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How to reach the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is situated on the northeastern coast of Italy. It is a mountain terrain; so if you have decided to go by car, it would be better to leave it at a parking lot in La Spezia and board a train there.

Comparison of travelling by train and by car from the main towns of Italy to the Cinque Terre (or more precisely to La Spezia):

From

By train

By car

Milan (Milano)

Journey time: 3 h.
Cost: €20
Departure frequency: almost every hour.

Journey time: 2 h.
Cost: €20 toll tax +
petrol for 200 km / 125 miles.

Rome (Roma)

Journey time: 3-4 h.
Cost: €40-50
Departure frequency: almost every hour.

Journey time: 4 h.
Cost: €30 toll tax +
petrol for 425 km / 265 miles.

Venice (Venezia)

Journey time: 4.30-6 h. (with interchanges)
Cost: €40-50
Departure frequency: less than one hour.

Journey time: 3 h.
Cost: €30 toll tax +
petrol for 360 km / 220 miles.

Rimini

Journey time: 4.30-5 h. (with interchanges)
Cost: €30-40
Departure frequency: almost every hour.

Journey time: 3 h.
Cost: €25 toll tax +
petrol for 330 km / 200 miles.

Genoa (Genova)

Journey time: 1-2 h.
Cost: €7-10
Departure frequency: very often.

Journey time: 1 h.
Cost: €10 toll tax +
petrol for 100 km / 60 miles.

Florence (Firenze)

Journey time: 2 h.
Cost: €12-18
Departure frequency: almost every hour.

Journey time: 1 h. 30 min.
Cost: €12 toll tax +
petrol for 150 km / 100 miles.

Pisa

Journey time: 40 min. - 1 h.
Cost: €6-10
Departure frequency: very often.

Journey time: 50 min.
Cost: €8 toll tax +
petrol for 80 km / 50 miles.

Monaco / Nice

Journey time: 5-6 h. (with interchanges)
Cost: €20-30
Departure frequency: almost every hour.
For more details, see the note below.

Journey time: 3 h.
Cost: €40 toll tax +
petrol for 280 km / 175 miles.

* Useful links:
Trenitalia (train schedule, note that the prices indicated for regional trains are only for next seven days, for your search use the names of cities in Italian, see above);
Google Maps;
Calculation of toll tax (for travel by car).

* Useful tips:
- If you need to buy a ticket from France to Italy, for example from Nice to Monterosso, you first have to select Nice - Vintimille train on the SNFC website and then Ventimiglia - Monterosso train on the Trenitalia website (link above).
- Trenitalia changes its train timetable twice a year: in the first week of June and the first week of December. Regional trains (less expensive) are added to the website about two weeks before the timetable change (generally forcing unaware tourists to buy expensive tickets). When the timetable is changed to summer one, only new trains are usually added with no significant changes.
- You can buy a train ticket even five minutes before departure (from ticket office or vending machine) for all trains. Seats are always available, so there is no need to advance booking. Rail Pass (single ticket for European tourists) in Italy is much more expensive than regular tickets, we don’t recommend it.
- Trains in Italy are divided into three types:
1. Regionali (without seat reservation).
2. Intercity (a bit expensive, with seat reservation).
3. Eurostar/Freccia (the fastest and the most comfortable trains; they cost much higher, but booking in advance is usually cheaper for long distances).
- Highways (autostrade) in Italy are charged.
- Travelling by car is cheaper, if at least three people are travelling together.

* Useful smartphone apps: for booking of train tickets and checking of timetable we suggest you to search for apps like: treno, Italian train, ProntoTreno (official Trenitalia app).

From La Spezia you have plenty of options to reach Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. Further details can be found on the page "Modes of transport".

Where to leave luggage?
Luggage locker facility is available only at the La Spezia railway station. First 5 hours will cost you 1 euro each, thereafter the price is halved.
Luggage locker facility in Riomaggiore is no more functional.




More details:


icon black trainBy Train to the Cinque Terre

All the towns in the Cinque Terre have railway stations connected via tunnels, which is why it is the fastest and the most convenient mode of transport in this region. Considering your itinerary, you should take La Spezia as a reference point.
Train tickets can be bought even five minutes before departure. If your ticket is already reserved (this facility is not available on regional trains), the earlier you buy it the cheaper it will cost you. Attention! If it is a ticket without reservation (departure time is not indicated), you can take any train of this category, but you should validate your ticket in a vending machine before boarding the train.
Train prices and timetable can be found on the Trenitalia website. Many apps have been developed for smartphones (you will find them by searching for keywords: Italian train, treno, ProntoTreno), where you can see not only the schedule, but also the location and delay status of a train in real time.

More details about travelling by train in the Cinque Terre Park can be found on the page "Modes of transport"



black car iconBy Car to the Cinque Terre

As these villages are situated on rocky cliffs, it is extremely difficult to get there by car. The road is rather narrow and has a lot of serpentine turns. That is why we recommend you to leave the car in La Spezia (there are many parking lots), in Levanto or Monterosso (usually difficult to find a parking space here). Besides, the centres of these villages are closed to motorised vehicles.

If you still do not want to leave your car in La Spezia, use Google Map (on the left) for your route planning. List of towns in the Cinque Terre based upon increasing road difficulty: Monterosso, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Vernazza, Corniglia.

Important: YOU WILL NOT FIND ANY PETROL STATIONS in the Cinque Terre Park and nearby roads, so ensure that your petrol tank is full. In this region, generally the entire population uses methane; so it would be unrealistic to expect finding a litre of petrol even in emergency.

Best parking lots of La Spezia are indicated on the second map. Green tags indicate the free of charge parking lots. The rightmost parking lot is the largest one and is served by a free bus-service.

If you want to park your car in the Cinque Terre: there is a huge parking lot right by the sea in Monterosso (12-15 euros a day), but during summer it is very congested. In Riomaggiore, you will find another paid parking lot, and it costs about 20 euros a day.
You also have the option of renting a car. For more information, visit any of these websites: Budget, Hertz, Sixt, Avis.



icon black airplaneFlights to the Cinque Terre

Nearest airports from La Spezia: C. Colombo International Airport in Genoa (112 km / 70 miles) and Galileo Galilei International Airport in Pisa (84 km / 50 miles). There are many trains running from Pisa and Genoa to La Spezia. You can take a flight to Milan Airport as well. It is a bit further, but you will not have any problem boarding a train from there.
One Travel is one of the most famous sellers of cheapest tickets in Europe. On their website you will find best deals on tickets (direct routes: Pisa, Genoa, Parma, Milano, and Bologna)!
P.S. It is always better to book a ticket through the website of airline once you know the best deal (cheapest fare), but it can be a bit problematic when you have connecting flights of two different airlines.




What is the best way to move around the Cinque Terre Park?

On foot, by car, by bus, by boat, or by train? More details on a dedicated page of our website.