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Day Cinque Terre/Pisa-from Cruise ship (Epic) Port Livorno

Day Cinque Terre/Pisa-from Cruise ship (Epic) Port Livorno

Aug 14th, 2012, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Day Cinque Terre/Pisa-from Cruise ship (Epic) Port Livorno

My fiancé and I are doing a Italy, France cruise on the Epic leaving 9/2/12. We are both athletic and in our thirties and like beach coastal towns over big city sites and museums. We like fresh foods and like to try foods/wines/markets of whichever area we travel. We travel oftne so aren't super intimated to pick up a map and explore for the day. One stop is Livorno/Pisa/Florence. I have been to Florence so we are skipping that for some time on the Italian Rivera/Cinque Terre and perhaps a quick photo at the leaning tower of pisa? I used a travel agent on my last trip Italy and he did a SUPER job setting us up with drivers in Almalfi coast, Venice and Rome. He says the charge for a drive is $750 for the Cinque Terre area. That seems high, thoguh i know it will be a nice day. I hear there are 5 little coast towns with an ok beach in the area, trains, boats and hiking connecting the towns. We are coming from the Livoron port (Epic ship) and have 7am until 7pm. My questions are:
1.Is Cinque Terre the best way to spend our day at that port? Or should we do Tuscany? Worth getting to Pisa for a photo? Not sure how far these places are apart?
2. Find a way to the area and explore by foot, train, boat? What costs should we plan for? Or should we just book a day trip with a driver for $750 and call it done?(pricey though)
3. Worth spending time at a beach location?
4. Any markets or restaurants to try to fresh local seafood, etc.?
5. Any other suggestions appreciated!!
Sweetness is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Personally, I did a shore excursion from my cruise ship to go to Cinque Terre. It was well worth it, I enjoyed the day very much. Keep in mind the little villages suffered some recent devestation so they are still somewhat in recovery. I very much enjoyed the partial hike that we did, the rest was by train as the water was too choppy to do it by water. You will travel through Tuscany getting to Cinque Terre and it is beautiful countryside. I have also previously done Pisa. I do think Cinque Terre is more suited to you. I would not recommend both in the same day.
hpeabody is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:04 AM
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What is the best way to go there from Cruise ship? Prices??
Sweetness is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:22 AM
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Definitely devote the day to Cinque Terre, considering your likews and preferences. Not enough time to do Pisa, too. And if you are just thinking of a souvenir photo of the leaning tower, not worth it.

The train is very easy to take to and from CT, although I don't know what the connections from the port are. The little regional trains run from La Spezia very frequently, so getting back should not be difficult. Look at the schedules on trenitalia.com. I see no reason to spend a fortune on a driver unless you are really worried about getting back to the ship on time.
charnees is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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Does your ship offer an excursion? bound to be cheaper than $750. You may want to post on your roll call and see if you can get up a group for a mini-van small tour - maybe a bit more than the ship's excursion but less of a "sheep" experience. Also there is a tour company, google, share a shore excursion in Italy, that puts together groups. It may be doable on your own but 1) the Livorno port is a monster and it is a ways to the train station. 2) once you get near the Cinque Terra most of the trains are regionals - do not bet that they will run on time so give yourself alot of margin for catching the train that will return you to Livorno.

But yes, I think you will like the Cinque Terra but it can get pretty swarmed with tourists from the ships and Rick Steves fanatics. Another option might be the walled city of Lucca - closer by train than CT. Neat walled city that you can rent bikes and ride around the top of the walls.
suec1 is online now  
Aug 14th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Cinque Terra is INSANE on the weekends, even slightly off summer season. Is your stop a Saturday or Sunday?
christycruz is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 12:35 PM
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Nope, it is Thursday. Is finding a cab off the ship to the train station, taking a train to CT then hiking the route (maybe a train or ferry) that hard to do ourselves? If we have hike most of it, why do we need a driver. Isn't the driver just going to take us from ship to CT and back? $$750 for that seems nuts for a little planning? Big groups are so scheduled. We would like to go around and see things on our time? Is that an unreasonable idea??
Sweetness is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Agree with hpeabody that the Cinque Terre is the best choice for you. But I don't think a car and driver an appropriate solution. The 5 towns are not easily reached by car; the road runs inland. For most of the villages you'll need to climb down and climb back up to reach the car. Whereas trains, boats and the trail run directly between the towns.

So, yes, you can take the train from Livorno Centrale station to La Spezia and switch to the local train for the Cinque Terre. And you could shoe horn in a stop in Pisa. Maybe decide on the way back whether you want to (and have enough time to) go from La Spezia to Pisa and then back to Livorno.
Mimar is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 04:30 PM
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Any idea of cost of us doing CT ourselves? I'd imagine cab to train, train to CT and trail tickets, perhaps a boat ride if nice. Not to include Meals, etc.
Sweetness is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 05:16 PM
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Check the train schedules and see if you are comfortable with them - again, do not play it close -it is highly likely that the regional trains will not be on time taking you to your LaSpezia / Livorno connection. On your own, it will be cheap but IMO the dicey part is the train.
suec1 is online now  
Aug 14th, 2012, 05:20 PM
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You won't have time to hike all 5 villages. Maybe 3 out of the 5.

Also, I'm sure you have cruised before (I haven't) but I understand the stated arrival time in port doesn't include unloading and actually getting on dry land. Take that into consideration.

We enjoyed our hike (4 out of 5) and it was busy on a weekday 12 years ago! Take a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. Good hiking shoes.

Buon viaggio!
Dayle is offline  
Aug 14th, 2012, 05:28 PM
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Livorno Centrale to La Spezia takes about an hour. Price ranges from 7.70€ to 15€ depending on type of train. Some trains require a change at Pisa, others don't. The fast trains are reserved seating and can sell out.

From La Spezia to the villages will be just a few euro on mostly old R trains (no reserved seating). They will be crowded. I would pick a couple of towns you really want to see and train to those. As for hiking, perhaps someone can post the fee for that.

You can search schedules and prices by entering a date within the next 7 days.
kybourbon is offline  
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