The Cinque Terre Train: tips and advice
The Cinque Terre train runs through the five villages, from La Spezia towards Genova. Special trains during the high season ensure a good service in response to the always higher fluxes of tourists visiting the area.Cinque Terre is a beautiful sea location north-west of La Spezia. Although it is often considered a single place, it is actually a natural park area, including five sea villages embedded in its rugged and rocky shoreline: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso. The quaint villages have been secluded and isolated from each other for a long time in the past, when they could be reached only by boat or on foot, walking the mule tracks that are today exciting trekking trails. The construction of the Cinque Terre railway connecting the villages at the end of the 20th century was a technological challenge of great expertise, partly exploiting the railways built for military purposes during WWII. Today, the train is definitely the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get to Cinque Terre. In about half an hour, on the line going from La Spezia to Genova and return, you can travel all through the park. Traveling by the Cinque Terre train is a fantastic experience, offering a great sea view from the windows as well as special stops in the tunnels to let passengers get off trains that do not fit in the small stations.
Some useful tips to enjoy traveling in the Cinque Terre by train:
- Today there is a new Trenitalia service, the Cinque Terre Express, which guarantees enough rides to each of the five villages also during high season, to avoid the often too crowded trains as in the past years. In summer, there is a Cinque Terre train departing from La Spezia station every 15 minutes (check the Trenitalia Cinque Terre train timetable).
- Cinque Terre is a paradise for hiking. If you want to enjoy trekking in the area, the Cinque Terre Ticket allows you to hop on and off the five stations and hike in the area. Remember to ask at the Cinque Terre Info Points which hiking tracks are open.
- When you plan a visit to the Cinque Terre by train, always check the service status here, to be informed on the quite frequent planned strikes which could spoil your holiday. The railway has also been heavily affected by floods, and this is the reason why many maintenance works occur on the railway line. On these occasions, the best thing to do is to get to the marina and hop on a boat to the Cinque Terre.
- Despite the frequent Cinque Terre trains, in high season the quite small stations and villages get crowded very quickly, so it is recommended to choose an off-peak time to get there. For example, evenings are a nice time to visit the area. The service doesn’t run late at night, so you should consider booking a place to stay in one of the villages, and plan ahead your trip if you need to get to any other destination by train.
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