Florence to Cinque Terre in a day?

Feb 7th, 2002, 05:38 AM
  #1  
hb9542
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Florence to Cinque Terre in a day?

I would appreciate some input from experienced travelers to Italy on the advisability of a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre. Would we be able to take a train or bus from Florence and would we have enough time in 1 day to enjoy the experience? I had planned on taking the group of friends with whom I'm traveling to Siena for a day trip but they are also interested in seeing Cinque Terre - would that be a viable idea?

Thanks!
Betsy
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 06:59 AM
  #2  
Liz Z.
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It's a couple of hours (2 or 3) by train from Florence to le Cinque Terre, as I remember it. There are trains that go from Florence to Pisa, where you change to a train for la Spezia, from which you'd change to a local train. I think there are also some direct trains from Pisa to one of the larger towns of the Cinque Terre. You could go there early in the morning, arrive by mid day, take the easiest hike or a short boat ride, or wander around one or two of the towns, and leave. It's probably doable but pressured, if the train schedule works. "Enjoy" is a subjective word, though. To me it sounds like too much, but maybe it would be better than not doing it at all from your point of view.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 08:47 AM
  #3  
ellen
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You might factor in that the reliability of the trains through CT is questionable. When we were there, we were ready to leave from Riomaggiore and take the train to La Spezia but it was about 1 1/2 hours late. I asked one of the locals if the trains were often late and he responded "Quasi sempre." Almost always. We had a car back in La Spezia but if we had had a train to catch we would have been in trouble.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 10:35 AM
  #4  
Lexma90
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It would be a lot of travel time for not much time in a place that's really a destination, not just a day trip. If you can persuade your group, Siena would make for a better day trip. Now, if you can spend the night in CT, that would make the trip worthwhile.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:17 AM
  #5  
robin-k
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Unfortunately, there's no easy/quick/direct way to get from Florence to CT via rail. Train will take you 3 hours, which also includes at least one change, possibly two changes. And these are on the 'regional' or 'diretto' trains --- or to describe them more accurately, the slow & pokey runs. Should any of your connections be delayed (you have to go from Florence to Pisa, then change trains to get to CT towns & possibly a change in LaSpezia), you could end up taking more than 3 hours to get there.

Possibly there's a more direct option on bus system. I know SITA buses do run between some cities; not familiar if they cover this route. Your best bet is as Lexma90 suggests and overnight in Cinque Terre.

Stock with your plan to do Siena. It's a great day trip from Florence.
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:27 AM
  #6  
Grasshopper
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I'm the kind of traveller that might do this if I had a day to spare. The train from Florence to Pisa is one hour. If you would like you could even dash over to the tower and take that in. Then on to CT via La Spezia. One of the really fun things about that train route is that you go past Carrera and the marble mountains where Michaelangelo handpicked his blocks for many of his amazing sculptures. I found the route fascinating and loved thinking about what it must have been for M. travelling from Florence to the area to pick out his supplies. Also, a good deal of the route is along the coast. Very beautiful.

So leaving Florence by 9 am, even with a 2 hour stop in Pisa, you could get to Vernazza (one of the CT towns) by 2pm. Have a great meal of trofi al pesto (the best you'll ever taste) and some gelato, hang out at the bar by the water and drink some of their local wine, walk up onto the path and get the birdseye view of the coastline, and head back to Florence by 6, arriving in time for dinner. Not a bad day!
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:33 AM
  #7  
Grasshopper
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I mean returning by 9 pm... 6 was a typo!
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:30 PM
  #8  
hb9542
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Thanks so much for all of your responses. I knew I could count on the people on thei board for the straight scoop!

Betsy
 
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:42 PM
  #9  
TheTraveler
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Hi! I am going to agree with those who say that an overnight in the CT would be best. We spent 2 nights in Levanto in '99 arriving late on the first day. One full day was enough time to visit each town briefly. We took the train and hiked the 2 easier hikes. Our last train was very late--just as someone earlier has said, but we were on no time schedule. We were very tired at the end of the day. It would've been nice to have been able to dawdle longer in some of the villages, and we never got to use the beach.We will be back this June--again for 2 nights but in Portovenere.

Siena is great, and I agree your time would be better spent there for a day. The Traveler
 

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