. The exceptions are marked as located in the city of La Spezia or the hamlet of Volastra. Villages vary between approximately 2000 and 500 inhabitants in the winter time. Houses concentrated together along the main street of the village. Each street has shops, grocers, cafés and restaurants. The train stations are never more than 15 minutes away on foot.
  • Do you have...?
    • Should we bring our own towels or linens?
      When you arrive at your accomodation, there will be a clean, fresh set of linens and towels ready for use. Please bear in mind that A Casa is not a hotel service, but a house and apartment rental portal. As stated in the general policies and conditions, linens and towels are not changed everyday but only with the change of guests. This is standard operating procedure for B&B, and house and apartmental rental as provided by local laws. After your departure we will clean the apartment and replace the linens and towels with a fresh set for the next guests.
  • Policies
    • Will we have to share our lodging with other people?
      No, each accomodation we arrange is private. Each room or apartment has a private bath and private entrance.
    • What is your policy on...?
      For information on our policies, terms and conditions, please reference our general policies page.
    • Are pets allowed?
      If traveling with pets, mention it in the reservation form. Each house owner has a different policy and we will communicate this to you.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Since visiting the Cinque Terre, my sense of "home" seems to have changed. Is this normal?
      Yes, this a normal condition many people experience after visiting the Cinque Terre. We suggest a second visit, though be advised that in some cases this has been known to only worsen the condition.