a VirtualTourist member
Is it better to connect to Manarolo in Genoa or La Spezia?
Can you purchase train tickets in advance for getting to Manarolo either from the Genoa Station or the La Spezia Station?
Where can I find the schedules for the local/commuter train that service the Cinque Terre area from either Genoa or La Spezia?
You will find all train times, details and fares in English here;
I don't think it makes any difference whether you start from Genoa or La Sp, except in time terms (La Sp is much nearer). You may have to change from Genoa on some departures. Trains follow the same route regardless.
Yes, you can buy tickets for Manarola from either station.
what I remember is that all trains are using the same traintracks between Genua and La Specia, but of course not many of them will stop in Manarolo.But those stopping will also stop at most of the other stations along the way, so it might make sense to take a fast train to La Spezia and go back on a local one.
As I recall, a stopping train (i.e. one which stopped at all the '5 towns') came along roughly every 30 minutes or so when I was there. That's how I managed to visit 3 'toen's on one day-trip from Pisa, along with a wander round La Sp and its museum at the beginning and end of my day. Without that, visiting all 5 would have been perfectly feasible.
The Trenitalia site seems to confirm those timings.
So there really is no problem in using the train to get from wherever you have parked your car to Vernazza.