a VirtualTourist member
New to the area and doing a day trip to Cinque Terre. Where to stop for lunch and wine on Nov. 1st. in Corniglia or Manarolo. I know it is a holiday. Will trains be on regular schedule? Grazie
Italian trains tend to run on one of two schedules: feriale (Monday through Saturday) and festivo (Sundays and holidays).
Trains run 365 days a year, but some local trains do have reduced schedules on Sundays and holidays, especially if they primarily serve commuters and/or school kids.
What you should do is look at the schedule for Sunday, June 20, 2010 (i.e., next Sunday) between two sample cities, to get an idea of times. Note that you can't reliably see the schedules for November yet, but because the schedules don't change all that much over the year, looking at this coming Sunday will give you a good idea of the frequency of trains...
Oh, the website is www.trenitalia.com - look for English at the top...
You can walk between Corniglia and manarola (if the path is open) and just find a cool place for lunch. If worst comes to worst and you find nowhere, walk the lovers path to Riomagiorre where there are great little places to eat. You will be fine, and November is actually an awesome time to be there. (been there three times all in November) No crowds at all. Try the wine bar in Manarola in the evening.
You won't have too many problems with trains, as Bill says. It's too soon to look for November but the Sunday timings will give you a rough idea (although winter departures might be slightly fewer).
Where you may have a problem is the bus from the station to Corniglia, which is up a very substantial and lengthy set of steps (the village, not the bus!). It may not be running in November and/or on a holiday. So be prepared for a good climbing effort up, and a long knee-trembling walk back down!
Perhaps better to visit the villages at sea-level? Vernazza is lovely, and Riomaggiore. I didn't manage to get to Manarolo on my visit.
You may well find some restaurants/cafes closed out of the main season and on a holiday so it might be a good idea to take something with you to keep you going.
I've hiked the Cinque Terre in early November and the weather was very pleasant and the trails were uncrowded although it was a weekday.
I find Italian train schedules a little unpredictable, especially in the Cinque Terre. On the day I left the train I had decided to take didnt come at all and the next 'scheduled' service arrived 20 minutes late. All part of the charm...
Vernazza is my pick of the villages and you would find somewhere nice to eat there as it is a popular spot during the day.
I did find however, for anyone planning to stay overnight that not all restaurants were open in November in the evenings, more a case of owners taking it in turns to fill their restaurants for a night each.
I have to say that on my visit to CT in October I had had no problems with the trains at all.
Perhaps there was a particular issue affecting the line when you visited (e.g. engineering works, derailment or landslide)?
I think the OP should assume the trains are far more likely to work to schedule than not. That has been my experience whenever I've visited Italy.
Yes, there probably was a problem with the track. The gentleman manning the station ticket office in Vernazza just said the train was running late. He didnt seem too concerned about the delay and said it happens from time to time.
It is useful to know from others experience that not all holiday plans go to schedule but the majority of times travelling is worry free.
Yes indeed. Such things can happen anywhere, any time. My bus trip to Amalfi was curtailed by a landslide.
No-one can guarantee a perfect visit. But, in general terms, I have found Italian trains to be more reliable and efficient and pleasant to use than those in the UK (and far, far cheaper!).