La Spezia - transportation hub
La Spezia is big resort on Liguria coast. It is popular as door for Cingue Terre National Park.
There is several ways to travel to La Spezia.
By plane - nearest airport is in Genoa, Pisa and Milan.
By train - Two main lines cross the territory: the "Tirrenica" line linking the province to Genoa and Rome, and the "Pontremolese" line that goes in the direction of Parma. There are regular trains that connect city with: Milan, Turin, Florence, Pisa, Palermo, Reggio Calabria, Naples, Savona and Ventimiglia.
On La Spezia train station is office where you can by your Cingue Terre card and travel to there.
By bus - There is active bus transportation. I travel by bus to Portovenere.
Roads are fine. Many motorcycles and scooters are all of City. Seriously, a lot.Related to:
- Road Trip
Santa Margherita Ligura public transport by bus
I find out that pubic transportation in Santa Margherita Ligura is very convenient, especially bus transportation. One of bus stops within town is on towns port, very easy to find.
There is several bus lines (with specific signs):
8M Rapallo - Campo Golf - Santa Margherita Ligura
8P Rapallo - Campo Golf - Santa Pietro Cimitero
8R 882 Santa Margherita Ligura - Rapallo FS
82 Santa Margherita Ligura FS
72 Ruta - Recco
73 Ruta - Camogli - Recco
77 Nozarego - Quartiere degli Ulivi
The tariff system is based on "zones" identified by numbers and names of bus lines that mostly is one of towns in surrounding. There is 4 tariff zones, from € 1.80 to € 4.50. Buy your ticket from a kiosk. Besides the bus platform on street you can notice big bus inscription.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Rapallo transportation in general
Rapallo is biggest resort on Italian Riviera. It could be good transportation hub for exploring Liguria coast.
Besides its beauty Rapallo have and good transportation advantage.
By plane - Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport is closes airport, it is about 37 km far from Rapallo.
By train - train station in Rapallo have central position within town and it can be base for travel to Ventimiglia (near the French border) in one direction and to Rome in another.
By bus - very convenient way of transportation and good connection with Liguria coast and other parts of Italy.
By car, there's an exit off the A12 autostrada. The closest airport is Christopher Columbus airport by Genoa.
By sea - easy transport to Santa Margherita Ligure, Portofino, and San Fruttuoso and from July to September to Cinque Terre. To Portovenere and Sestri Levante transport is limited on Sundays from May through September and Tuesdays and Thursdays from July through middle September. On Fridays in August you could take ferry to Genoa. Transport company is Tigullio Ferry.
There is regular and boat taxi service.
By foot - my favorite way of exploring new places. Take stroll to sea promenade and trough historical center at least.
Special transportation treat is ride up the hill to Montallegro on the funivia (cable railway) and it takes only eight minutes. It leaves every half hour between 9:00 - 12:00 and 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm (later in summer) from Piazza Solari.
Have safe trip and nice vacation!Related to:
- Road Trip
I was travel from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino by ferry. It is very nice trip (not usually for me). It takes lest then 20 minutes. The ferry go every hour.
The ferry is not to big but enough spacious.You can choose indoor cabins or nice terrace. Insides are bar with reasonable prices and toilet. Smoking isn't allowed.
The price of return trip from Santa Margherita Ligure to Portofino by ferry was 11 euros (summer 2014). Ticket office is in front of every port.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
By bus from La Spezia to Portovenere
There no railway in Portovenere. I take the bus from La Spezia. I departure from bus stop was located in Garibaldi street (Viale Garibaldi).
Look for orange ATC 11/P bus. The bus ride takes from that place to Portovenere about 25 minutes.
You could buy bus ticket at tobacco shop (Tabaccheria) or in a special ticket booth an it cost you 2,5 euros (summer 2014). Alternative is to buy ticket from bus driver but I heard that it cost much more. Ticket are orange with 03 code on it
Validate your ticket in ticket boot inside the bus. I suggest you to buy two ticket in advance because there no date on it.Related to:
- Budget Travel
To and around Cingue Terre
Train is best and easiest way to get to Cingue terre towns and to easy navigate from one to another town. The are two train travel spot: La Spezia on southeast of the Cinque Terre and from Levante on north.
On train station in La Spezia (or Levante) you could buy The Cingue Terre Card. I follow the previous CT ticket tips and over the years their value was increased significantly. Now prices for trains from La Specia are: 12 Euros per adults and 7,30 per young under 18 years old. Children under 4 years old travel for here. Ticket worth one day and include train travel to and around Cingue Terre as well and bus from Croniglia train station up to Cornignlia center.
Make sure you validate your ticket at one of the little withe green machines at the train stations. If you forget or unfamiliar with custom that buying train ticket isn't enough and not only thing you should do before enter the train make sure to do that on next train stop. And yes, there is conductor in train and doing their job fine but there is many many passengers. Also, train travel is very short so keep in mind to validate your train ticket first you can, at least before conductor find out. On every train station in Cingue Terre there are several ticket validate box where you can validate your ticket. One validate is enough!
Keep your ticket all the time your visit Cingue Terre!Related to:
- National/State Park
Explore Cingue Terre on foot
Cingue Terre is land of small towns perfect to explore on foot, even if you have difficult to spend quite time in walking. Walking around towns and hiking between them is trade mark of this area and popular touristic attraction.
I explore Cingue Terre towns on foot as I could since I participated in group traveling and we have limited time to spend in every town. We travel to towns by train and then explore them on foot.
I find very challenging part from Corniglia train station up to its center. You could choose one of two pats: by stairs or follow the asphalt road. It is far to travel and it need a time. I choose stairs in both way. I need about 20 minutes I think. You could find benches to rest but only at very end of stairs.
If you have problem with long foot paths you could use bus. It is not so frequent and is very small. Bus rides is covered by The Cingue Terre Train Card.
Note: hiking trails around Vernazza was close in time of my visit.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Hiking and Walking
By car in Cingue Terre
In first time I thought that is only way to get to Cingue Terre is by train. There is possibility to get there by car too but is not recommended because of limited parking spots in area.
Our tourist guide is suggested to avoid traveling here because that limited parking spaces is mostly for residences. And places are small and suitable only for your feat (whatever your size are). So, make note that all Cinque Terre historical centers are closed to car traffic.
Plus, locals don't liked overcrowded car (not pretty sight - check my attached photos of Monterosso al Mare). I find that is not cheap also.
I heard the story about some plan to make this area more approachable by constructed tunnel to Vernazza and locals make protest and succeed to limit car transport in area.
I saw some car in one part of Monterosso too. Not feel like right thing to do, but I am more train fan so it could be it.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
Actually walking is what the Cinque Terre is all about! There are lots of fabulous footpaths that will get you from one village to the other. They are clearly marked and you will get good information about the difficulties and distances and approximate time of walking.
The easiest portion is the Via Dell'Amore - the (paved) footpath between Riomaggiore and Manarola, the most difficult path is the portion between Vernazza and Monterosso. Please note that all these paths are within the Cinque Terre National Park, so you need to get a ticket to get in!
To be quite honest: we only walked the Via Dell'Amore and really enjoyed it! In Vernazza we walked a few yards on the footpath #2 in both directions and loved the views! But since both of us are afraid of heights we decided to just not overdo it and find other ways to enjoy this beautiful place!
Easy and not expensive
Trenitalia has trains running all along the coast. It is easy to get on a train from Genoa to a smaller resort town in the neighbourhood.
We flew into Genoa airport from there took the shuttlebus to the trainstation. (It stops at several trainstations, just ask for Principe Station, one of the larger ones.) At the trainstation we bought a one way ticket to Arenzano. Arenzano is about 25 km away, and it costed 2,40 Euro (in 2010)
The only problem is there are no announcements made (not in italian or english) to state at which station you are. That can be difficult as the regional trains stop at every (small) station. Luckily we had downloaded a train schedule from the website and knew what time we were supposed to be at Arenzano. That made it a lot easier to find the right station to get out.
We found trains to be very long, with enough space, even on 8:30 on a working day. But we also found the schedule is not very regular as sometimes it took almost an hour for the next train to come at other times as little as 15 minutes.
Vola bus, shuttle from airport to Genoa
There is no trainstation at the Genoa airport but there is shuttlebus service between the airport and the main trainstations in Genoa. The service is called Volabus. The tickets cost 6 Euro (2010 price)and can be bought in the bus or at the ticket machine outside the terminal.
There is a timescedule but we found that the bus waited until the passengers collected their bags. For no known reason we had to wait 30 minutes for our bags, while we were the only plain landing at that time. We thought we missed the bus by 5 minutes, but it was still there waiting for the passengers of our flight.
Busstops at Principe and Brignole stations. It wil take 30 minutes to Brignole station from the airport.
Seaside landing in Genoa
The airport of Genoa is very small and has its runway next to the sea. It is a great sight landing here, that is if the weather is OK and not cloudy as we had for our trip.
As it is a very small airport not many international flights go to Genoa. Lufthansa operates a flight from Münich and Air France from Paris, but most of the time you have to transfer on an italian airport.
Take the ship in 5terre
Take the ship in order to explore Cinque terre, as this is the traditional way to arrive there.
In the ancient times only a secret system of paths led to the 5 villages and the ship was the main means of transportation of the local goods.
Landing is NOT always safe in these small ports, and when I remember the lovely , calm waters we had when I took this cruise from Portovenere to 5terre, and still it was some kind of an adventure to disembark in Vernazza with the help of that lousy "bridge" that is shown on my picture...
...I might simply suggest to take such a cruise ONLY at perfect weather conditions !!
Check out for the itineraries - especially out of the high season boats might be chartered by groups and in addition tickets to single travellers will be sold as well.
These cruises might differ slightly from the normal times / itineraries.
And while stops to the other 3 small villages were on the schedule, we just passed by them without landing.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Getting thhere by Train
To figure out what works best with your schedule, Go to http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
Type in your departure town, and Arriving at either riomaggiore (southern of the 5-terre) or Monterosso (Northernmost), your travel date, and see what the schedules are.
From say, Lucca: You'll have to make to train change(s), one at Viareggio, and perhaps 2nd at La Spezia- the switches are all at the same station.
Depends on where you want to start at in the 5-terre, north or south.
From the south, for example - Lucca, to a Riomaggiore, the first of the 5-terre that you'll hit coming from La Spezia, takes an hour & 37 minutes for the most frequent trip offered.
Lucca to Monterosso Al Mare (northern most of the 5terre), generally takes more time, about 2 hrs, though there is the possibility to do it in an hour 23 minutes. Though that's just one train leaving Lucca at 1:30.
Either way, getiing there is not to challenging, and once there, getting between the towns is also easy, and fun. But don't just stick with the train- use your feet and the boats as well...
The Cinque Terre can easily be explored by train!
We arrived at Pisa airport and took a train from the trainstation Pisa Aeroporto to Pisa Centrale, on to La Spezia and then to Vernazza. Since we had an evening flight we did not have much choice but to take the Eurostar train (1st class only, reservations compulsory), but it was no problem to get a ticket for the train at the counter within the airport. Despite reservation and first class we only paid 11 € per person! On the way back we took a regional (2nd class) train and only paid € 4,85 for the same 92 km!!!
To go from one Cinque Terre village to the other, the train is very convenient as well! Just don't expect great views: it is mostly tunnels!
It's good 3* hotel, rather centrally located (about 15 min walk to Duomo and 25 min walk to the...more
Via Telemarco Signorini #177, Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Business
Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy
Good for: Business
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