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Trip Report CINQUE TERRE - Trails Closed Both Directions but the Alternatives Worked!

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We spent a wonderful 3 days/4 nights in Cinque Terre last month and would like to thank the many people who posted CT information over the past years. I had wanted to go to CT for ages so every time I read info I thought might be helpful, I cut and pasted it onto my Cinque Terre page. By the time it was time to plan, most of the work was already done! You were all so helpful!

We left FCO on a comfy T.A.M. bus from the international arrivals terminal to Rome Termini (only 5 Euros each and minimal walking at the airport), then spent a couple hours in Rome, mostly at the Tudini Restaurant around the corner from the station. This place had the most delicious fettucini with procuitto, peas and cream sauce that I have ever eaten. DH had the pesto and it was actually better than the pesto we had elsewhere this trip. The downside? One that we choose to try to forget. Using the restrooms after the meal lead us way downstairs where there was a cockroach reunion going on. I think the kitchen was upstairs, but it was still rather disconcerting to see all those bugs. Ugh! The food was good though.....

We took the Frecciabianca train out of Rome, a straight shot to Cinque Terre except for changing at La Spezia Centrale. Since there was a Trenitalia promotion for Saturdays until Oct. 26 – buy one ticket on anything other than Regionale trains, get one free… lucky us by chance traveling on a Saturday! – we opted for First Class seats. That was a great decision for us. I checked out second class: it was busy, noisy (even without the screaming child) and there was a huge dog wandering around. Nope, we much preferred our wider seats in the quiet section. Luggage storage was a snap – push the suitcases between the seats next to us – and we reserved the seats with the table. It was also empty most of the way (although at times huge mobs of kids would get on, travel a couple of stops then get off. I’m wondering if they use the trains as a type of after-school transportation instead of school busses) making it easy to jump across the aisle to take pictures.

We enjoyed the ride along the coast and across the varying landscapes: the outskirts of Rome with various domes peeking up over the skyline, factories and industrial areas, then the beautiful blue Mediterranean with 4 cruise ships docked end to end. We passed miles of greenhouses, fields of giant watermelons, farming communities and freshly tilled land. Finally, the rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards and dying fields of sunflowers of Tuscany. We passed small villages, hill towns, palm trees and fish hatcheries. Finally, a beautiful sunset over the water and train tracks. Really, a perfect ride. Tip #1 - We passed Pisa, but since it was dark, missed the leaning Tower. We did see it on the way back, so if you are training it north along this route, as soon as you leave the Pisa S. Rossore station, be on the lookout for the site on the right. It will only be a brief sighting, but it’s possible to find it if you are ready.

We had already been traveling in Abruzzo for the past week and still had a week to go, so while our luggage wasn’t particularly large, it was pretty heavy. Tip #2 – If you have to change tracks at La Spezia Centrale, look for the elevators!

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