How to Get to Cinque Terre, Italy
Updated: Jul 18, 2022
How to get to Cinque Terre from La Spezia, Pisa, Florence, Milan, Venice, and Rome
Italy is a wonderful country to travel through for any type of traveler. If you’re a seasoned world traveler, backpacker, first time traveler, budget or luxury traveler, you name it, Italy has something for you. And one of the best parts of exploring the Italian cities and countryside? Public transportation.
The best way to get around Italy, without renting a car, is by train. Trenitalia operates throughout nearly the entire country, making it very easy to get nearly anywhere. Which means getting to Cinque Terre will be easy and straightforward if you’re coming from a bigger city like Rome, Florence, Milan, Venice, or Pisa.
Cinque Terre, Italy is a popular place for day trips from Pisa and Florence, and overnight trips from Milan, Venice, and Rome. There are also no major airports near Cinque Terre, so chances are, if you’re visiting from another country, you’ll start your trip somewhere like Rome or Venice and make your way to Cinque Terre from there.
If you’re wondering how to get to Cinque Terre, you’ve found the right place! And if you need help planning your trip to Cinque Terre, check out our Five Villages of Cinque Terre, Italy Blog! It has all the details and explains what there is to see and do in this beautiful, dreamy part of Italy.
Tip alert for traveling Italy: download the Trainline app now. It will make your life so much easier. Well it will make travel days much smoother while you’re exploring Italy by having all your tickets in one location. It also compares different tickets for you so you can get the cheapest and fastest one available.
We also recommend buying train tickets in advance if you know when and where you are going. They can sell out, especially during busy seasons, or you will be left with no choice but to buy first class (more expensive) tickets. You can buy them on the Trainline app or website, or at train stations (for day of travel).
Train from La Spezia to Cinque Terre
La Spezia is a coastal town located just southeast of Cinque Terre. This is where most train rides from the south of Cinque Terre will go through as there is a direct train from La Spezia to the region of Cinque Terre. It stops at Riomaggiore first, then makes its way through the rest of the towns, stopping in Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso. Download the Trainline app to buy tickets ahead of time or use a kiosk to purchase a ticket at La Spezia Centrale (La Spezia train station). The train tickets cost €5 no matter what town of Cinque Terre you stop in. They are also only good for one way use.
We recommend buying a Cinque Terre Train Card which costs about €20, but it’s worth it once you’ve stopped at even four of the five towns. You can use it all day, for an unlimited amount of rides.
This makes exploring the villages of Cinque Terre much easier; you can see all of them in one day if you utilize the train. If you don’t get a Cinque Terre Train Card, you’ll be paying €5 for every train ride you take, and yes, they actually do randomly check for tickets.
There are also 2 and 3 day train cards available if you plan on exploring for more than one day.
From La Spezia, the train will stop in the towns of Cinque Terre in the following order:
Riomaggiore - Manarola - Corniglia - Vernazza - Monterosso
So make sure you pay attention and get off in the right town! If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend starting in Riomaggiore and working your way up to Monterosso. Or vice versa, start in Monterosso and work your way down to Riomaggiore.
The Cinque Terre* stop below means the train stops in the order of the towns above, EXCEPT from Milan. The order of stops is reversed coming from Milan because it's north of Cinque Terre. There isn’t one main stop for “Cinque Terre,” you have to get off in one of the specific towns. So just keep in mind the order that the train stops, and know what town you want to get off in!
How to Get to Cinque Terre from Rome
Estimated Journey Time: 4 to 5.5 hours
Roma Termini - La Spezia Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Taking the train from Rome to Cinque Terre is straight forward. Start your journey in Roma Termini, Rome’s main train station. You can get a direct train from Rome to La Spezia. Here, you will get on another train that will take you straight to all five towns of Cinque Terre, stopping in the order mentioned above.
How to Get to Cinque Terre from Florence
Estimated Journey Time: 3 hours
Firenze Santa Maria Novella - La Spezia Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Firenze Santa Maria Novella - Pisa Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Florence is closer to Cinque Terre than Rome, resulting in a shorter journey. Similar to starting in Rome, if you plan on getting from Florence to Cinque Terre, you can stop in La Spezia first. Here you will then catch the direct train to all five towns of Cinque Terre, stopping in Riomaggiore first, then Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and finally Monterosso. Another route you can take to get to Cinque Terre from Florence is stopping in Pisa, and then you can take another train directly to Cinque Terre. This is actually a slightly shorter journey by about 30 mins.
How to Get to Cinque Terre from Pisa
Estimated Journey Time: 2 hours
Pisa Centrale - La Spezia Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Even closer than Florence, taking the train from Pisa to Cinque Terre takes about 2 hours. Sometimes the trains will stop in La Spezia and continue onto the towns of Cinque Terre, so you’ll only be taking one train, but not always. Make sure you know if you need to get off and switch trains at La Spezia Centrale. Your ticket will say if you need to on the Trainline app; you can view your journey and the stops the train will be making on the app as well.
How to Get to Cinque Terre from Milan
Estimated Journey Time: 3.5 hours
Milano Centrale - Levanto - Cinque Terre*
Rome, Florence, and Pisa are all south of Cinque Terre, but because Milan is north of Cinque Terre, you’ll stop in Levanto and from there the train will stop in the five villages in the order below, so be prepared and know what stop you need to get off at!
Monterosso - Vernazza - Corniglia - Manarola - Riomaggiore
How to Get from Venice to Cinque Terre
Estimated Journey Time: 6 hours
Venezia Santa Lucia - Firenze Santa Maria Novella - Pisa Centrale - La Spezia Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Venezia Santa Lucia - Firenze Santa Maria Novella - La Spezia Centrale - Cinque Terre*
Traveling to Cinque Terre from Venice will take longer than all the other journeys as it’s farther away, and you also have to take three to four trains to get from Venice to Cinque Terre. Starting in Venice you’ll head to Florence and then complete the same journey as above to get from Florence to Cinque Terre.
Getting to Cinque Terre is hopefully a straightforward journey for you now. Our biggest tips when it comes to traveling through Italy by train, is booking tickets in advance, and saving a photo of your journey so you know where and around when you should be getting to your next stop. The trains go through many, many tunnels in Italy, so be prepared to lose service. Having a screenshot of your Trainline journey will be very handy.
We hope your Italy travel plans are all coming together and now that you know how to get to Cinque Terre, you can start packing your bags! If you’re wondering what to do in this coastal region of Italy, we’ve also got a detailed blog on exploring the five villages of Cinque Terre.
Now go have the time of your life in Cinque Terre, Italy, and see for yourself the greatness it has to offer. If you’re heading from Rome to Cinque Terre, check out our Rome blogs and find all the juicy details for planning a trip to Rome. When it comes to travel planning, we’ve got you covered.
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Ciao! Buon viaggio!