Quick Guide: How To Travel Cinque Terre By Train

Italy is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. People flock to the country for fantastic food, culture, and rich history. In fact, you do not even have to visit the larger cities to experience the charms of Italy. A good example is of this is the seductive stretch of Italian Riviera known as Cinque Terre. It is a popular destination for people that want to enjoy the Mediterranean coastline and disconnect from the stressful pace of modern life. While there are a lot of isolated towns and villages on the coasts of Italy, the towns of Cinque Terre are by far the most popular. Due to the interest in this fantastic destination, Save A Train has put together a quick guide on how to see Cinque Terre by Train. 

Why Go By Train?

Many tourists that have not visited Cinque Terre might wonder why a train is the best option. Renting a car and driving to this peaceful region sounds better, right? Wrong. To understand why that is not possible, it is essential to know what makes up Cinque Terre. Cinque Terre is primarily made up of five fishing villages, hence the name (five lands). These villages are Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, Riomaggiore, and Monterosso al Mare. They were originally five castles with tiny communities around them. To survive, these villages took part in fishing and farming. The villages were, until recently, connected by hiking paths and were only accessible by rail or sea. 

These villages are no longer in isolation as they were years ago. However, they still maintain the remote feeling that many enjoy. Roads are leading to some of the villages now, but they are very narrow and can be a dangerous journey for those who are new to the roads. If you reach the villages by car, you will not be able to travel between them by car. To avoid any danger and inconvenience, it is best to visit the villages with the most convenient system of transport trains.  

What Can You Expect From The Cinque Terre Train Line?

The Cinque Terre train line has six stops. The order of these stops is La Spezia (central transportation hub in the area), Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso, and then finally Levanto. These trips are relatively short and do not take that much time. The journey from La Spezia to Riomaggiore takes about 10 minutes. The trips between the Cinque Terre towns are about 5 minutes each. These trains go through dark tunnels that date back to the 1870s. It is an exciting experience of going through the dark and then suddenly seeing the brightness and stunning views of the Mediterranean. 

These trains are not as frequent as one would expect given the short distance between the destinations. They usually run once every hour, but this can vary from time to time. However, it is always best to ask for additional information when purchasing your ticket. In addition to knowing the schedule and travel time of this train route, it is crucial to validate your tickets. There are validation machines on the train platforms that you can use. All you have to do is slide the narrow end of the ticket into the slot of the small yellow machine and wait to hear the stamp.

Arriving Cinque Terre by Train

1. Quick Guide To Cinque Terre By Train: Riomaggiore

Riomaggiore will either be the first stop (if you are headed from La Spezia) or the fifth stop (if you are headed from Levanto). However, it is most likely going to be the first stop for many Cinque Terre visitors, since it is the fastest way to get there. Riomaggiore is the biggest of the five villages, and it is the unofficial capital since the main park office is there. The buildings are perched all upon the steep ravine, all the way to the tiny harbor. The scene of peeling pastel houses is picturesque and will stay in your memory forever. It is a fantastic sight to see at sunset, and it is a must see for couples that want to share a special moment.

La Spezia to Riomaggiore Trains

Florence to Riomaggiore Trains

Modena to Riomaggiore Trains

Livorno to Riomaggiore Trains

Riomaggiore Italy

2. Manarola

Manarola is a petit village that appears to spill down into the Cinque Terre coastline at first sight. The illusion of cascading colorful buildings is a beautiful sight. It is a perfect blend of Italian culture and rugged nature. Once you take in the lovely view, you can explore the village. Manarola has a tiny harbor that features a boat ramp and a swimming hole. It is the perfect place to take a swim and practice some cliff diving. Accompanying the harbor are numerous fishing boats that belong to the inhabitants of Manarola. The tradition of catching and eating fish is still alive and thriving in the village.

La Spezia to Manarola Trains

Riomaggiore to Manarola Trains

Sarzana to Manarola Trains

Levanto to Manarola Trains

Manarola to Cinque Terre by Train

3. Quick Guide To Cinque Terre By Train: Corniglia

Each of the five villages has its certain charm. Corniglia is special since it is not on the waterfront. However, what it lacks in beaches, it more than makes up for with its own unique beauty. Corniglia feels more remote than the other villages. However, it offers a more relaxed and local atmosphere. The village is often overlooked for its arduous trails. Unlike the other villages that can be reached by boat, Corniglia is on top of the hills and has no sea access. The only way to reach it is to hike the Cinque Terre path or to take the train. However, it is essential to note that the train will not spare you any physical effort. You will still need to walk some stairs to reach the village center and see everything the little village offers. 

Corniglia has a fantastic viewpoint that lets you see most of the surrounding hills and vast ocean. The belvedere in the village is a great place to go and take in the beauty of Cinque Terre. Once you do that you can enjoy the flavors the village offers, from amazing pesto to delicious wine. Corniglia has a rich history of making wine, and if you are lucky enough to befriend the locals, you could taste and learn about their wines.

La Spezia to Corniglia Trains

Florence to Corniglia Trains

Manarola to Corniglia Trains

Levant to Corniglia TrainsCorniglia – Cinque Terre

4. Vernazza

Vernazza is considered as one of the most beautiful villages in not only Cinque Terre, but the entire country of Italy. It is surely the crowning jewel of Cinque Terre that makes many fall in love with the journey. It has a more elegant and traditional feel that the other villages lack. Combine that with the exceptional food and wonderful sights, and you get a place that guarantees a second visit. Make sure to visit the Doria castle when in Vernazza. It contains one of the last original towers that protected the people of the village decades ago.

Corniglia to Vernazza Trains

Florence to Vernazza Trains

Bologna to Vernazza Trains

Riomaggiore to Vernazza Trains

Vernazza Coast

5. Quick Guide To Cinque Terre By Train: Monterosso Al Mare

Monterosso al Mare is undoubtedly the most touristy and resort like town in the Cinque Terre. It has cars, hotels and pebble beaches perfect for tourists. If you want to visit this amazing part of Italy, but prefer a more modern vibe, then Monterosso is for you. Monterosso has a promenade that is perfect for evening strolls, and even better, they have fine dining that will make anyone enjoy seafood.

Rome to Tivoli Trains

Tivoli to Rome Trains

Perugia to Tivoli Trains

Orvieto to Tivoli Trains

Monterosso Al Mare Sea

As you can see, Cinque Terre has a lot to offer visitors that want to experience a unique Italian experience. It has five unique villages that promise an unforgettable experience. Book A Ticket and let yourself experience an adventure that is unlike any other. 

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