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Venice to Florence to Cinque Terre before Rome?

Venice to Florence to Cinque Terre before Rome?

Jun 24th, 2011, 07:31 AM
  #1  
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Venice to Florence to Cinque Terre before Rome?

I posted last week about our last minute trip to Italy and we are still trying to finalize our agenda.

All we know is that we are flying into Venice and out of Rome. We need to be in Rome by the 20th for a wedding for a shuttle to the countryside at noon.

Should we go from Venice to Florence to Cinque Terre or Venice to Cinque Terre to Florence? I have seen differernt opinions on this.

I did a little research and it looks like the train from Venice to Florence is only about 2 hours long and they run very often. (Would you try to leave out of Venzia Mestre or Venzia S Lucia Station?)

While in Florence we were going to try to take a day trip to Siena and San Gimignano but we are going to be short on time in Florence. Do you advise taking this as a day trip from Rome or Bevagna (where we will be for the wedding)?

From Florence I was thinking about stopping in Pisa on the way to CT. What time does everything open in Pisa? We were thinking about taking the 6:10am train that gets to Pisa at 7:32 but that might be pointless if things are closed until 10am.

On the way from CT to Rome is where I get confused. it seems like there is a 4:56am train from Monterosso to La Spezia but when I try to purchase the tickets I get an error message. We are trying to make the connection in La Spezia that goes to Rome departing at 5:46am arriving in Rome at 10:14.

I know this is quite a mouthful but does this sound realistic and is this a good order to do things in?

Day 1: Arrive in Venice at 9:45am
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice to Florence (either leave 8:30 am and arrive at 10:30 am or go in the afternoon - 12:30 arrive at 2:30)
Day 4: Florence
Day 5: Florence to Siena to San Gimigagno to Florence (or save this as a day trip from Rome or Bevagna)
Day 6. Florence to Pisa - Pisa to CT
Day 7: CT
Day 8: CT to Rome
Day 9: Bevagna
Day 10: Bevagna
Day 11: Bevagna
Day 12: Bevagna to Rome (or we can go to Siena)
Day 13: Rome
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 07:51 AM
  #2  
 
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Definitely leave from Venice Santa Lucia - right on a canal in the heart of town - to get to Mestre station you must first take a train across the lagoon to the mainland and transfer - and the trains from Mestre to Florence that do not come from Venice S Lucia come usually from elsewhere and thus can be fairly full by that time - even though you have seat reservations mandated finding places for luggage, etc is less relaxed than boarding trains at S Lucia where the trains begin and will be sitting there for sometime before departure. Trains may stop at Mestre only a few minutes.

Though there are a few Venice to the Cinque Terre area trains I believe that may require some changes of trains - Florence is a fast two hours - then take a train via Pisa to the Cinque Terre (though there is one thru train in the morning Florence to La Spezia typically you must change in Pisa Centrale - and always change in La Spezia to locals that serve each of the 5 Terre stations.

Then hop a direct train from La Spezia down the coast to Rome - taking a commuter train from any 5 Terre station to La Spezia.

florence to Siena by bus - lots and lots of buses dirt cheap - is only about 45 minutes or so - much much longer day trip from Rome (though not sure where Bevagna is)

Also buses from Florence to S Gimingnano - can do both by train as well but longer round-about route.

Pisa Centrale has a luggage storage facility - not sure what type of things being open you are talking about - Leaning Tower not sure but if going book your ticket slot online or face a long long wait.

Look at the Italian Railpass with such train travel and ignore anyone saying that the Italian railpass is rarely cost-effective as for your itinerary it may well be - especially if you just want to decide what trains to take as you go along - I travel with a pass in Italy a lot and never have trouble making the required seat reservations for any train just before the train - gives you total flexibility and no need to decide way in advance - online discounts are I think train-specific and cannot be changed nor refunded.

Years of travel on Italian trains also tells me that first class travel, for the average tourist on the trip of a lifetime, is the way to go - not to say 2nd class is a cattle car but first class in much much more relaxed - larger seats - more empty seats - I can almost always put my bags on a nearby emtpy seat - rare in 2nd class - and the Italy Railpass is a good deal compared to regular first class fares. Folks who say there is little difference between classes simply IMO have not ridden in first class.

There may not be an early enough train from Monterosso to La Spezia to connect with the 5:46 am train - trains on that route to Rome run about every two hours so check the 7:46am train too.

anyway for lots of great info on Italian trains (and passes) check out these fantastic IMO sites - www.seat61.com; www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com

If checking out railpasses a Saverpass is one pass with two names on it - cheaper than two individual passes.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 08:21 AM
  #3  
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Thank you this is very helpful.

In regards to the train from CT to Rome, on TrenItalia I see a train from Monterosso to La Spezia that departs 4:56 am and gets to La Spezia at 5:22am before it departs to Rome at 5:46am. Do you think that this first train won't be active and that is why I can't add it to my cart?

Thanks again
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 08:22 AM
  #4  
 
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How committed are you to the CT? It's great, honestly, way worth going to. But it adds a LOT of travel and complicated logistics into your trip, including a very early departure to get to Rome. Too much travel (for me). Split those two nights between Venice and Florence (with at least one in Venice since you really only have one full day there if you discount the day you arrive). the trip from Florence to Rome the morning of the shuttle transfer will be MUCH easier.

Also, do you have to have to take the shuttle from Rome to Bevagna? If you cut the CT as above you'll be in Florence already. You can take a direct train from there to Spello or Foligno (2h45m) and then maybe arrange ride to Bevagna (20 mins). You can avoid the 2+ hour shuttle from Rome to Bevagna. Just a thought.

Lastly, don't go from Bevagna to Siena. Nothing wrong with Siena, but there will be plenty to do in Rome for two days. If anything do Siena as a day trip from Florence (if you cut out the CT)

Here is what I would suggest:

Day 1: Arrive in Venice at 9:45am
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice
Day 4: Venice to Florence
Day 5: Florence
Day 6. Florence (day trip if you wish
Day 7: Florence
Day 8: Florence to Rome to Bevagna (full day of travel)
Day 9: Bevagna
Day 10: Bevagna
Day 11: Bevagna
Day 12: Bevagna to Rome
Day 13: Rome

I assume your time in Bevagna is with a large group and activities are already planned so I won't make any suggestions there. Bevagna itself is a small but very nice town.

Let us know how it all goes when you get back!
uflecku is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 08:23 AM
  #5  
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trains on that route to Rome run about every two hours so check the 7:46am train too.

I don't see this train anywhere?

I see a 6:51 from La Spezia...
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 08:40 AM
  #6  
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What if I try to change the flight and get an additional day at the beginning of the trip:

Day 1: Arrive in Venice - 1/2 Day
Day 2. Venice
Day 3: Venice to Florence - would you leave early moring or spend half the day here or leave in the afternoon?
Day 4: Florence
Day 5: Florence to Siena to San Gimi to Florence (bus - Fierenze to Siena - 8am arrives 9:15 - Siena to San Gimi (how long from Poggobonsi to San Gimi? - 15:40 - 16:25 (is this enough time in Siena?) Would you go to San Gimi that late?
Day 6: Florence to Pisa - 7am train - arrives 7:49am - Pisa to Monterosso - 1:44pm arrives at 2:54
Day 7: CT
Day 8: CT to Rome - still can't quite figure out how to get from Monterosso to La Spezia early am for that train to Rome.
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 08:52 AM
  #7  
 
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Is there a reason you really want to go to Rome from Cinque Terre rather than from Florence? It seems like if you swapped those two, you'd have a much easier time getting back to Rome for that noon shuttle (if I'm interpreting correctly that you're getting into Rome and then leaving again via the shuttle the same day). It's a long journey no matter which way you go (Venice->CT or CT->Rome) - why not do it on a day where you're not trying to get somewhere by a very specific time?

Day 1: Arrive in Venice
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice to Monterosso
Day 4: CT
Day 5: CT, evening train to Florence
Day 6: Florence
Day 7: Florence (perhaps day trip)
Day 8: Two-hour train to Rome

It's still a very packed trip, but eliminates the stress of that insanely early train journey. If you keep the Cinque Terre in the itinerary, really I wouldn't try to go to Pisa, but that's just me.
jent103 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 09:10 AM
  #8  
JBX
 
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.....
whew, I'm exhausted reading this thread .... frenetic iternary !!!

Drop the Cinque Terre (really) ... eliminate it and add another day to Venice with the other extra day in Florence. With extra time in Florence, you can justify day trip to Pisa.
JBX is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 09:20 AM
  #9  
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Day 1: Arrive Venice (1/2 Day)
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice to CT (7:50am through Milan arrives 3:18)
Day 4: CT
Day 5: CT to Florence (4:20pm arrive 7:30pm) - should we go later or earlier?
Day 6: Florence
Day 7: Florence/Siena
Day 8: Florence to Rome - 5:50 am arrives 8:30

Skip Pisa - does this sound better?
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 09:57 AM
  #10  
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If I skip Pisa do you think I should I go Venice Florence CT Rome or Venice CT Florence Rome?

Too many decisions!
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 10:35 AM
  #11  
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I think I may have figured this out so I have the longest time in the 3 locations. The only thing I am concered about it the train from Monterosso to La Spezia. I can see a 4:56am and a 6:20am. I can't book tickets on the 4:56 for some reason and hte 6:20 is cutting it close for a 6:51 departure to Rome.

Do you generally buy your tickets in advance of leaving the US or can you buy them when you arrive?

Most of my research was conducted on Rail Europe but I see a lot of people mention TrainItalia.

Overall, are there any legs I would need to purchase in advance? Or just a day in advance once we are in IT?

I think we are going to skip Pisa so that will give us 1 full day and 2 half days (half day the day we arrive and half day the day we move onto Venice - still deciding on the 1:30, 2:30 or 3:30 train)in Venice.

2 full days and a night in Florence where we will spend one day in Siena/San Gimi

3. 2 full days in CT
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 10:42 AM
  #12  
 
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I would ask if you and your travel partner(s) really want to be subjected to waking up and traveling before 8 am on a vacation. This itinerary sounds more stressful to me than going to work! I also would never plan to arrive in Rome from Florence the same day I have an international flight out. Skip the CT and Siena altogether and stay in Rome! I really don't know how you think you'll be able to "see" anything by zipping through 5 of the most beautiful places on earth, full of things to do, in 7 days.
anothertravelinsong is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 10:49 AM
  #13  
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We don't have an international flight out when we arrive from Florence to CT - we are meeting friends in Rome before we head to a wedding in the countryside (Bevagna) for 4 days.

We have been to Rome before so are only going to stay there a night before we fly back home on the 27th.

Perhaps I need to re think this! I hate last minute planning.
miktravels is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:06 AM
  #14  
 
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I suspect you can't book the Monterosso to La Spezia ticket because it is local train that does not allow booking until 7 days out, never mind that it has no reserved seats and therefore does not require a reservation. Just buy the ticket when you are there.
ellenem is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:08 AM
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And, yes, do your train research and any ticket purchasing at www.trenitalia.com.
ellenem is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:16 AM
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I agree - I'm not sure why all the extremely early starts, unless you're just really a morning person (in which case I hope your companion(s) are too). If you're exhausted from trying to cram so much "free time" into each day, you won't be enjoying what you're seeing anyway.

And I'm still not sure - why would you rather go from CT to Rome, than go from Florence to Rome? From CT, it's a longer journey that would necessitate train changes. Florence to Rome is direct and shorter. Seems like a no-brainer on a day when you have somewhere to be at noon, unless I'm missing something.

Do you generally buy your tickets in advance of leaving the US or can you buy them when you arrive?

If you buy in advance, sometimes (not always) you can get a Mini fare on the Eurostar journeys (i.e., Florence to Rome) that would save you some money. For example, on the 08:10 train from Florence to Rome on July 20, the Mini fare is still available and is €9 cheaper than the full second class fare. Obviously that's not a huge savings, so you wouldn't be spending too much more if you wanted to wait, but if you know what train you want to take I figure you might as well. Just make sure you read over the guidelines on ability to change tickets and get refunds. I believe that the regional trains (smaller ones) won't let you buy tickets more than a week in advance.

I used trenitalia.com to look for all our train journeys. I've never used Rail Europe but believe it's a reseller. Trenitalia is the Italian train system. There's an English version of the site.

So for completeness, here's what I'd do.

Day 1: Arrive Venice
Day 2: Venice
Day 3: Venice to Monterosso (the one through Milan only requires one change - leaves Venice at 10:50, arrives 17:02)
Day 4: CT
Day 5: CT, train to Florence in the evening (this might be a good one to wait and see how you feel when you get there - if you love CT, take a later train; if not, get to Florence earlier)
Days 6/7: Florence with day trip
Day 8: take 8:10 train to Rome, arriving 9:45 - I'm assuming two hours is plenty of time to get you to wherever your shuttle is picking up, but there's a 7am one too
jent103 is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 12:23 PM
  #17  
 
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, on TrenItalia I see a train from Monterosso to La Spezia that departs 4:56 am and gets to La Spezia at 5:22am - well if the train is running you can buy your ticket from ticket machines on the platform at Monterosso since it is no doubt a regional train with no seat reservations possible - or you could of course buy it the day before from a staffed ticket window, confirming that it is running - why you cannot add to car I don't know because it is a Trenitalia train. But if it is running I would not worry and just buy that few euro ticket once there.
PalenQ is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 10:03 PM
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Is this trip next month?? Have you found lodging everywhere?

Your itinerary may be dictated more by available/affordable lodging than train timetables...
Jean is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:03 PM
  #19  
 
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I would skip Cinque Terre, Siena and Pisa for this trip and focus on seeing Venice and Florence in a little more detail. I love both Venice and Florence and don't think either should be shortchanged. I gather you will see some lovely countryside while at the wedding.

You do need to hurry up and book accommodation though or you won't be going anywhere!
cathies is offline  
Jun 25th, 2011, 07:57 AM
  #20  
 
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Lodging in the 5 Lands can be hard to get in July and August so book ahead - this is a big tourist scene and not with mainly Rick Steves drawn Americans as an urban myth IMO has it but with lots of Italians and Europeans - the 5 Terre has been a vibrant tourist destination since Roman days - Rick Steves did not put it on the map except for some Americans.
PalenQ is offline  

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