The Cinque Terre Train: A How-To Guide

If you know how to use the Cinque Terre Train, getting to Riomaggiore is easy!
The small town of Riomaggiore, on the Cinque Terre
Beautiful Vernazza is easily reachable by train, if you know how to use it!

Yes… you can reach beautiful Vernazza on the train!

You’ve bought your flights, booked your hotels, and made the excruciating choice between the Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast (or if you still need help with that, check out our blog on how to decide between Italy’s most popular coastlines) – you’re going with the Cinque Terre! Now you just need to find out how to get there and get around when you’re there.

We’re here to help!

Even though the Cinque Terre is famous for its hiking, you might not always want to hoof it from one town to the next. That’s especially true if you’re short on time, since several of the hiking paths take 2 or 3 hours. (Not to mention can be difficult, risky, and even closed!). Driving between these seaside towns, on the other hand, simply isn’t an option. That’s where the train comes in. Walks of Italy also offers a day trip to Cinque Terre from Rome, for a taste of this beautiful region on a fully-guided tour by high-speed train.

Taking the Cinque Terre train is easy, but if you’re trying to figure it out for the first time—especially from far away—it can look more complicated than it is. Here are some of your most common questions, answered! (And here’s our guide for figuring out train travel in Italy in general!).

Where does the Cinque Terre train line go?

You can get to the town of Manarola, a gem of the Cinque Terre, easily on the train!

You can get to the town of Manarola, a gem of the Cinque Terre, easily on the train

The Cinque Terre trains connect six stops: La Spezia (just to the southeast of the Cinque Terre, and the main transport hub for the area), the “official” Cinque Terre towns of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso, and the town of Levanto, in that order.

I’m coming from somewhere else in Italy, like Florence. How do I connect to the Cinque Terre train line?

Usually, you’ll have to connect in La Spezia. This station near the Cinque Terre is connected to cities across Italy, including Florence, Milan, and Venice (although in some cases, you’ll have to switch trains en route to La Spezia, as well).

But you don’t have to book your tickets to La Spezia, and then on to your chosen Cinque Terre town, separately. Instead, just plug in your starting point (say, Florence) and destination (say, Monterosso) on Trenitalia. The resulting page will tell you exactly what route to take (and where to switch trains).

How long does it take to get between towns in the Cinque Terre on the train?

From La Spezia to Riomaggiore is 10 minutes. And between the actual Cinque Terre towns, it’s less than 5 minutes.

How often does the train run?

Ah, now that’s what makes this harder. The train doesn’t run very often—in fact, generally once an hour. Here’s the timetable for the Cinque Terre train for 2015, although it’s worth double-checking on the Trenitalia site for the most up-to-date information.

Machine for validating your rail ticket in Italy

To validate your train ticket, use this guy

How expensive is it, and can I save money with a day pass?

Like most local trains in Italy, it’s very cheap between close stops. Vernazza to Corniglia, for example, costs €1.80. However, to save a little bit of money—and to avoid having to constantly buy, and validate (more on that later!) your tickets—you might want to get a Cinque Terre card. The card includes unlimited train travel on the whole Levanto to La Spezia line, as well as access to all hiking paths and some museum entrances. It costs €10 for one day or €19 for two days, and you can buy it at any of the area’s train stations.

How do I validate my train ticket?

We’re so glad you’re asking! Because the train tickets you buy aren’t time-stamped, they’ll need to be before you get on the train—so that, if you’re checked, the conductor knows that you haven’t used the ticket more than once. You can do this at one of the validation machines located on the train platform (they’re small and yellow). Just slide the narrow end of your ticket into the slot in the machine and wait until you hear it stamp your ticket.

An concise guide to getting around the Cinque Terre on the train by Walks of Italy.

 

358 Comments

  • Another great way to hop between the Terre is by water. The view from the sea is spectacular, whereas the train ride is mostly through tunnels. You can combine boat, train and walking over several days of leisurely exploring and chilling out. Bliss!

    • Bud says:

      Can you provide some more details about boat rides please.

      • Kerrie says:

        The ferries run between the five terraces and Portovenere all day.We are staying in Riomaggiore now and have caught the ferries no problems and they run every half hour and sometimes less if it’s busy.

    • Annie says:

      Are there toilets on the ferry? Silly question, but essential!

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Ciao Annie, many of the ferries are equipped with toilets but we suggest asking the company before departing if having a bathroom on board is essential. Do let us know if you have any questions!

    • Dina says:

      Hi.. I will be visitng cinque terre on July for 2 nights. I have read that one day is enough to see and experience the beauty of CT. On my 2nd day, i am planning to go to Pisa. Is it possible to go there in the morning and back to CT in the afternoon? If so, would you mind helping me how to get to Pisa from CT and vise versa? Your suggestions would be a big help. Thank you in advance. 🙂

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Ciao Dina, we suggest traveling from CT to Pisa (and vice versa) by train, which usually takes an hour to ninety minutes. Buon viaggio!

    • Justin says:

      Hi Oliver, We will be visiting Porto Venere on a yacht and will be anchored locally. We would like to explore the CT north of Porto Venere by tender. If you only had a day and half to explore, what towns and sights would you focus on?

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Hi Justin,

        It so depends on what you’re interested in! If you’d like to hike along the famous trails in the area, you could even hike from Portovenere all the way to Riomaggiore, then take a ferry back. (Our article on Hiking Cinque Terre might help). This will take at least a half a day, but hiking in Cinque Terre is one of the most popular reasons to visit! Or if hiking isn’t your thing, try taking the train that connects the five towns together. They are all very close, and you could tour them each in a day and a half, though you wouldn’t have much time to stop. If you’re looking for just one town, we love romantic Vernazza!

    • Neveen says:

      Hello,
      we will be cursing the Mediterranean and arriving to La Spezia as one of Ports of Call. How can we get to the Terre? and what are good sea tours available between all the Terre? Thanks!

      • Walks of Italy says:

        Hi Neeven,

        You can get to Cinque Terre from La Spezia using a convenient and brief train. From there, a train connects all five of the towns together – each one is just 1-2 minutes away by train! Have a great trip!

  • Thea says:

    This is very informative especially for someone like me who is about to visit CT in about two weeks. I am coming from Genova and I believe the closest station is the Prinsipe Stazione (sp?). Our guide will meet us at Rommagiorre. Thank you so much for this information!

  • Geniene says:

    Hi, so happy we have found your informative website. We are planning 4 nights in Cinque terre. Just wondering what the fastest train route from Venice would be, and then on our departure from CT to Rome?
    Any suggestions welcome! Thanks,
    Ciao

    • Hi Geniene,
      Thanks for reaching out! Four days in the Cinque Terre sound wonderful. From Venice, you’re going to want to take the fast train to Florence, then switch to a train to La Spezia. The route takes 5 hours, and you can see the various options by putting in “Venezia” to begin and “La Spezia” to end on trenitalia.it. In La Spezia, you’ll then have to switch to the local, Cinque Terre train to get to the exact town you want to go in.

      From CT to Rome, you’ll go back to La Spezia, then on to Rome. Again, you can see the solutions on the Trenitalia site for your specific date. It’ll take about 4 hours.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Donna says:

        There are 4 “venezia” options on trenitalia.it…which one is correct? Thanks!

        • Hi Donna,
          It depends on which train station you want to go to! The main one is Venezia-Santa Lucia. However, if you’re in doubt, look at Google maps to see which one might be closest to your hotel or to where you want to go.
          Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Reading the 2014 Cinque Terre train schedule, I’m confused about travel on Sundays. We need to leave Riomaggiore for La Spezia and on to Roma on Sunday, 27-July. Is the only choice the train at 9:00? If that is the only choice, I will choose an earlier train from La Spezia to Roma. Thanks for any help!

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Ciao Teresa! Since the Riomaggiore-La Spezia route is on a regional train, the schedule usually is not posted until a few weeks before the departure. Tickets can be purchased online one week in advance for this route. Let us know if you have any questions 🙂

          • Seniz says:

            Hi there, I too am leaving Riomaggiore on 24 August 14 but headed for Venice. I am planning on taking a train from La Spezia to Milan and swapping trains to get to Venice. I see from the above post that you say the schedule from Riomaggiore to La Spezia isn’t released until a few weeks before, but more generally, can you please tell me how frequent these trains are and what is the earliest they usually begin from. I am keen to catch a 7:47am train from La Spezia to Milan but want to make sure I can get to La Spezia from Riomaggiore in that time.
            Thanks for your help.

          • Walks of Italy says:

            Ciao! The first train usually leaves around 5:13 and runs once an hour, but this can depend on the day of the week. We suggest taking a look on the Trenitalia website a week before your trip or asking at the station when you arrive in Cinque Terre. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Joe Price says:

    Are reservations on the CT train:
    a) Possible?
    b) Required?

  • Angie says:

    Great little blog. We are arriving in CT from France, by car. Would you know if there are any long-term car parks where we can leave the car for 10 days? Levanto? La Spezia? Is it possible to book car parking in advance? And how much is it likely to cost?! If really expensive, we might consider leaving the car elsewhere and travelling the last few hundred miles by train! Thank you for any advice you may be able to give.

    • Hi Angie,
      Good question! In La Spezia, there is free parking at the Piazza d’Armi parking lot, which also is connected to the city center via a free shuttle bus (more here). For information on parking in the Cinque Terre, check out the useful site here.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Ida says:

        great blog that I have just stumbled on! Just a few questions, can we leave our car overnight in the car parks for free? Also, do we need to book the carpark?
        And last question, how long is the train ride from La Spezia to Riomaggiore?
        Thanks for your time.

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Ciao Ida! In La Spezia, there is free parking at the Piazza d’Armi parking lot, which also is connected to the city center via a free shuttle bus. For information on parking in the Cinque Terre, check out the useful site here. The train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore is approximately 7 minutes.

          Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Mark says:

    What is best route if we are coming from Rome and want to see potofino and CT and end our travels in milan?
    Any hotel suggestions in C T?

    • Hi Mark,
      From Rome, you’ll want to take the train to La Spezia (don’t miss our post on how to travel Italy by train for help). To get to the Cinque Terre, you can then take the local train we talk about in this article. To get to Portofino, you’ll have to return to La Spezia and then take the regional train from there to Santa Margherita Ligure-Portofino; Portofino is 5 km away, which you can then access by either bus or by ferry. From there, you’ll want to return to La Spezia, or Genoa, and take the train to Milan.

      In the Cinque Terre, it depends on which town you want to stay in. No matter where, though, we’d recommend looking into B&Bs (check out their reviews on a site like Tripadvisor before booking anything), which tend to be the area’s most charming and also economic options.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Sandy says:

    Our cruise ship docks in La Spezia. How do we get to Florence from there. We only have the one day to tour Florence. Looking for the fastest and most cost effective way to do this.

    • Hi Sandy,
      Unfortunately, we don’t currently offer transfers between La Spezia and Florence, as it takes about 4 hours by car each way. Your fastest option instead is the train, which will take you 2 hours each way (it includes a train change at Pisa). To save on your fare, book your trains in advance, as this way you often can take advantage of discounts. You can do so on the Trenitalia site (click on the flag on the upper right of the page to change the language to English). Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Jenn says:

    Hi, planning a day trip from milan. Any good recommendation on where to go?

    • Hi Jenn,
      We’re happy to help. What would you like to know, particularly? Most people like to visit at least a couple of the towns (especially Vernazza) and hike one or two of the trails between the villages. If you’re doing a day trip from Milan, that’s also about as much as you’ll have time to do. Let us know if we can help more specifically!

  • Eria says:

    Hi,
    Is there a train from CT to Milan?

  • Kathleen says:

    Hello Walks of Italy, I am super glad to have come across you guys and book a tour for tomorrow. I may save this question for ourguide tomorrow, but what is the best way to get from Rome to La Spezia? My friend and I are going to be in LS for three days and then spend maybe a half day in Pisa before we fly to Paris. Any tips? I feel nervous. Thank you 🙂

  • Shirley Owens says:

    Hi our family of four are coming from Florence to Monterosso in October what is the best way to get there?

    • Hi Shirley,
      You’ll want to take the train to La Spezia, and then switch to the local Cinque Terre train to Monterosso. You might find our post on taking the train in Italy helpful for answering questions you might have about taking the train to La Spezia. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Kate says:

        Hello,

        I am working on planning my train trip from Florence to Monterosso in July. When I search on trenitalia it tells me no travel solutions were found. Is this because the schedule hasn’t been posted yet? I was able to book my Rome to Florence tickets a while ago for just a couple days before we’re headed to Monterosso.

        Thanks!

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Ciao Kate! The train from Florence to Monterosso is a regional train and the timetable is usually posted just a few weeks before the departure. Please note that tickets can be purchased online only a week before. Buon viaggio!

  • irene moore says:

    Hello We are hoping to go to milan to see the last supper we will be staying in sirmione in september
    I understand the nearest station is Desenzano I have looked but can’t seen to work out the return day fare this is for 4 adults we are thinking of the 11th or12th
    can you help Thanks Irene

    • Hi Irene,
      We’re happy to help! Prices start from 10 euros each way, and trains take an hour or 1.5 hours. You can look at the fares and times by going to trenitalia.com, clicking on “Tutti i treni” and putting in your starting point and destination.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ankit says:

    Hi, cold you please help me figure out the best way to travel from Monterosso to Cannes, France.
    The only option i could figure was “Monterosso – Ventimiglia – Cannes” but it takes me a full day to do that as i have to leave at 8am and get to cannes at 4 pm..

  • Chelsea says:

    Hi, I am travelling to CT in September we are catching the train to Monterosso from Milan which has been booked already. When leaving we are heading to Rome on the train. I looked on trenitalia website and they a train ticket all the way from Monterosso to Rome that changed over in La Spezia. I was wondering is it worth booking this or should I just use the local train to get to La Spezia at whatever time best suits and just book my ticket from La Spezia to Rome online? Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Chelsea,
      The leg from Monterosso to La Spezia isn’t likely to sell out, so that option would be fine. But if you don’t book that in advance, you wouldn’t want to book the second leg in advance either, as the time you’ll want to leave La Spezia will depend on when you get there 🙂 We’d recommend going to the Monterosso train station and booking the whole route at once at a kiosk or the desk there.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • francis grech says:

    I am going to be in Florence and I want to go to Cinque Terre, how?
    When there in CT from where to take a boat trip? thank you

    • Hi Francis,
      You’ll want to take the train from Florence to La Spezia (go to trenitalia.com for times). From there, you’ll want to take the local Cinque Terre train that we talk about between the towns. Alternatively, yes, you can take a ferry between any of the CT towns. Here’s the current schedule, valid until September 8; if you are traveling after that, then just keep checking back here for updated information.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Antoinette says:

    Hello! Planning to be in Cinque Terre at the end of this week. I was wondering, is it recommended to base myself in La Spezie and just do day hikes back and forth, or do you recommend hopping from one town to the other, staying a night here, a night there, etc. I prefer not to move around too much and just have as much leisure time. Also, any “cheaper” accommodations you can recommend in each town?

    • Hi Antoinette,
      How lovely! We’d recommend actually staying in one of the five Cinque Terre towns, if you can find accommodation at this point, and not switching from night to night. The towns are very close together (it’s only 5-10 minutes between them by train), so since it’s so easy to spend the day in one even if you’re staying in another, the hassle of booking separate hotels, moving with your luggage, etc. probably isn’t worth it. For cheaper accommodation, look for B&Bs or apartment rentals. There especially are a number of B&Bs in Monterosso al Mare; we especially like Le Giare, B&B Marisa, and Manuel’s Guesthouse.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else, and enjoy your trip!

  • Margo says:

    Hi there,
    I am planning a trip for Feb 2014 and I’m curious on your opinion for coast to coast train travel. We would be taking the train from Venice to Genoa, see the sights in Portofino and CT, ending the coast trip in Pisa, and taking the train back to Venice (flight departs from there). OR we can reverse the trip and take the train from Venice to Pisa, ending in Genoa, and returning to Venice to fly home. Is this possible and/or what do you recommend? Oh, and try to do it all in 3-4 days

    • Hi Margo,
      In 3-4 days, that would be a very full trip indeed! 🙂 Keep in mind that it takes 5 hours or more to take the train from Venice to Genoa alone, so that will cut into your sightseeing time. (You can look up schedules and fares yourself on trenitalia.com). With that in mind, you might want to cut down on what you do on the “other” coast—say, see the CT but not Portofino, or vice versa—or, alternatively, consider sightseeing closer to Venice instead. If you like the idea of the small towns and spectacular scenery on the Ligurian coast, why not look into sightseeing around Lake Garda instead, which has small towns and a beautiful, huge lake backdropped by the Dolomite mountains? You could also visit Verona, which is one of our favorite towns in Italy.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Bert says:

    We are 3 retired couples arriving Civitavecchia port from cruise ship, docks at 0500am. We want to go immediately from port to Cinque Terre to spend 2 nights in one of the Ct towns. Need details on best way to get from dock to train station to Cinque Terre . What town and hotel would you recommend to spend 2 nights in CT. Nothing real expensive, but something nice with view etc. Any info to help us would be appreciated

    • Hi Bert,
      We’re happy to help! To get from Civitavecchia to Rome, you’ll want to take the train, which takes an hour. (Complete info about how to do this here). From there, take the train to La Spezia Centrale, which takes about 3 hours. You’ll then have to switch to the “local” CT train to the town you want to stay in. So it’s a journey, but worth it if you can spend two nights! As for where to stay, you’ll find the most options in Monterosso al Mare, especially on a budget; we’d recommend looking at reviews on venere.com or tripadvisor.com for a place within your budget. Be aware that many B&Bs require a bit of a climb up staircases to get to, worth keeping in mind if you have any mobility issues.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Kari says:

    Hello! We are flying into Pisa from France; what is the best way to get to CT?

    • Hi Kari,
      You’ll want to take the train from Pisa to La Spezia, and then switch to the local Cinque Terre train from there to get to the town you want.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Charlotte Kool says:

        HI there, do you think you need to reserve the train in advance from Pisa to CT? And also how long does it normally take to get out of the airport in Pisa and to the centrale station?

        Thanks

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Charlotte,

          The train from Pisa to Cinque Terre is a regional one, meaning there are no seat numbers so you can’t reserve it in advance. You’ll get your tickets and right before you board the train you validate them in a yellow box, stamping them with the date and time. Have a great trip!

  • Kari says:

    Also, do you know anything about rooms with Taverna Vernazza?

    • Hi Kari,
      Unfortunately, we’re not familiar with them personally. But for booking any accommodation, we’d recommend looking at reviews on sites like Tripadvisor and Venere before booking.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Jane says:

    Hi!

    We’d like to plan a day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence. How long would it take to get there? Could we go to 2-3 cities within a 5 hour period?

    • Hi Jane,
      We’re happy to help. Yes, you could see two or three of the towns, as they’re all quite small and the train between them takes 5-10 minutes. That said, if you want to relax, do any of the hiking paths, or enjoy a relaxed meal, you might want to pick just 2 towns instead. You can also just play it by ear, as you buy the train tickets right at the station there rather than in advance.

      Please let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Jacob says:

        Hi!

        We are also planning a day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence. We want to do some hiking and have lunch while there. Planning on taking a nearly morning train from Florence (switching at Piza) and an evening train back. Can I not buy the train tickets until a week before? Also– what towns should be make sure to check out?

        Thanks,

        Jake

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Jacob, regional trains can only be purchased one week beforehand online. If you’re looking for a larger town, we think you’d like Monterosso al Mare. If you’re looking for something more remote and rustic, check out Manarola and Corniglia. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Deb says:

    hi – We have an apt in Nice for the week and want to drive to or near CT for a night. where do you think the best town to stay is and how long do you think the drive would be? Also is there a boat that stops in the towns ?
    thank you for your help and great info on the site!

    • Hi Deb,
      We’re happy to help! Any of the towns are lovely; the one with the most accommodation options is probably Monterosso al Mare. So really, it depends on your budget and what exactly you’re looking for. We’d recommend looking at a site like Tripadvisor or Venere for specific reviews. The drive from Nice is about 3 hours, and as far as boats go, yes, you can take a ferry between any of the CT towns. Here’s the current schedule, valid until September 8; if you are traveling after that, then just keep checking back here for updated information.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Vinay says:

    Hi,
    Very informative site, thanks a lot for sharing.

    I was planning on spending two days in CT, staying in one of the towns. We’ll be coming from Venice and headed to Rome. Looking to enjoy the scenery but don’t want to make it too physical as we have a 2 year old and wife is expecting.

    Can you recommend an itinerary?

    Thanks
    Vinay

    • Hi Vinay,
      We’re happy to help! Cinque Terre doesn’t have much in the way of sightseeing—it’s mostly about exploring the towns, relaxing and doing the area’s famed hikes (if interested). So we’d say not to worry too much about a strict itinerary. Instead, plan to visit a couple of the towns on your first day and the others on your second day, using the train in between; with a 2-year-old and pregnant wife, we wouldn’t recommend any of the hikes. The only walk you might want to do is the Via dell’Amore, but this depends on when you’re coming, as it’s currently closed and not expected to reopen until 2014.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Dianne says:

    Can I use the eurail pass I can buy online for all areas of florence, cinque terre, modena, venice etc. Or must I buy a trenitalia train pass?

    • Hi Dianne,
      Although you should be able to use it, we’d recommend getting a pass directly with Trenitalia instead, which is much cheaper.

      Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • Dianne says:

    Also, what is the best train to get from CT to Milan?
    Thank you for your info.

  • Michelle says:

    Hi, we are traveling to the Siena area in sept and wanted to visit Cinque Terre. We will have a car. How far is it to get there and should we drive to take the train from Siena? Thanks.

    • Hi Michelle,
      We’re happy to help! It will take almost 3 hours to get to the CT from Siena by car. Because of that, and because parking is limited, as well as the fact that you don’t need or want a car in the CT towns, we’d recommend perhaps leaving the car behind, unless that is you want to then drive from the CT to explore other parts of the Ligurian coastline. Don’t hesitate to check out trenitalia.com to compare train times instead or maps.google.com to look at what driving route you could take.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Dorothy says:

    May i know if i buy a train ticket from La Spezia to Monterosso, can i use that ticket for a whole day and hop among the five towns or I have to buy a Cinque Terre Card. Thanks a lot.

  • Avila says:

    Hi Walks of Italy,
    I am so glad I found your website…very helpful. My husband and I will be arriving by cruise ship at Civitavecchia in November. We are hoping to spend 3 days in Cinque Terre before flying back to Canada from Venice.
    The earliest we will be able to disembark the cruise ship is 8 am on a week-day. My questions: 1) How easy is it to get from the cruise port to the starting town in Cinque Terre? How much time should be plan for travel there? 2) Should we be staying our 3 days in one town or move as we progress with our hike? 3) If we stay in one town, how close (in travel time) is the furtherst town in Cinque Terre to the starting town? 4) How do we get from a town in Cinque Terre to Venice? And how much travel time should we allow for that. This part of the trip will be on a Saturday.
    Looking for any info you can give to help me plan. Thanks

    • Hi Avila,
      We’re happy to help! In answer to your questions:

      1) From Civitavecchia, you’ll want to take the train to Rome, which takes an hour. (Complete info about how to do this here). From there, take the train to La Spezia Centrale, which takes about 3 hours. You’ll then have to switch to the “local” CT train to the town you want to stay in. So you’re looking at 4-5 hours to get there from the port.

      2) We’d recommend staying in one town—moving as you progress with your hikes only makes sense if you’re willing to carry all your luggage with you on your hikes 🙂 It’s so easy and fast to get between towns by train, in any case, it’s easiest to hike a leg and then take the train back to wherever you’re staying.

      3) It takes a half an hour to get from one end to the other by train. You can check out train schedules here.

      4) To get to Venice, you’ll want to take the local train to La Spezia and then go on to Venice (you’ll have to switch trains at least twice, unfortunately). The journey takes 5+ hours. You can see schedules and fares on the Trenitalia site (also, here’s help for figuring out how to do that train journey).

      We hope that helps you plan. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Casey says:

    Hi,
    We’ll be going to CT from Venice. We’ve been reading that reservations to La Spezia are necessary. How many days in advance should this be done? We will be in Venice on Sept 5 and will want leave for CT on the 8th. Is booking on the 5th or 6th enough time in advance? We’re trying to avoid reservations from the U.S. because of all the extra costs…

    Thanks!

    • Hi Casey,
      Reservations to La Spezia aren’t necessary, although reserving tickets does ensure of course that you’ll have a seat (very popular routes sometimes sell out). In your case, booking on the 5th or 6th should be fine for a trip to La Spezia on the 8th.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Boris says:

    We’re planning to visit CT during the last week of September.I’ve heard that some walking path are closed after flooding. In particular, I’m interested in “Walk of love” between Riomaggiore and Manarola. Is it open? What parts are opened?

    • Hi Boris,
      Yes, unfortunately some trails, including the “Via dell’Amore,” remain closed (it should open in 2014). However, the other three trails, between Manarola-Corniglia, Corniglia-Vernazza, and Vernazza-Monterosso, are open.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Mary says:

    Thanks for the very informative site. I am traveling from Riomaggiore to Naples and am concerned about limited time to change trains in La Spezia (6 minutes) and Pisa (14 minutes). Are you aware of any web sites that provide details of the platform layouts in different train stations. I am concerned about missing transfers because we have a driver picking us up a the Naples train station to take us to Praiano. Thanks!

    • Hi Mary,
      We’d recommend booking the legs of your trip separately (the cost is the same), giving you more time to transfer in between trains. Unfortunately, we don’t know of any sites with details of platform layouts.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Elaine says:

    We are arriving via cruise ship to La Spezia later in September. Our boat will be there from 8 until 5 so I am assuming we will get off the boat by around 10 and would like to be back on the ship at 3:30. Could you give me an idea what might be our best way to see the area in such a short time. I was looking at taking the 10:12 train to Manarola, 11:45 ferry to Venazza, 12:55 ferry to Monterosso and 14:44 train back to La Spezia. What do you think? Is it too rushed?

    • Hi Elaine,
      Yes, you might be a bit rushed! We’d recommend choosing 2, maximum 3, of the towns to explore and relaxing a bit; that’ll still give you more than a taste for the area. If you find you have more time than you expected, you can always make an extra trip to a 4th town.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • David says:

    Thanks for the extremely informative site! We are planning to drive to Cinque Terre in late September and plan to hike the open trails between the towns as well as the trail to Levanto. Are there any other good hiking trails in the area?

    • Hi David,
      Sounds wonderful! Yes, there are other hiking trails in the area (these are more advanced). The famous hiking trails are actually trail #2, while other gorgeous trails include #3, 6, 7, 8, and more. Check out our post on hiking the Cinque Terre for more information (info about the other hiking trails specifically is at the bottom of the post).
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Kristen says:

    Thanks for all of the information sharing! My husband and I are leaving the kids with grandparents and coming to CT for 4 nights from Germany in October. What is the best way to arrive at La Spezia? Air, train?

  • Tony Evans says:

    We will be in Genoa Oct 21 /25
    like to do two one day walks in Cinque Terra catching train from Genoa each day
    Between which villages would you recommend?

    • Hi Tony,
      We’re happy to help! Unfortunately, because of flooding a couple of years back, 2 of the 4 famous trails linking the 5 towns remain closed. So your two options (if you want to stick to the most famous trails) are the trails between Corniglia-Vernazza and Vernazza-Monterosso. We strongly encourage you to read our post about hiking the Cinque Terre trails here, and closer to your trip, to check the Cinque Terre park website to make sure nothing has been closed last minute, as trails can be closed with little to no notice because of weather or flooding.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Lily says:

    Thank so much for the good information! Do you know any local private guide who could pick up and drop off us at La Spezia Centrale to show us the most important things to see in Cinque terre, we only have about 4 1/2 hours and then we have to travel back to Livorno to catch our cruise ship. Thank you.

  • Leah says:

    Hello. Thank you for this website 🙂 We are travelling via car on 13 Oct. from Florence and wanted to spend one night in Cinque Terra on our way to Venice. I know a lot of the roads are closed due to flooding so can you pls. recommend which town to stay in? I would love to go to the town with the colorful buildings or the fishing village that I keep seeing in many brochures. We are not big hikers but will do a mini hike. I also hear we cant drive into CT because the roads are too narrow? We have to take our car because that’s our mode of transportation (road trip through Italy)? Where shall I leave the car and pick it up the next day?

    • Hi Leah,
      The CT towns are almost completely back to normal from the flooding; it’s some of the hiking paths that aren’t. So go with whatever town you’d normally go with (many people love Vernazza). If you drive to CT, leave it at the parking lot in La Spezia and then take the local train from there.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Sharon says:

    We’d like to visit Cinque Terre by train from Florence. It will be a day trip. We don’t want to rush from village to village. Is it possible/worthwhile to just visit two villages? I was thinking of arriving to the first by train, taking the boat (with a train option as we are traveling late Oct) to the second village and returning from there to La Spezia by train. If possible, then the next question would be how to decide which two villages to explore?

    • Hi Sharon,
      Limiting yourself to two villages would be a good idea, since it’ll still give you a good feel for the area, and if you have extra time, you can always hop on the train and fit in a third one. We’d recommend definitely Vernazza, which is the beautiful town featured on so many postcards; your second town is really up to you, as the towns each have a slightly different character but are similar as well, and they’re all lovely! Basically, you can’t go wrong 🙂 Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Donna says:

    Hi, this is a great site, lots of info! We will be leaving Florence traveling to RioMaggiore next week and now know we need to take the train to La Spezia. However do you know if there is anywhere to leave our luggage in Florence, since we would only like to have backpacks in CT for the 3 days? There are 6 of us traveling. Thank you!

    • Hi Donna,
      We’re happy to help! Yes, you can leave your luggage at the main Florence train station of S. Maria Novella. It’s on the ground floor at platform 16. More info and costs here. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Henry says:

    Thanks for your geat website. We plan on taking a train from Milan to La Spezia but staying in Lerici (the Doria Park Hotel). Can you give me any information about taxis or shuttles to Lerici from the station, including estimated cost.

    • Hi Henry,
      We’re happy to help! There is a bus from Fossitermi, in La Spezia, going to Sarzana and stopping at Lerici on the way. Journey time: 35 minutes. It is important to note that you cannot pay the busfare on the bus itself; you have to buy the bus ticket at the bar of the train station. See http://www.atclaspezia.it for the updated timetable.

      Meanwhile, a taxi shouldn’t cost too much, as it’s only 11km, but it really depends; before getting into a taxi, definitely ask the driver about how much the route will cost.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • A Singh says:

    Hi, I am traveling from Florence to Cinque Terre for 2 days in a few weeks. I am a bit confused about the tickets: if I get one from Florence to Monterosso then does that include the Cinque Terre travel pass? And, how is La Spezia as a base to stay?

    • Hi there,
      You’ll want to buy a Florence to La Spezia ticket, which is just for getting from Florence to La Spezia. You’ll then get a ticket from La Spezia to Monterosso or, alternatively, can buy a pass that covers unlimited travel between towns in the Cinque Terre.

      We’d recommend staying in one of the other CT towns than La Spezia, which is a convenient transport hub for getting elsewhere around Italy, but doesn’t have quite the same charm as the smaller towns (like Monterosso).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Debi Sementelli says:

    We’ll only be in Florence for two days- a Monday and Tuesday. Museums are closed on Monday so we’ll be doing those on Tues. We wanted to see the Duomo on Monday. Just heard about the train to Cinque Terre. Wondering if we can fit a trip in. How long is the train ride from Florence to the nearest town?

    Thanks for any help!

    • Hi Debi,
      The fastest train from Florence to La Spezia is 2 hours (you also have to change trains). You then have to switch trains again, and it’s another 10 to 15 minutes to the smaller towns in the heart of the CT. While you can do it as a day trip, therefore, it’s a long day! In all honesty, with only 2 days in Florence, we really wouldn’t recommend taking one day as a day trip. You’d also be surprised at just how much is actually open in Florence on Mondays, museums included. Make sure to check out the blog post we’ve written on exactly that – what to do in Florence on a Monday! Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Rosemary says:

    My sister and I will be traveling from Florence to CT in late December. Can you tell me about the weather, hiking conditions and accessibility from town to town. Also would you recommend that drop off our luggage at our hotel in Vernazza and then start exploring? How many trains leave Florence to CT per day? Thanks.

    • Hi Rosemary,
      Our post on the Cinque Terre in the off season answers many of your questions, here. Yes, we’d recommend dropping your luggage first in Vernazza, as you won’t want to lug it around! For trains, check trenitalia.com (put in Florence as the start and La Spezia as the end); trains tend to run every hour or so, but you’ll find more info for your specific date on the site.
      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Monica says:

    Hello!

    Thank you so much for such an informative blog. I’m so happy I randomly came upon it in an internet search a week before my trip!

    We’ll be spending three nights in the Cinque Terre at the end of October. We’re looking to travel then from the Cinque Terre to Nice, France. We’re having a hard time figuring out how to book our trains while crossing international boarders. Do you have any suggestions or websites that we could look into?

    Thank you so much for this blog and in advance for the advice!

  • Jackie says:

    Hi
    Hope I’m not repeating someone else’s question, your site is getting quite long.
    We’re taking the train from Orvieto with a stop in Pisa and on to CT. Should we go directly to our lodging and sightsee other towns the next day or do you have a better suggestion.
    Do the train stations in CT have lockers for luggage in the event we get there early?
    Can’t wait to experience your towns
    Jackie from Canada

    • Hi Jackie,
      Yes, the La Spezia train station has a locker for storage. For the purposes of relaxation, you might want to go to your lodging and sightsee the next day, but we’d say play it by ear depending on how you feel!

  • Stace says:

    Hi guys,
    Stumbled onto your website- it’s great very informative
    Can I just check I have this straight:
    I have a pre- purchased ticket from Rome-la spezia. I’m staying in monterosso.
    So I’m thinking I get myself to the main train station in Rome , look at the signs, find my platform then validate my ticket
    – its exactly like the one on one of your other pages – do I just put it in near the arrows and it will stamp it?
    Train looks like it takes 4 hrs
    Then get off in la spezia and get on local train to monterosso which looks like the 5th stop
    – is this all in the same station?
    Anything else I need to know or any misconceptions I have?

    I’m there for 4 days what do you think is the best itinerary to follow… I know a pretty open ended question lol

    Thanks heaps

    • Hi Stace,
      We’re happy to help! That sounds right to us, except if you already have purchased your ticket and are printing the pass off from your computer, it should already have the time written and you do *not* need to validate it at the station. Then, yes, you can transfer in La Spezia to Monterosso in the fifth station; for that journey you will need to buy (and this time validate) a separate ticket.

      Best itinerary is indeed open ended, as it depends very much on your interests! However, most people like to spend at least a couple of days hiking the Cinque Terre trails.

      Safe travels!

  • Vincent says:

    AM very excited about CT when I read about it. We are coming from Singapore and will be arriving vial Linate – Milan about 12 noon on 25 Nov. It will be a family of 5. Idea is to head straight to a town on CT for 2 nights.
    I have researched a few modes of transport , Trains – Shuttles – Car Rental. Seems that possible the most economical and time saving mode might be renting a car from Linate and returning at Milan Central as we intense to spend 3 nights at Milan to do Lake Como etc. or Taking the Shuttle / Taxi for 5 pax. Less waiting time but might be costly.

    My question would be:
    1. Which town would you recommend We stay at? Was thinking Vernazza?
    2. Mode of transport to CT from Linate to CT and back to Milan after the 2 nights at CT?

    Thank you for your valuable advice.

    • Hi Vincent,
      We’re happy to help!

      1) Vernazza is beautiful. Just be aware that you won’t be able to park in Vernazza, so it’s probably easiest to leave your car in La Spezia and take the train that we write about in this post to Vernazza.
      2) Yes, renting a car as you’re a family of 5 might make the most sense, but be aware that you won’t want the car while you’re actually in the CT, so you’ll want to leave it at a parking lot in La Spezia, most likely. That means you’ll be paying for two days when you’re not really using the car, of course, but might still be cheaper than buying 5 separate train tickets–check trenitalia.com to make sure (and don’t forget to include the cost of petrol!).

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Rainco says:

    Hi there,

    I will going to CInque Terre either from Florence or Pisa. How far from each of this point to CInque Terre?

    I am a girl and going alone, it is safe?

    Thanks

  • indriati says:

    Hi there,

    We are planning to go to CT on a day trip from Florence on Dec 26, 2013.
    We need your help to make sure that there is no boat operated on that day.
    And how about restaurant or cafe on that day. Are they still open?
    Thank you

    • Hi Patricia,
      Ferries don’t tend to operate in the winter, so you’ll want to take the train instead. Most restaurants and cafes will be closed, since it’s a holiday as well as low season, but you should be able to find something open! Enjoy your trip!

  • Lee says:

    Hi there My friend and I plan to visit Cinque Terre for 2 days as we want to add some nature, scenic getaway in our trip apart from the conventional city sight-seeing. Any other places in Italy you would recommend which is akin to Cinque Terre [ prefer to enjoy the nature than seeing buildings, architectures etc]. We would leave for Venice after this.

    • For more spectacular, natural scenery that isn’t too far from the Cinque Terre, you might want to rent a car and, on your way to Venice, check out the “lake district” of northern Italy—particularly Lake Garda and the dramatic Dolomite mountain range.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ger says:

    Hi I am thinking of doing a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre. I would like to visit the Leaning Tower first in the morning. Will I have time to stop at Pisa and then go onto Cinque Terre and come back to Florence in the same day? Thanks

    • Hi Ger,
      In our opinion, that would be much too much for one day; it would make for a lot of time on trains and little time enjoying Pisa or the Cinque Terre. Instead, we’d suggest spending more time in the Cinque Terre and saving Pisa for another trip. Let us know if we can answer anything else!

  • susan says:

    We are planning a trip from Rome to CT in mid April. Can you help us with a few details, such as which trains to take from Rome?

    • Hi Susan,
      You’ll want to go to trenitalia.com and put in Rome as your starting point and La Spezia as your ending point; you’ll see lots of options, depending on your dates. From La Spezia, take the local train that we talk about in this post to your exact town in the CT.

      Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Ana says:

    Hello,

    We are planning a trip to CT in July from Milan for 2 nights (first time in Italy!). Do you have any recommendations on where to stay in CT? Any preferences on which town to stay in? Hotel name? Thanks!

    • Hi Ana,
      We don’t have particular spots we recommend in the CT, but we will say that you’ll have the most accommodation options in Monterosso al Mare, while the “gem” (and often priciest place to stay) on the coast is often said to be Vernazza. We’d recommend going with a family-run B&B rather than a hotel, and just make sure you read lots of reviews on Tripadvisor about the place before you book, and you’ll have a great experience. Enjoy!

  • Raghav says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for such an informative blog!

    We’re traveling to Italy later this year, and want to squeeze in a day in CT. We’ll be coming from Milan, as of now for a day trip. The plan is to take the Intercity 1533 at 8:10, reaching Monterosso at 11-ish, spend the whole day in CT and return from Monterosso via Intercity 1534 at 18:55, reaching Milan at 21:50 to maximize our time there. I have a few questions:

    a. Any way to do it quicker and thus spend even more time in CT? The 6AM train from Milan to La Spezia will make us reach there around 9:15 but it’s 2x expensive!

    b. We’ll probably get the day pass and hop from village to village – is it possible to get the pass from Monterosso? Or is it only available at La Spezia?

    c. More importantly, what to do in CT the whole day? I think we might be able to do the Monterosso->Vernazza hike, break for lunch, and just hop from then on, but what do you suggest? Which village has the best beach for a swim?

    d. You may have noticed we’re returning from Monterosso, that’s because the last train from La Spezia leaves for Milan much earlier (17:15). Ideally I’d like to keep the CT train hops one-way from Monterosso->La Spezia but it looks like we have no choice but to return to Monterosso so that we can return later at 18:55. Can you please confirm I’m not goofing up here?

    Thank you!
    R

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Raghav! Since you have such a limited time in CT, we would suggest taking the earlier train for some more time to enjoy and explore the five towns. The Cinque Terre Card may be purchased in person at the Monterosso Central Station (first floor). Your itinerary for the day is excellent and we think the beaches in Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare are the best for swimming. Regarding point d, could you kindly reply with some more information about the train schedule so we can confirm? Thank you!

  • Ethel says:

    HI. Travelling with my husband to Italy this April 2014. We want to visit Rome, Florence (use as base for day trips to Venice and Assisi and maybe Pisa) and maybe two nights in Cinque Terre. We arrive and depart from Rome. Wondering best way to manage our flow. Would you recommend Florence before CT or CT before Florence.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ethel, CT before Florence or vice versa is up to you – it depends if you would prefer to travel north to CT than make your way south to Florence then back to Rome, or rather stop in Florence before heading north to CT. Please feel free to let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Sumit says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for this guide. I am a medical student, going to CT in April with my girlfriend. Since we don’t have alot of money, we want to stay in hostels. We are going to come down from Milan, and then stay for 2 or 3 days to explore the town. Do you think it would make sense to hostel in La Spezia, then take the trains into the towns every day and back to the hostel at night? Or stay any of the 5 towns? Also, is there a good site to see if the trails are open? Thank you very much.

  • Lisa S says:

    Hello, We will be flying from the U.S. To Genoa on 4/10/14 and plan to take the train from Genoa to CT. Then after two nights in CT, train to Lake Como via Pisa, then after 2 nights in Varenna train to Milan for flight to Paris. My questions are: do we need advance reservations for trains during this time, and do you know if the Via d’Amore from Riomaggiore to Manarola and path from Manarola to Corniglia are likely to be open by then? Thanks very much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa! You do not need to book tickets in advance for these trips as they are mainly regional trains with a generally standard price. As for the CT paths, both the Riomaggiore to Manarola and Manarola to Corniglia sections are currently closed and will most likely not open before your trip. Be sure to check the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre website for updates on the status of the paths. Buon viaggio 🙂

  • Lisa says:

    Hi there,

    We are planning a trip for this August. We are flying into Venice so for the first stretch planning to go from Venice to Cinque Terre and then from Cinque Terre to Rome.

    My MIL is afraid of getting motion sickness on a train (b/c she’s had issues on a bus – but no issues in a car) so we were thinking about renting a car from Venice, make a stop in Tuscany along the way to CT, and then stay in Monterosso where the hotel said they will provide a private parking spot (@ 10Euros/day), then drop the car off as we get into Rome. Do you think this will be more hassle and cost than it’s worth (there will be 6 adults)? Are there any major issues you anticipate we may face (do you recommend one way over the other)?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa, the roads in Italy – especially in Cinque Terre – tend to be windy and narrow, which is more likely to cause motion sickness than a train. For a group of 6 adults, you would have to rent a larger car (SUV or mini-van), which would generally have a higher price and consume more gas (which is quite costly in Italy). Let us know if we can help you with anything else!

  • LeeAnn Cheeley says:

    My son is flying into Bologna & needs to take the train to La Spezia in order to meet us in Monterossa. Which train station is closest to the airport in Bologna? I see there are a few choices. But I am getting an error when I try to check the departure times from the Bologna Centrale to La Spezia. Is there something I need to know about booking this?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Leann, your son can take a bus from the airport to Bologna Centrale (5 euro) to take the train to La Spezia. Since there are no direct trains from Bologna to La Spezia, he will have to make 2 transfers (Bologna – Florence – Pisa – La Spezia) and the journey should take around 3:15. You can purchase these tickets directly on the Trenitalia website. Let us know if we can help you with something else!

  • Lillian says:

    my husband and i will be traveling in italy come july. we will fly in to rome and fly out of barcelona.
    we want to visit rome, florence, venice, cinque terre and then move over to nice. we will travel by train to all places. does this sound like a good order or should we do rome, cinque terre, florence, venice and then nice? we would like to see as much of the italian coast as possible w.out losing too much time in traveling. thank you for your insightful website.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lillian! We would definitely suggest the first option to save time traveling (Rome, Florence, Venice, Cinque Terre) as Liguria is very close to Nice and the French border. Buon viaggio and be sure to tell us about your trip!

  • Ash says:

    Hello,

    We are a couple and plan to spend two nights in Cinque Terre. We are visiting Italy and France for 4 weeks which means we are going to have good amount of lugguage. At the moment we have two choices. Could I request you to suggest the best way of doing this taking into consideration in either choice we want to stop by Pisa for few hours before heading into Cinque Terre.

    Choice 1: Florence to Cinque Terre via Pisa– Spend the previous night in Florence, and travel to Pisa in the morning. Spend 3 hours in Pisa and travel to Cinque Terre. After 2 nights the plan is to go to Venice directly.

    Choice 2: Siena to Cinque Terre via Pisa– Spend the previous night in Siena. Travel to PIsa in the morning. Spend 3 hours in PIsa and travel to Cinque Terre. After 2 nights, plan to go to Florence and then to Venice.

    I am trying to work out the logistics, and I read mixed reviews about travelling via car or train to Cinque Terre. Could you please suggest the best choice and the mode of transport between cities. The most important thing is do you know if there is any place in Pisa where we could store the lugguage for a couple of hours whilst we are going around in the town? Thanks very much for your help.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ash, would you be able to tell us where you will be visiting after Venice so we can let you know what the best option would be? Traveling by train in CT is more convenient than renting a car, which can be expensive between rental fees, gas and parking (there is no free parking in the 5 towns). If you are traveling by train between the towns, we’d suggest purchasing the CCinque Terre Train Card for unlimited rides. As for your luggage in Pisa, you can leave your luggage at the station for a cost of about 3 euros/12 hours – just look for the “deposito bagagli” sign and be sure to have photo id to check in your luggage at the storage office.

  • Jenny says:

    Hi,

    Have booked 2 nights nearly 2 days in the CT. Staying in Monterosso area. Intend walking and then catching the ferry back at the end of the day. What is the latest the ferries run?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jenny, ferries usually run until 18:30 in the evening. Do make sure to check with the ferry company as schedules are subject to change, especially during the offseason. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Christine says:

    Hi – what a great site. I read all the comments and don’t think this has been asked. We are a group of 5, travelling from Venice. We have reservations in Manarola. I see there are 2 routes from Venice to CT. Either through Milan to Monterosso or through Florence to La Speiza. Our itenary is Venice – CT – Florence – Rome. The difference is about 45 min to 1 hour of train ride.

    1. Do you recommend we take the Milan route or Florence (since we’re going to Florence for a few days after CT). What is the difference in scenary on the train rides?

    2. It is recommended we reserve our tickets before we leave US so we can print tickets, if needed? I read about extra costs from a comment above and was not aware of that.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Christine! We’d suggest taking the Milan route to CT and the Florence route on your way to your next destination – you may catch a few more glimpses of the countryside on the Florence train ride. Extra costs may be attributed if you use your American credit card, but they are relatively minor if you prefer the peace of mind of already purchasing your ticket. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Susie says:

    Hello, walks of italy. Thank you for your very informative page on CT.

    I have one question to ask though. You stated that “you don’t have to book your tickets to La Spezia, and then on to your chosen Cinque Terre town, separately. Instead, just plug in your starting point (say, Florence) and destination (say, Monterosso) on Trenitalia. The resulting page will tell you exactly what route to take (and where to switch trains).” If I were to do this, is the CT Treno Card included in the price of the train ticket? If not, does this mean that I have to buy the CT Treno Card separately at the La Spezia train station before the train moves out of the La Spezia station onto Monterosso? Or can I buy the CT Treno Card at Monterosso station and use it on the local train down to each of the CT towns?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Susie, the CT Train Card is not included in the Trenitalia fare. You can purchase the card at the La Spezia station or any of the Cinque Terre train stations for unlimited train rides between the towns. Tickets are 1-day or 2-day and must be validated before use. Buon viaggio!

  • Kristin says:

    Hello,

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy in mid September. We are thinking of going to Rome, Venice, CT, and Genoa. We will have between 10-12 days I have read a lot of great info on your site, but I was wondering if you thought this was a good itinerary or would it make more sense to go to Puglia instead? I was worried that it’s such a hike from Venice whereas CT is closer. Also, how far in advance should we book the train between the major cities? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kristin! Your itinerary sounds great – we would suggest flying into Rome, heading to Genoa, CT, then east to Venice then back down to Rome (if you are departing from that airport). If you’d like to go to Puglia as well, we’d suggest choosing Venice or Genova/CT for Northern Italy. You can book your train up to 4 months in advance and we’d recommend reserving as early as possible to ensure the lowest price. Buon viaggio and be sure to tell us about your experience!

  • Fulya says:

    Hello,
    Me and my friends are planing a day trip to CT and Manarola and Vernazza are the ones we want to see the most and even one more if we have the time. We wlll be coming from Genova. We will be there towards the end of April, is it possible to go from one to the other from the water by a ferry or a boat around that time? Also, another question; is it possible to walk on the coast from one town to the next?

    Thank you so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! As ferry service is quite limited during the off-season, we would suggest getting from Genova to the Cinque Terre would be by train, which is actually quite easy 🙂 Be sure to consult the Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre website before your trip for an update on which paths are open. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Eric says:

    Hello – what would you recommend for someone who has 3 nights and wants to hike the entire CT coast? Should we start in Monterosso and end in Riomaggiore? Should we stay the entire time in Monterosso and take trains back and forth to different hikes, or start/stay in Monterosso, Vernazza and Riomaggiore? Or other? Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Eric, please be sure to check the updated Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre website before your trip to see which trails are open as some of the more famous paths are closed due to the devastating 2011 floods. Do let us know if we can help with anything else!

      • Eric says:

        Hi, and thank you for the information. We won’t be in Italia until beginning of October. That being said, do you have a recommendation for someone who has 3 nights and wants to hike the entire CT coast? Thanks!

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Eric, we suggest you checking the Cinque Terre website closer to you trip to have a better understanding of which trails will in fact be open. A predicted opening date for some trails is this spring, but they are not definite. We’d be happy to help you plan your hiking itinerary closer to your trip!

  • Isabel says:

    Hi, I will be in Cinque Terre for 5 nights, 6 days early April, just checking on the weather on those dates, the whole time will be cloudy and rains, and the temp. is 40-45 degrees.What can I do around with that kind of weather? Is it wise to continue the trip? I’m afraid there’s not much to do and be trapped in the hotel at all times, and not able to enjoy the outdoor. I’d like to hike a little. Please give me the best advice.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Isabel! It may be rainy and wet in early April, so you may want to just spend 2 or 3 days exploring the towns. With the Cinque Terre as a base, you may enjoy taking day trips or weekend trips to larger nearby cities like Florence and Genova. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Chris says:

    Your website is great! ;
    We are going to Vernazza for 4 days in July and my questions are:
    1. We are coming from Genoa – do we get off at Levanto, Monterosso or La Spezia to transfer to Vernazza?
    2. On Sunday 20th we have to go by train to Verona. Do we go La Spezia-Genoa-Milan Verona, or is there another way?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Grazie, Chris! You can transfer in Sestri Levante, La Spezia or Riomaggiore to get to Vernazza. Be sure to check the time table on Trenitalia to check which train best works for your schedule (departure station in Genoa, departure and arrival time). To get to Verona, the most convenient train is Vernazza – Levanto – Milan – Verona. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

      • Chris says:

        Thanks for the good info., the information on your site is some of the best, informative, and useful that I have seen!
        I have a couple more questions that you might help with. Can you tell me if all the walks out of Vernazza are going to be open this summer?
        I am finding Trenitalia a bit difficult, maybe because I’m in Canada, but I can only go 4 or 5 weeks ahead for reservations. Is this normal, or are there new schedules/fares coming for the summer season?

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Grazie, Chris! Please be sure to check the official Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre website before your trip for the updated status of the trails which should be opening over the next few months. Tickets can be purchased on Trenitalia for 4 months before the departure date, so it’s possible that it is too early. Sometimes, regional trains can only be purchased the week before your trip, but either way you should be receiving the message under the “prices” category. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Nancy says:

    Hello – We are a family of five travelling to Italy in August for 11 days — Our itinerary is Rome, Florence, CT and Venice. Do you recommend going to CT as a day trip from Florence, or staying overnight there enroute to Venice? Also, do you recommend seeing the towns by ferry and then hiking/training between them or just hiking and training? What are the must see/do’s? Do you have a tour there? Are the easier trails out of Riomaggiore open? Thank you!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nancy, we do not suggest a day trip from Florence as there are no direct trains to CT and you will not have much time to explore the towns when you factor in arriving and departing from Florence. We recommend hiking if the trails are open (please consult the official status of the trails before your trip) or taking the train. At the moment we do not have a tour there, but be sure to bring a bathing suit as you will definitely want to go for a swim in the picturesque beaches! Let us know if you have any other questions 🙂

  • Marissa says:

    Hi!
    I need help! I’m trying to book a train from Florence to Manarola on the 16th June 2014 but I can’t seem to find any routes. Can you give me a tip on what website and what departing station I should be using?

    Thanks.
    Marissa.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Marissa! You can book your train using Trenitalia. Since there are no direct trains from Florence to Cinque Terre, we suggest the Florence Santa Maria Novella -> Pisa Central Station -> La Spezia Central Station -> Manarola route, which should take about 3 hours and cost approximately 20 euro. Buon viaggio and be sure to let us know about your experience!

  • Lisa says:

    I will be arriving to La Spezia by cruise and want to hike the Cinque Terre. I am an avid hiker and have approximately 10 hours in this area. How close to the port (where the cruise ships come in) is it to the Cinque Terre? I would love to hike the entire 5 towns and then take the train back to La Spezia and get back on my cruise. Is this doable? Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa! The train ride from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, the first town in CT, is about 10 minutes. Please note that many of the popular trails are being renovated so we suggest having a look on the official Parco Nazionale Cinque Terre website for the updated status before your trip. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

      • Lisa says:

        ok, I will ask the question again but in a different way….. if all the trails are open is this hiking trail of all five cities doable in 5 hours? I am an avid hiker, so i’m used to tough hikes. Can this hike be done in time for me to get back to my boat for 6pm if I start out at 8 or 9 am? Thanks!!!!

  • Erin says:

    My first post is now gone, so I will try again. Sorry if this is a duplicate. My mother and I will be staying in Lucca for a few weeks. Would you please give information on the best way to visit Cinque Terra for a day trip. Recommendations for where to start, information on getting between each village, etc. An easy walk would be fine, but we aren’t interested in anything strenuous. I’m guessing most of the hiking trails are closed. If possible some suggestions on how to include both train and ferry in the trip. We don’t necessarily need to see every village but definitely want to include the “must see” areas, such as Vernazza. Also is there a better day of the week to visit since we are somewhat flexible. Thank you much.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Erin, we would suggest taking the train to the Cinque Terre, but you may want to consider spending an overnight trip as the journey to and from Lucca is a bit long with the train transfers. Since many of the easier trails are still closed for renovation, you may want to take the train between each town you are visiting. Some shops and restaurants are closed on Monday, so we would suggest Tuesday – Thursday during the week. Buon viaggio!

  • Cassiano Tatari says:

    Hello! Nice tips! Thanks!

    I’m trying to figure out which is the best option, rent a car or go by train. My itinerary will be Venice to Monterosso Al Mare and after 2 days Monterosso Al Mare to Firenze. To rent a car I’ve calculated 200 euros for both paths + gas and by train 100 euros for 2 people. My only afraid on it is the changing trains and time we will spend. By other side the car give me the freedom between Venice and Monterosso Al Mare and between this and Firenze. But I really don’t know if it worth.

    By the way, I couldn’t found the Monterosso Al Mare in trenitalia website. How do I need to proceed?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hello! We think in this case renting a car would be your option as the fastest train ride from Venice to Monterosso al Mare (listed on Monterosso on TrenItalia) will take over 6 hours just one way and Monterosso to Florence will take about 3 hours. There are no direct trains, so you’d also have to factor in switching between trains at the station. Do let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Flora says:

    hello! thank you for your website! i have the following schedule but i just dont know if it suits for CT, and how i should store my luggage….
    im flying to Milan first, then stay 2 nights, then another 3 nights in venice, then will head to CT in the early morning, a Day trip in CT then i will head to Florence for another few days by train.

    1. do you know if there is an early train from Venice to CT?
    2. how should i carry my luggage with me to CT?
    3. Should i go train from Venice to Florence then do a day trip to CT from Florence instead of Venice?
    4. After Florence i will head to Siena for a night then train back Florence then to Rome, is that possible or too silly?

    thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Flora, we’d recommend spending at least one evening in CT as both the trip from Venice and to Florence can be quite long! Trains start running as early as 5:30. You can leave your luggage at the Monterosso train station if you do decide to come for a day trip. You may want to consider heading to Rome directly after Siena as it is on the way from Florence to Rome. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Jacob says:

    Hi,

    I am having difficulty booking the train from Florence to La Spieza on the TrenItalia site. It has to do with pre-vaidation of the tickets. I know I will have to buy a train ticket at La Spieza to get to the towns. Do you know how to book the ticket early and go around this issue?

    Thanks,

    Jake

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jacob, try searching on the Trenitalia site a week before your trip as many of the regional trains can not be purchased more than 7 days before the departure date. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Vanessa says:

    Hi,

    What a great blog!
    Need some help with getting from La Spezia to Rome for 15 Aug 2014. The Trenitalia site is showing most trains are fully booked unless we depart around 8pm which is too late.
    Have checked exactly 4 months from todays date and still the same result. Is it possible for MOST trains to be unavailable?????
    Is there any other train route to get to Rome or can we book once we arrive in CT

    Thanks

    Vanessa

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thank you, Vanessa! Unfortunately it is possibly that many of the trains are booked for 15 August because it is an Italian national holiday (Ferragosto) and many people will either be returning from a day trip or starting a vacation. There are some buses that run from La Spezia to Rome that you may be interested in as an option, like Baltour. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Nina says:

    Hi! I’m planning to stay overnight in of of the town of CT.. I’ll be coming from Florence, and going back to Florence again. What do you recommend that I do (to maximize my time in CT), and which town is best to stay in?

    Thank you! Can’t wait to travel around Italy.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Nina! We would suggest making Monterosso al Mare your final arrival destination, which is the last stop of the 5 towns when coming from Florence. From there, we would suggest visiting Monterosso and Vernazza by train and possibly spending the night in Corniglia, which is right in the middle of the Cinque Terre. On your second day, you can explore Manarola and Riomaggiore and depart directly from Riomaggiore, which is the closest town to Florence. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Jack says:

    I think your reply to Jacob is our answer but just to be sure, to get from Florence to Monterosso and then from Monterosso to Milan we can’t see any trains – Yet! Would these be the regional you speak about being available no more than 7 days before travel? Other question is are the regional tickets time specific? Meaning if I buy a ticket for the 8am train from Florence to Monterosso will I have to do the 8am or will I have the option to take any train? We would like to stop in Pisa coming from Florence and maybe even Sienna and open ticket would be great. Hop on hop off kind of ticket. Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jack, sometimes the regional trains take awhile to show up on the Trenitalia website because these tickets can only be purchased online up to seven days in advance. The regional tickets can be used within two months as long as there is no seat assignment (first class tickets do have seat assignments). Please note that the tickets are only valid for the routes indicated on the ticket and they must be validated right before your journey. Hop on hop off tickets are not currently available, so be sure to plan accordingly if you plan on getting off in Pisa. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Chris says:

    Hello,

    I will be travelling to CT from Florence arriving Monday 2 June. My plan is to book accommodation at Monterosso el Mare.

    I have an option to stay either 3 or 4 nights at CT – is there enough to do and see if I stay 4 nights (5 days) or do you suggest only staying 3 nights (4 days) at this time of the year?

    Can you provide a suggested itinerary during this time that includes some hiking, boat trips etc?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chris, if you would like to hike and visit the beaches we think 4 nights is fine, but it all depends on your itinerary and what you plan on doing. The towns offer pristine beaches and great trails (please check the official Cinque Terre website to see which routes are open). Boat trips are available from town to town and provide some breathtaking views of the coastline. Do let us know if you have any questions!

      • Chris says:

        Thank you.

        I will be travelling by train from Florence to CT for 4 days and then wish to travel to Siena.

        Can you advise the easiest way to get to Siena from CT by train?

        • Walks of Italy says:

          We suggest inserting the name of the first CT town you’ll be stopping in on the Trenitalia website and the route with the least amount of transfers will be Siena – Empoli, Empoli – Pisa and then finally Pisa to a town in Cinque Terre. Let us know if you have any questions.

  • Tek says:

    Hello,
    Planning a trip in Oct. We want to visit CT, Pisa, and Florence for this trip. We would like stay first 8 night in Rome, and 2 night in CT and 2 in Florence. What would you suggest our best route to be starting and ending in Rome. We like to stopover for few hours in Pisa to visit the leaning tower. i read on some sites, that Trenitalia site offers seat sale few months in advance – is that correct?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! Your itinerary of Rome to CT to Florence and back to Rome sounds great to us. You can stopover in Pisa from your trip to CT to Florence for a few hours to visit the Leaning Tower. Tickets can be purchased 4 months ahead of time via Trenitalia, while regional train tickets can be purchased 7 days prior to your trip. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Janet says:

    I am flying into Milan (Malpensa) and taking a train to CT to spend night in Riomaggiore.
    Is it best to get off the train at Monterossa or La Spieze? and then take regional train to Riomaggiore? thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Janet, Trenitalia provides many different rounds from Milan to Riomaggiore with various stops as there is no direct train route. We suggest taking a look at the timetable via the website and seeing which time frame works best for you. Enjoy your trip!

  • Kelly says:

    Hi!
    We are traveling to CT in late June for 5 days. We will then head to Ancona to take a ferry to Croatia. We will have a few days to make our way to Ancona and are wondering what you recommend as far as a good route. From looking at maps, it looks like going through Florence makes sense, but otherwise are pretty open to suggestions.
    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Kelly, we think Florence with stops in Tuscany (including smaller towns like Lucca) and Perugia would be a good route, or driving through Bologna and then along the coast of Emilia Romagna with stops in beach towns like Rimini and Senigallia. Let us know if you have any questions!

      • Kelly says:

        Thanks for your quick response! Do you think it is ‘doable’ to have one night in Florence (with maybe a stop in Lucca), one night in Venice and then take a ferry to Croatia from Venice? Do you happen to know if we can get a ferry from Venice directly to Dubrovnik?

        • Walks of Italy says:

          Hi Kelly, it is definitely doable, but you may not be able to see all the highlights of the cities with just one night in each. If you’d like to really get to know the city, we’d suggest spending two nights in just one location. As for the ferry, Venice is a departure point for boats to Croatia. Buon viaggio!

  • Noeleen says:

    We are a group planning to meet up in CT in July with Levanto being our CT base for the 4 day stay.
    Can you suggest what would be the best option for getting from Marseille to Levento by train?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! You’ll have to switch trains once you reach Italy in Ventimiglia where you can then take a direct train to Levanto. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Penny says:

    Hi !
    We are four adults travelling to Italy in late August & September . We are planning to spend two nights in Santa Margherita (Ligure ) & we want to go to Cinque Terre on our second day being a Saturday. We were hoping to catch ferry from Santa Margherita to CT & returning back to SM by train. I have read that views of the CT are stunning approaching from the sea.
    Would this be a good option for us . Which town do we need to catch train from to return to Santa Margherita. Do we need to book ferry /train tickets before we leave ?
    Any info would be appreciated ..Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Penny! The boat ride from Santa Margherita to the Cinque Terre is absolutely gorgeous and we definitely recommend it. You can take the boat directly from Santa Margherita and we definitely suggest booking tickets in advance online or in person. We’d recommend the Servizio Marittimo del Tigullio, which also offers helpful info regarding ferries on their website. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Kevin says:

    Ciao!
    I’ll be in La Spezia from May 30-June 3rd. I’m planning on visiting CT. I’ll be by myself. What are some suggestions for hiking? I hear many of the trails are now closed. :/

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! You can find the updated status of the trails on the official Cinque Terre website. Most of the trails that are open are range from medium to difficult. If you enjoy a challenging hike, we’d suggest The Trail of Sanctuaries or the other routes that are open (almost all trails but #2 and #5), for example inland from Manarola to Riomaggiore. Do le tus know if you have any questions!

  • grace says:

    Thank you for this website. It is very informative. Our family of 4 (kids 11 yrs and 8yrs) will be in a cruise docking in livorno from 8am to 7pm on July 3. Three of us have been to Florence and Pisa before (a few times) but my 8yr old hasn’t and is keen to see Pisa. Can you please suggest a day itinerary to CT with a stop in Pisa? I know it will be a very busy day and am torn with doing CT on our own (vs expensive private tour 500e) or Florence/Pisa on our own which will be easier. The ship’s excursion to CT, though convenient $150ad, $99ch, does not do a stop in Pisa. Thanks for your help.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Grace! With a limited time frame, we would not suggest Cinque Terre and Pisa in less than 12 hours because you would have a very short time to explore the towns of the CT. If you’re set on Pisa, we would suggest spending the day there to explore the Leaning Tower and the charming town. If you’d like to see another town as well, we’d suggest nearby Lucca for an authentic Tuscan experience.

  • Amy says:

    I’m sure you’ve covered this but I’m traveling from Milan to CT end June for 2-3 days. On my return to Milan, I have to leave quite early to go via center station and then make my way to Malpensa airport. I’ve looked on Trenitalia and the train to center station from Monterosso doesn’t stop/go through La Spezia…could this be correct?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Amy, trains vary depending on the time and day you’re leaving. There are some direct Intercity trains from Monterosso to Milan, others stop in Genoa or Rapallo, for example. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Danielle Muller says:

    Hello! Thank you for your amazing post! We will have 1 day to explore CT. We are driving from Pescia (1.5 to 2 hours from the south) and would like to know what would be the best place to park and get the train? We would like to do some train, some hiking and to hopefully visit at least 3 of the towns. Any help would be appreciated!! Thank you so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Danielle! We suggest parking at the free lot in La Spezia (Piazza d’Armi parking lot), which also is connected to the city center via a free shuttle bus (more here). For information on parking in the Cinque Terre, check out the useful site here. Let us know if we can help with anything else!

  • Julie Rose says:

    Aloha e

    I just tried to book a train from Roma Termini to La Spezia and on the site I am asked to register and it seems to be impossible to do so to their satisfaction. Thanks for your assistance. Julie Rose

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Julie, could you kindly give us more information about the error message you are receiving so we can help? Thanks!

      • Julie Rose says:

        I decided to book with Rail Europe and that was quick and easy. I’ll be in Monterosso al Mare for 7 days. Your website is helpful and I appreciate your clear answers. Mahalo.

  • Diogo says:

    Hi! I wasn’t able to see the train schedule from Florence to La Spezia on the 19 july, why??
    There will be trains or maybe not?
    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Diogo, many of the trains from Florence to La Spezia are regional trains and it’s possible that they have not been posted yet on the Trenitalia website because tickets can only be purchased only up to 7 days in advance online. We suggest checking around 2 weeks prior to leaving to make your reservation. Do let us know if you have any questions!

  • Rommy says:

    Hi! Our ship docks at La Spezia in July for 8 or 9 hours. How can we go to Cinque Terre? By train? What about the time? Is it enough?
    Tks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Rommy! That should be enough time for a brief trip to the Cinque Terre. You can take the train from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, which takes less than 10 minutes and costs 2,10 euro. You can find the timetable on trenitalia.com. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Bill Newell says:

    Hello!
    We are taking a Med cruise and will be docked in La Spezia for 11 hours. We are an older couple not keen on hiking or getting lost on trails.

    Now step by step; am I correct? 1. Find La Spezia train station 2. Get Regional train pass for 1 day to Cinque Terre. 3. Take train to Riomaggiore. 4. Take ferry boat to next Village for the best views. 5. Continue on and then return to Riomaggiore by ferry boat. 6. Vernazza has the best views? 7. Return to La Spezia by train from Riomaggiore with the train pass.

    No disrespect to other villages of Cinque Terra but time is a factor.

    Thank you kindly!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Bill! You may want to take the train to Riomaggiore and then take a boat to Monterosso (the last tome of the Cinque Terre). From there, you can take the train back to La Spezia. Otherwise, you can take the train first with a final stop to Monterosso and then take the train to La Spezia. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Zefi says:

    Hi
    We are staying in Santa Margherita in August & only have one day available to tour the Cinque Terre.
    Is it possible to go by ferry & return by train back to SM?
    If so in which town do we catch the train back to Santa Margherita & must we book tickets in advance or can we buy on the day of travel.
    Can we buy ferry tickets on the day from SM or must we book those ahead of time too.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Zefi! You can absolutely do a day trip from SM to CT, and we would recommend checking out the brochures in English on this website. It’s best to call ahead of time with your selected date to see if you can purchase in person, since August in high tourist season in Italy. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Trish says:

    Hello!, we are traveling from Florence by car and wondering if we are able to drive into the towns. we will park for the duration of our stay (three days) and take the local train while there. thank you for your help!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Trish! Parking is quite limited within the town, so we suggest parking in La Spezia and taking the train over to your destination. Buon viaggio!

  • I am planning a trip to Italy in Nov. I want to fly into Pisa, spend the night there then take the train to CT, spend a few days and train it to Florence to meet up w/ a group where we will be for approx 8 days. When group travel is done, take the train from Bologna to Rome, spend a few days w/one day at Pompeii..what is the earliest I can look to get train tickets and where to I get tickets from Rome to Pompeii since I understand that is a different train altogether?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Katie, tickets can be purchased up to 4 months ahead of your departure date. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Em says:

    This is a great page, with so much helpful information.
    We are planning to have 4nights in Cinque Terre followed by 1night in Florence. I understand that Monterosso and Riomaggiore both have the best train connections? We would like to leave 5T quite early on a Sunday, in order to have more time spent in Florence that day. Monterosso appeals, but would you recommend staying in Riomaggiore instead, to save us a little bit of time when travelling on the Sunday?
    Also, are there less early trains on a Sunday? Would you instead suggest 3 nights in cinque terre and 2 nights florence?
    Any advice would be great – Thankyou!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Em, thanks so much! We suggest having a look on the Trenitalia website for a complete schedule of trains from CT to Florence. The ride from Monterosso to Riomaggiore is around 20 minutes, so the time difference is not too major to consider if you’d like to save time on travel for Sunday. As for whether to spend more time in Florence or CT – it all depends what you’re looking for! If you prefer the beach and a smaller town feel, you should consider CT, but if you want to explore a larger city you may want to spend an extra day in Florence. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Clariza L. says:

    I am going to Santorini this October and will stop over in Italy for a week. My initial itinerary in Italy was Rome-Venice-Milan (by train), however I would like to see Cinque Terre too. I only have a week in the country so I think I need to visit only three cities by that time. I need to remove one of the cities Rome-Venice-Milan and I choose Milan to be replaced by Cinque Terre. Do you think two days stay in Cinque would be fine? No need to visit the five towns. I just wanted to see the view of Manarola or just Riomaggiore. Which one do you recommend?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Clarizia, two days in Cinque Terre is definitely enough time to explore the towns – if you’re interested in Manarola and Riomaggiore we would recommend both, especially if you will be spending more than one day. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Arcee says:

    I keep on reading on all travel blogs and got inspire but other people who got the chance to travel in any parts of the world, how i wish i could be like them too. I guess i need to save more and find other resources to be a traveller someday. Cinque Terre is one in my list.

  • Jess says:

    Hi, we plan on going to cinque terre in mid october for 1.5 – 2 days and we would like to tour the whole 5 islands. do you think that is enough time or too rushed? also, which island should we start from and which island to stay on due to our itinerary? we are coming from florence
    thanks in advance

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Jess, Cinque Terre aren’t actually islands, but rather 5 towns that are part of a national park 🙂 1.5 to 2 days should be enough time to visit each town and we suggest you to take the train all the way to Monterosso then explore down the coast and take the train back from Riomaggiore. Corniglia is a great place to stay in the middle of the towns with a charming, small town feel. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Kenneth says:

    Hi,

    I’m planning a long trip from Roma –> Florence –> Cinque Terre –> Verona –> Venice –> Milan. I plan to spend 3 days in Cinque Terre but arrive there at early morning (around 0800) and take train at early morning (around 0530) for leaving. Therefore, may I have 2 questions .. thanks a lot.

    1 ) Any luggage service at Levanto train station? I want to store my luggage at train station, hang around bar, and take train for leaving
    2 ) I heard that the coastal walking routes are closed since May 2014. When will it open again? In addition, if go to Cinque Terre in February, would walking routes or any sightseeing landmark close because of Winter?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Kenneth, you can find luggage storage at the Levanto train station, although please be advised that the hours do vary depending on the season. The main trails have not opened yet and there is no specific date of when they will reopen, so we suggest taking a look on the Cinque Terre official site before your trip. Buon viaggio!

  • Annie Lam says:

    Super excited on our upcoming to Cinque Terre. We will be travelling from Milan to CT, and we had booked our 3 nights stay at Monterosso al Mare.

    When I was researching for the Trenitalia train tickets from Milan to Monterosso. It seemed that there is a “Intercity” train from Milan that stops at Monterosso before reaching La Spezia at the final stop. Is this the same station as the local Cinque Terre train “Monterosso al Mare”. Or it’s a mandate to stop at La Spezia and switch to the local trains?

    Great blog by the way! 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Thanks, Annie! You can find all the train options by searching “Milano” to “Monterosso” on the Trenitalia website. Some trains don’t require stopping over and switching at Genova or La Spezia, while others have one or more stop overs. In order to save time, we’d suggest taking the Intercity train that does not require switching trains. Let us know if you have any questions!

  • Steve says:

    If you have the Cinque Terre card are reservations required for the train? If not, are there ever situations in which the train is full and you can’t get on? We’ll be in Cinque Terre in late Oct 2014. Thanks.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Steve! Reservations for the train are not required with the Cinque Terre card and you should have no problem navigating the trains in October due to it being low tourist season. Buon viaggio!

  • Liz says:

    Salve!
    I will be in Manarola for a few days in October for a cooking class. I will then have a few days before I need to be in Rome, and so want to do some “in transit travel.” I will be traveling by train. I was hoping for some guidance on what to do/where to go/where to stay during those few days that I will be in transit from the CT to Rome.
    Thank you! Grazie!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Liz! Have you considered taking the train to Florence and exploring the city, as well as Tuscany? We have some great tips here & here on our blog 🙂 Buon viaggio!

  • Sravanth says:

    Hi,
    We are planning to visit CT for 4 days. We plan to make riomaggiore as base and move around. We do not have a car. Want to stay near to beach and station. Do you suggest Riomaggiore as a good stop or any other village ? We would like to use ferries to travel around.
    Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao! Riomaggiore is a great choice as a base, based on what you’re looking for. Buon viaggio and let us know if you have any questions!

  • Marilyn says:

    Hi, is there anywhere to leave your luggage in any of the CT villages while you walk around?

    Thanks for your help.

    Marilyn

  • Kay says:

    Hi,
    I’m planning to go to CT in the last week of october. Is it still good to go. Will the shops be closed?
    I’m planning to take a train from Milan. Is it more convenient to come from Milan or Florence?

    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Ciao Kay! Shops will still be open in CT and the weather predictions for the last week of October are quite nice. The train ride from Florence is 30 minutes shorter, so we would suggest taking it from there if it fits your itinerary. Buon viaggio!

  • Chin says:

    I was checking out trains from Florence (Firenze S.M. Novella station) to arrive in Riomagiorre around 10 or 11am.

    I noticed fares on Trenitalia site lists the fare range of €50 to €76. But on another site, it says the fare should be around €20.

    What the typical fare from Florence to Riomagiorre? Is booking advance necessary or to get a better fare?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Chin,

      You don’t have to book in advance, but if it’s far enough in advance you will likely save money on the fare. There are two high speed trains that can take you to Riomaggiore – the Frecciarosa or Italo. Check out both websites for the best offer! Have a great trip! 🙂

  • Wang says:

    Hi. We plan yo visit CTin the last week of February. Is that a good idea? We will not be doing any tracking.

    Thanks!

  • Joe says:

    The only hike that we’re planning to do is the Via dell’Amore – can we buy just a “single section” hiking ticket, or do we need to get the card?

  • Brittany says:

    Hi we are deciding how long to dedicate to staying in CT. We’ve 5.5days to do CT, Florence and Pisa before we travel to Rome.

    Original plan was to stay the whole time in CT (coming from Nice) and do a day trip to Florence and day trip to Pisa.

    Do you suggest otherwise?
    Like cutting CT short and actually staying in Florence Afew days?

    Help:)

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brittany

      Cinque Terre is a bit of an awkward place to base yourself since it’s within a National Park and transport in and out is a little awkward. We would recommend staying a night in Florence at least, and doing your Pisa trip from there – partly because the roads are good so you can cover the distance quite quickly and partly because Florence is wonderful and you should see it at night. If you decide to base yourself entirely in Cinque Terre that’s fine too, there are no wrong answers, just preference. Enjoy your trip!

  • Delores says:

    I am enjoying your posts. We will be arriving on MSC Cruise Ship on Sunday, June 7th. We disimbark around 10 AM – Boat departure is 2:00 AM Monday, June 8th. We would like to create a self-guided tour to Pisa and then Cinque Terre. We were thinking of going to Pisa first and then spend the rest of the day and early evening at Cinque Terre as we thought it would be beautiful at night. I am creating a step-by-step direction sheet for my husband as this helps him feel more comfortable in unfamiliar locations. I believe we will walk to the train from La Spieza Port, take a train to Pisa and on the return trip take the train from Pisa to La Spieza and then transfer to another train to the furthest Village and then hike through some. Is this correct? Is there a village that would be best to see in the evening? A collegue also suggested Lucca? Is this feasible and if so, how would I naviage the trip? It seems that you are all well-seasoned travellers and I appreciate your guidance. Thank you, Delores

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Delores,

      While all the cities you’ve chosen are beautiful, we don’t think you’ll have enough time to visit both Pisa (or Lucca) and Cinque Terre in just one day. The train ride usually takes about 90 minutes and you’ll also need the time to actually view the sites and, of course, to rest and eat! If you do decide to try it, all the villages are lovely in the evenings, but we especially like Vernazza. Have a great trip!

  • lee carter says:

    Hi,
    We are training from Milan to CT, staying 2 nights and leaving CT training to Florence. How long are both train rides? Do we go via Levanto from Milan and via La Spezia to Florence? thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lee,

      You can input your starting and final destinations in trenitalia.com to see the price and times. You will go to Florence via La Spezia, but there are trains from Milano Centrale to Monterosso, the biggest of the Cinque Terre. It should take about 3 hours. Have a great trip!

  • Khris says:

    I will be taking a Mediterranean cruise this summer and it will be my first time traveling to Italy. I was hoping to travel to Cinque Terre from Civitavecchia, spend a night in CT and back to Civitavecchia. Would it be easier for me to rent a car or should I take the train?

  • Gail Crouch says:

    My husband and I and two friends are planning to visit Italy late September 2015 from South Africa. One week exploring Tuscany and the other week in the Cinque Terre. Can anyone help us with a rough idea of how much to budget per day in Euros excluding accomodation. Any ideas of what to see on a medium budget in Tuscany. Our money exchange rate of 13 Euro to 1 South African rand is quite restrictive.
    Thank you so much.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Gail,

      That sounds like a lovely trip! You can travel in Italy on all different budgets and there’s plenty to do that doesn’t cost much. For eating out, restaurants charge for water and a “coperto” or a cover charge for sitting. Besides those fees, a plate of pasta is likely to cost around 10 euro with meat costing a bit more, especially in big cities like Florence or some of the Cinque Terre. That said, you can eat in lovely and authentic enotecas or trattorias and usually save a bit. Also, while museums often cost money, the towns themselves are living museums. Pass the day in the inexpensive Boboli Gardens in Florence or tour San Gimignano, Siena, Luca and Pisa for free! For more information, check out our article How to Get Around Italy on a Budget. We hope that helps!

  • Ángela says:

    Thank you for all the information. We are thinking on going ftom lucca to la spezia and the take the train to ct.
    We then will continue towards portofino
    We will have a car in Lucca. Is it better to drop the car off in La Spezia and then pick another car on the other side? Or park the car and go back to La Spezia?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Angela,

      Portofino is a no car zone, so perhaps it’s better to leave it in La Spezia. Let us know what you decide and have a great trip!

  • Lois says:

    La Spezia port to Pisa to Cinque Terre in 1 day – Good Morning. My husband and I will be arriving in Port on MSC Divina in June. We arrive at 8 am and depart at 2 am the next morning. At present, I do not know what time the ship will require us to return for boarding.

    We would like to vist Pisa just for a quick look at tower and cathedral with a few photos and then get back on the train to go to Cinque Terre to spend the rest of our time. We wish to make the most of our time. Considering that we do not linger for long and would like to hike some of the trails between towns stopping for lunch and wine along the way, can you provide me with a feasible step by step? I know this is a lot to ask. My husband has a disability and I must provide him with an index card providing him with all the steps/path we will take. Exact train times will be filled in later. I think this would be doable since my husband likes to keep moving. This is our first time to the area. Thank you for your help.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lois,

      With just one day in Cinque Terre, it will be very difficult to see both the area and hike the trails, and see Pisa. It’s quite far and requires you to change trains at least once. If you do decide you want to take a train down to Pisa, this website might help. Good luck on your trip, we’re sure whatever you decide it will be great!

  • Sylvia says:

    We plan to visit late September 2015 and spend a week around Florence and then a wk around portifino with a car rental. For our day trip to cirque terre, what is the closest train station to CT to leave our car so we can just take train through the 5 towns?? Is it doable to travel the 5 towns and return to origin point in a day??

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Sylvia,

      Actually you have a few options to travel between Portofino and Cinque Terre. Assuming you’re coming there from Portofino area, you can take a ferry, a car or the #82 bus from Santa Margherita Ligure, three miles away from Portofino. However, keep in mind that the towns around Portofino are well connected by bus or boat, and that Portofino itself is a no-car city. Another option that we suggest would be to stay in Cinque Terre and take a day trip to Portofino by public transport. That way you don’t have to worry about a car. Also, CT is less expensive and has much more to see and do than Portofino, and requires more time. Let us know what you decide! 🙂

  • Pete Franklin says:

    What a great site and thanks for the service. I’ll be staying in Rapallo and want to visit Cinque Terre. Would you recommend driving to La Spezia and taking the CT train up and back. Taking a train from Rapallo to Levanto or Monterosso and starting from the top and working our way down. Taking a boat from Rapallo (not sure if that’s an option). After reading 25+ posts, I figured I’d just contact you directly. Thanks again.

  • Becky says:

    Hi there, do you have any accommodation recommendations in the Cinque Terre? My husband and I are looking to stay there for 3 nights in April.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Becky,

      Unfortunately, we can’t choose your accommodations for you, but we often use sites such as booking.com or expedia to find lodging. Have a great trip!

  • Ika says:

    Hi!

    I’m going to visit Milan in April and will go to Cinque Terre for a one day trip. As far as I learned that the closest train to Cinque Terre is Monterosso (am I right?). How do I go from Monterosso to Cinque Terre? Train, walk? We are not going for hiking btw. And what to do in just 1 day in Cinque Terre?

    Thanks!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Ika,

      Yes, Monterosso al Mare is the closest city to Cinque Terre that you can get to by train from Milan. The journey will take about 3 hours. Actually, Monterosso is one of the five villages that make up Cinque Terre and a beautiful town to visit. It is the biggest town in the Cinque Terre where you will find the longest seafront with lot of choices of beaches including sandy ones. The next town over, Vernazza, is often considered the most beautiful of the CT towns. All five towns are connected by paths, but you can also visit them on the train. With just one day, we suggest you choose one or two towns, take a walk around the picturesque city center and stop at one of the many delicious sea food restaurants you’ll find!

  • Isabella says:

    Good day
    I would just like to know when the last trains are leaving to the Cinque Terre from La Spezia? We are arriving 21:21 at La Spezia station on Monday eveninig 15 June 2015 and would still like to get to Corniglia that night, because we have accommodation booked there. Any suggestions?

  • remy says:

    Thank you Isabella for being so informative.

    I will be staying at La Spezia to see CT. Is it wise to buy a Cinque Terre card? Is so, where do we get one?
    I also read in your post that it is better to take the intercity trains why?

    Thank you for your time!
    Remy

  • Brian says:

    How far in advance can train tickets be purchased from Florence to Cinque Terre? With all our other major routes (Venice to Florence) we were able to purchase 120 days out. But Florence to Cinque Terre and Cinque Terre to Rome is still showing as not yet available and we are now at less than 90 days.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brian,

      Your tickets should be available, but there’s a couple of things that might have prevented them from showing up online. First, the train from Florence to Cinque Terre is actually a train to La Spezia. There are not direct trains to CT, so you’ll have to go to La Spezia and then go from there to the town you’re staying in. If you already know where you’re staying in Cinque Terre, be sure to put that town’s name in, as Cinque Terre isn’t an option. If that doesn’t work, make sure that you’re looking at all the trains, and not just the Frecciarossa, which used to be the default. On trenitalia.com, this is the tab now called “ticket.” Then, be sure that you type in Firenze, not Florence, as even in English it doesn’t seem to recognize it. It can certainly be confusing, but we’re sure your trip to Cinque Terre will be more than worth it! 🙂

  • deirdre girard says:

    Hi. Our cruise ship docks La Spezia in September from 8am to 10pm. My thought was to take a shuttle or cab from the dock to the Ferry (unless it is walkable), take the Ferry to the furthest town, then train/walk between the others, return by train at the end of the day to La Spezia. Is this as straightforward as it seems, can you suggest which village to start the day with, which are better to train between or walk between, whether ferry/train tickets can be secured ahead of time, and whether you would anticipate any problems getting on the train with a small cruise ship in port (1,200 people)? We have been to Cinque Terre many years ago, are excited to return.

  • JB says:

    Hi, please answer my questions!

    The problem is, I already purchased (online) a round trip regional train ticket from Florence to La Spezia and La Spezia to Riomaggiore but I want to go to Monterosso first.

    1. I was wondering if I can stay on the train to Monterosso and not get off at Riomaggiore?

    2. Do I have to purchase a new ticket for the travel back from Monterosso to Riomaggiore?

    3. Can I stop over at Vernazza with the same one way ticket?

    4. From Vernazza traveling down, do I have to get off at Riomaggiore and use the already purchased ticket to get to La Spezia or can I just stay on the train and travel to La Spezia?

    Thank you very much for your help ~

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Our answers:
      1. This shouldn’t be a problem, although theoretically you should buy another ticket Riomaggiore – Monterosso while you’re at La Spezia, just in case.
      2. Yes this is a separate leg.
      3. If your ticket isn’t checked, then you could do this. However, once the ticket is validated, it is only valid for an hour or so.
      4. You shouldn’t have to get off so long as the train terminates in La Spezia and you have a validated train ticket for that route.

      Cheers!

  • Wee Kiat says:

    Hi,
    I would like to check if there would be any place for us to deposit our luggage at La Spezia Centrale before we start hiking in CT itself. If there is how much would it cost. Thank you.

  • Grant says:

    Hi,

    My partner and I will be visiting Italy from Australia for 6 weeks, starting early December. We are planning to spend about 2 weeks in Florence, starting December 27. We would like to visit both Pisa and Cinque Terra, but we don’t want to try to do both in one day. One option we are thinking about is to take a morning train from Florence to Pisa, spend that day and night in Pisa, and then the next day take a morning train to La Spezia and spend the day using the local train to visit the towns of Cinque Terre, before taking the train back to Florence that evening. Alternatively, we could take the train from Florence to La Spezia on the first day, and then take the train back to Pisa that evening, overnight in Pisa, spend the second day in Pisa, and then take the train back to Florence that evening.

    Do you think one of these itineraries would work? If so, which do you think would be better?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Grant,

      It’s great that you’re giving yourselves so much time to visit Italy – there’s a lot to see! In our opinion, Cinque Terre needs more time than Pisa and if possible more than just one day to truly enjoy it. This is also considering that the train ride from Florence to La Spezia takes 2 to 2.5 hours. One option is to spend at least two days in Cinque Terre, even walking the well-marked, paved trail between the towns as well as using the trains, then do a separate day trip to Pisa. You can take a train from Florence to Pisa for just 8 euro. Let us know what you think or if you have any other questions.

      • Grant says:

        Thanks for your advice. Based on your recommendation, I think we’ll try to spend more time in CT, and visit Pisa on a separate day trip.

  • carrie says:

    hello, i’m planning on coming to italy in early september and was planning on driving from milan to san casciano (wedding) then to cinque terre then to lake como/milan. since there is no car in cinque terre, where do you suggest we leave the car? should we return the car in milan before lake como? thank you so much for this helpful site!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Carrie,

      You definitely don’t have to leave the car in Milan before going to Lake Como. The drive along the lake is beautiful and there is parking available, though it is pay-parking and at times can be a bit difficult to find. As for Cinque Terre, perhaps this article has more information about where to leave the car. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Misha says:

    Hello everyone!

    I am not sure if I am at the right website for my request, but I am in admiration for the precise replies offered! Life is offering me lately a second chance I am (hopefully) fully recovered. Therefore I am so willing to fulfill a dream which is spending a month or 2 in Italy (my no 1 country in the entire world).
    My priorities: Amalfi coast/Ravello + Cinque Terre (2 opposites destinations)
    Ideally and equally to study Italian language + Courses; Design & sculpting
    September and October 2015

    Any websites recommended for the courses, assuming I can stay with some families when finding the right school …

    Important to mention that I (woman) will be travelling solo.

    Any suggestions & or recommendation will be highly appreciated.

    Bests for all and THANK YOU

  • Tatianna says:

    Hello,

    I will be traveling next week from Cannes to Monterosso in the CT. Can you please tell me the best way to get there by train? Which website should I buy my train tickets on and where do I need to stop to transfer trains? Thanks!

  • Diane says:

    We will be arriving 30 Sept 2015 in La Spezia by cruise ship. We want to visit 2 or 3 cinque terre towns. Where do we purchase a Cinque Terre Card? Can we use it to go from La Spezia Centrale to the towns and where do we find the time table? We will be in port 12 hours.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Diane,

      Here you can find more information about the Cinque Terre card, including what it offers and its price. We see that you can use it to get from La Spezia Centrale into Cinque Terre, though! Time tables for the trains can be found at http://www.trenitalia.com. We hope you have a great trip!

  • Brittany says:

    Hello!

    I am wondering if there are any lockers at train stations? I plan to hike two days, stay one night… but to hike that last day – where would/could I put my stuff? (As I’ve read not to hike with your stuff!)

    Thank you in advance 🙂

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Brittany,

      There is definitely luggage storage in La Spezia, as well as Monterosso, which is closer to the trails. Look for signs for “Deposito bagagli”!

  • Adeline says:

    Hi

    We are group of 6 planning to visit CT on a day trip driving from Pisa. We read that parking is available in Riommaggiore. Can you advise where exactly is the parking lot location so that we can search it on Google Map and whether it is near the port or train station to commute to other CT villages?

    thanks

    W rgds
    Adeline

  • Silva says:

    Please let me know if the train runs throe Cinque terre after 1st November. All train schedules are till 01 November.
    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Silvia,

      Yes, trains run year round through Cinque Terre. The problem could be that the 1st of November is a national holiday, so perhaps they have fewer times scheduled. In any case, you’ll be able to get a train. Let us know if you have any other questions! 🙂

  • sonal gupta says:

    Hi Oliver,
    Stumbled upon your blog.. Great advice.. Just want to check on a few things:

    – If we have a return train ticket from Lucca – Monterosso, do we still need a CT card.. or is the train travel between the villages valid with this ticket.?
    – Which village is first and last from Riomaggiore
    – We were planning on reaching Riomaagio by 8.30 am and do manarola and vernazza and then back to riomaagiore and take ferry to monterosso and then head back to lucca latest by 7 reaching lucca by dinner time.? Sounds good ?
    – Also would it be too lonely for 2 girls to reach lucca by nighttime.. ? or would you advise 1 night in CT

    Would greatly appreciate your revert ..
    Best Sonal

  • Natasha says:

    I am going to be on a cruise that ports in Genoa. And I would like to visit Cinque Terre (As many of the villages as possible, but even 2 would do). What would be the best way in doing so? It says the cruise ship ports at 9am and leaves at 6pm.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Natasha, it would take you about an hour and a half from Genoa to the first town of Cinque Terre, Monterosso, by train. Perhaps this can help you plan. Have a great trip!

  • Steve says:

    I am trying to book a train from La Spezia, after our stay in the Cinque Terre, back to Grenoble, France this summer. I can’t seem to get any search results on the TrenItalia site, any suggestions?? Should I book this round trip from France??

  • Latha says:

    Hello,
    I need some advice on how to get to CT (Manarola) from Pisa?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Best thing to do is take the train up from Pisa Centrale to La Spezia (about 1 hour, less than €10). From there it’s just a quick train, about 10 mins (about €2) to Manarola, CT.

  • Toni says:

    Hi, Pls to let me know, if I buy a ticket from Montecatini Terme to Moterosso and return, can i stop with the return ticket to the other stations- Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola and Riomagiore and La Specia?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Toni,

      Yes, you should be able to do that, though after validating the ticket you only have a certain amount of time before it “expires”, usually 75-90 minutes.

  • Cynthia Lasher says:

    Question for a slightly claustrophobic traveler – how long does it take on the train to get through all five towns? I have heard it’s mostly tunnels and I want to prepare myself mentally if the rides in between stations are very dark for extended periods of time. Thank you so much!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Cynthia,

      From Riomaggiore to Monterosso al Mare it takes about 11 minutes, with three stops at the other three towns in the Cinque Terre. Perhaps this site can help you plan your train time better.

  • Rohini says:

    Hi. My mom and I plan to spend a day in CT . we intend to come in from FLorence on the 19th of September 2016. I checked Trenitialia for the train schedule , from and to the stations mentioned in the blog, but it stated that no travel solution was found. I assume its too early to look for tickets that far ahead or am i doing something wrong? Also…in case we don’t intend to hike…is it possible to visit all 5 villages in CT in a day using the trains ?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rohini,

      It could be too far in advance or it could be that the system had a hard time finding a destination. La Spezia is the only train station that you can get to by high speed train, otherwise you’ll be taking a regional train from there to the other five towns or from another starting point of CT. Trains connect all five towns and are frequent, easy and inexpensive to use!

  • Lynelle Moore says:

    Hi, I am about to take a cruise (June 10th) and one of the ports is Livorno. As I have already visited Pisa and Florence on a previous trip, I am excited to be able to do a side trip to Cinque Terre. As I plan to take the train to Monterosso and then walk to Riomaggiore, I am concerned with the walking time. (Can’t miss the ship). As an avid photographer, I will be stopping frequently and this will make the walk longer. If there were any 2 towns that you would recommend that I take the train between (the least scenic walking trail between 2 towns) which path would you recommend that I skip?

    Thank you,

    Lynelle

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lynelle,

      That sounds like a great idea to see a new part of Italy! Truly all the towns are beautiful, but you can base your time there on your hike. This website will help you compare various trails and hikes, the time it will take and the difficulty. Plus, you can see which trails are still closed due to the landslides. Have a great trip!

  • KVtravellers says:

    Hi, been reading your blog for the past hour and finding it so informative. Thank you for all the amazing recommendations.
    We are a couple travelling from India to Europe on a bag packing trip in October/ November this year. Had a few questions:
    1. What weather can we expect in Cinque Terre (CT) in the months of Oct/ Nov?
    2. Considering that we would be budget travelers, would Cinque Terre or Amalfi coast be better in terms of various costs involded ?
    3. Are 2 full days enough for us to visit CT?
    Thanks a ton for all the help.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hello,

      We’re glad you liked the blog! October/November is full-fledged Autumn in Italy. By November the weather is quite cold and often rainy. October would be a better time to visit Cinque Terre, as Liguria has had some problems with rain and floods in recent years. Cinque Terre is probably a bit more budget friendly than the Amalfi Coast, but we’re sure you can find something for your budget in both locations! 🙂 The Amalfi Coast is warmer in Autumn as well. Finally, 2 days are enough to visit Cinque Terre, but for the Amalfi Coast we’d allow a bit more time. Have a great trip!

  • Lisa says:

    Aloha, thank for all the info on here. We are traveling from Rome and will visit Venice and Riomaggiore and last stop in Paris. Can you recommend which is the better train route in Italy?

    – From Rome to Venice then Riomaggiore then Paris or
    – From Rome to Riomaggiore then Venice then Paris

    Your time is greatly appreciated!

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Lisa,

      The website Rome2Rio.com can help you compare all your different routes with time, price and distance!

  • Nevin says:

    So, on the train ticket, can I buy in advance (say, a day or two before travelling) and validate it on the day of travelling (to save the hassle of doing the purchase on the day of travelling)? Thank you.

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nevin,

      For regional trains, yes. For high speed trains (la frecciarossa or Italotrains) you can buy in advance with a specific date already marked. On those trains, you get a seat number and date along with your ticket and don’t necessarily need to validate them. Hope that helps!

  • Moulshree Chhabra says:

    Hi I will be visiting in october. La sepzia will be port destination. Wanted to visit cinque terra. Is there any trail which is stroller friendly as will be travelling with a 5 year old. Thanks
    Moulshree

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Moulshree,

      Yes The Blue Path is the easiest, the most famous and the most popular path in the entire Cinque Terre. It runs about 7.5 miles and connects all five villages, but some parts of it are still closed due to the landslides plaguing the area in recent years. Check this website to be sure which parts are open before your trip: http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/Esentieri-outdoor.php

  • We are going to Cinque Terre from Milan, which train ride is nicer..Milan to La Spezia or through Genoa?
    Then..regarding the trails
    which ones should we hike and in which direction, ie Corniglia to Monterosso or Monterosso to Corniglia, etc..
    Thank you

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Nadine,

      Considering both have similar views, we’d say that the shortest train ride is nicer! You can get more information on the trails (including which ones are open) from the Cinque Terre National Park website here.

  • Anastasia says:

    We’re going to take a boat from La Spezia to Vernazza and then a trail from Vernazza to Monterosso and then move to Genova by train. Do we need a Cinque Terre Card only for trail Vernazza-Monterosso?

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Anastasia,

      No you shouldn’t need a Cinque Terre card for that part of the trail. Only trail number 2 which is currently mostly closed due to landslides in 2015.

  • Jared says:

    Hi,

    We have just 1 full day/2 nights to explore Cinque Terre in January. I realize it is not the optimal time to go, but would you recommend still staying in one of the 5 towns? Or is it better to stay in La Spezia and do a “day trip”?

    Also, I booked a non refundable train Milano-Monterosso…but I think now we may stay in La Spezia instead so i’d like to go directly from Milano. I know its just one more stop (20 min) on the train, so do you think we can just stay on the train or will they make sure we got off at our ticketed destination Monterosso? I unfortunately can not modify the train because it is a non refundable ticket.

    Thank you,

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Jared,

      We’d suggest you stay directly in Cinque Terre and really take advantage of the short time you have in the area! There’s no reason to stay in La Spezia. Even with bad weather, you’ll still want to explore the town and check out the restaurants and more. We don’t suggest you just stay on the train beyond your ticket, if caught you’ll get a hefty fine. Have a great trip!

  • sakine says:

    Hi
    I am planning to visit Cinque Terre in September and so far this is my itinerary:
    Arrive Sep 10 from Florence and staying in Riomaggiore
    Sep 11 Hike from Riomaggiore all the way to Monterroso and take ferry back to Riomaggiore
    Sep 12 Take train to Bellagio

    I would appreciate any help trying to figure out how to travel to this places and let me know if this itinerary is realistic.

  • Dee Ahrens says:

    HI I would like to visit Cinque Terre first week in October. What can I expect the weather to be like and should the trails be open??

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Dee,

      The weather in Italy in October tends to still be mild, with chances of rain. We suggest to google the weather a week or so before your departure to get a better idea of the temperatures, as they can change! Check the Cinque Terre National Park website to see which trails are open and when. Have a great trip!

  • Aarti Longani says:

    Hi, we will be arriving in Cinque Terre for an overnight stay in Monterosso from Pisa. Should we take a direct train from Pisa to Monterosso or take a train to La Spezia and then buy a pass for Monterosso which we can then use later in the day? There does not seem to be much of a price difference in the train ticket from Pisa to La Spezia v/s Pisa to Monterosso..

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Aarti,

      Since you’ll just be staying in Monterosso one night, perhaps its best to simply go straight there. You can drop off your bags and then get another ticket to travel between the five towns of the Cinque Terre – in any case it’s usually inexpensive. Have a great trip!

  • rohan says:

    Hi Arrive on a cruise ship on the 03 of august and La spezia is a port of call. can i do PISA only the leaning tower and cinque terre in one day . My cruise arrives at 7:00 Am and leaves at 7:00 PM

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Rohan,

      You might be able to do it in one day, but we’d suggest just choosing on or the other. Cinque Terre is made up of five totally different towns – there’s a lot to see!

  • Katia Duff says:

    Hello,
    I’m wondering if there are any tours for Cinque Terre from Venice or Florence in Decembers?
    Cheers, Katia

  • Marie says:

    Hi,

    My husband and I will be travelling to Cinque Terra in Sept and we are considering staying in either Manarola and Riomaggiore. We were wondering if you would be able to give us different charateristics between the two towns.

    Thanks

    • Walks of Italy says:

      Hi Marie,

      It’s difficult to say without knowing your preferences. There are pros and cons between each, but all of the towns in Cinque Terre are stunning! Whichever town you choose, the train can get you to the other in less than five minutes and under five euro! Try deciding based off of hotel options 🙂 We’re sure you’ll have a great trip.

  • Lindsay says:

    HI.. great site.

    I am intending to travel to the Cinque Terre from Turin and then on down to Naples and finally Rome in Oct this year. I have no real timelines abt how long I will stay in each place but was wondering what the most appropriate train travel route would be for this trip… Ie. Can I travel by train from Turin via Geno and then on down to the CT and onto Naples and Rome (possibly stoping along the way to explore the coast s something of interest appears)

    Thanks…

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