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Need advice on Cinque Terre day trip from Florence

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I am traveling Venice-Florence-Rome with my DD (age 20) in early August (12days). DD would really like to go to Cinque Terre. I realize it's a long train trip from Florence for a day trip but am considering it as it looks beautiful and I think I would welcome the break from the busy city and heat. We won't be hiking, just want to see/stroll the beautiful beach, enjoy the scenery, stroll around the towns, enjoy the food and relax. I was thinking of taking a morning train from Florence to La Spezia, then change to the regional train to get to CT. Does this sound like the most efficient way to get there? I read on a website that there may also be a train that goes direct from Florence to CT on Sundays during certain seasons. Anyone heard about this?

I would also like your advice on the best way to see the towns of CT. Is it better to do the train hop on hop off or a boat tour? Can you get on and off the boat to see the towns? We don't need to see all 5 towns, even just a few would be fine. The boat tour really appeals to me as we love the water and it seems like the most advantageous way to see the beautiful CT towns.If we do the boat tour, which town should we depart the train?

I welcome any advice you may have for a day trip to CT.

Thanks for your help!

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