a VirtualTourist member
I'm planning to visit Firenze and our ship will dock at La Spezia. Apparently, the ship will dock at Molo Garibaldi cruise terminal (which is good news - with tender boats, precious time is lost). Then, there will be a bus which will drop passengers at the entry of the port, My question is where exactly it will drop people off - the name of the street if possible.
Also, any useful info for walking from drop off point to la spezia central (walking - it seems far on google map; 40 mins) and any useful info for la spezia central to firenze central.
Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
I can't answer your question about drop-off point but you can get an idea of train schedules/prices from La Spezia to Florence here:
Choose "Return" as you'll be going both ways
Put "La Spezia Centrale" in the "From" box
Put "Firenze S. M. Novella" in the "To" box (Florence's central station is Santa Maria Novella)
Pick dates and times
Trains take about 2 hours to Florence with the majority of them requiring a change in Pisa. There isn't any need to purchase tickets in advance; use the website just to see what trains will work with your schedule. Tickets are easily purchased at the station on the day of your journey.
The one caution is to be on a train back to La Spezia in plenty of time to be back on the ship as it won't wait for passengers not taking tours organized by the cruise line.
Enjoy your trip!
A couple of alternatives? If you don't wish to spend 4 hours RT on a train - or have to be back at the ship early enough not to make a few hours in Florence worth the trip - you might consider a day in Pisa (only 1 hour by train) or the villages of the Cinque Terre. La Spezia is the gateway station for the CT, and you can purchase a day pass there that will cover your trains between the villages and and any of the easy walks (such as the Via dell’Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola) which may be open.
Riomaggiore - the first of the 5 villages from La Spezia - is only 8 minutes away by train, and there's no more than a few minutes travel time between any of the rest of them. I believe day passes are running about €12. You need to validate the pass before you get on the first train but then you can just hop on/off as needed the rest of the day.
Thanks for the tip. How regular is the train from la spezia to CT? Any info on the drop-off point?
Sorry about the drop-off point question... Did not see the first answer...
You'd have to take a look at the Trenitalia website for most current schedules but there's a table from last year on this website that will give you a rough idea (click on the red "train schedule between Cinque Terre and nearby cities"
thanks for your help and your advice. I've never been to CT before. I'll seize this opportunity to visit CT. Which of the six cities/villages are worth visiting (riomaggiore, manarola, corniglia, vernazza, monterosso & levanto)? Is it do-able to visit all the six in a cruise day?
I would skip Levanto and concentrate on the other five. I'm not sure how many hours you'll have before needing to be back to the ship; that might dictate how many villages you can fit in but they're all very small.
I have pages on all if interested: they may help you make your decisions:
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
[original VT link]
Corniglia is the smallest and least easy to get to as it's a steep climb uphill if you don't wish to wait for the little bus that runs between the train station and village. I liked this one very although because it's so tiny, it can be the most easily overwhelmed with tourists
You could take the train all the way to Monterosso and work your way back towards La Spezia; stopping at each village. If it looks like you're running out of time, then just skip whatever villages you have left. Or you could skip Monterosso - the largest and most "developed" of the five - and do Vernazza/Corniglia/Manarola/Riomaggiore.
I forgot to ask: what month is your cruise? The CT isn't really at its best in winter although crowds will certainly be more manageable.
The ship will be in la spezia from 07:00 to 19:00 and I'll be there at the beginning of august. Thanks again for all the info. I'll take a look at the pages you provided...
Riomaggore and manarola can be done bybfoot?
The "trail" between Riomaggiore and Manarola (the Via dell'Amore) is really a paved path and the easiest walk-able route between any of the villages: the rest are steep, narrow dirt paths, and some routes are closed (or can be closed) due to landslides and whatnot. The Via dell'Amore has also been closed for some time now as falling rock injured some tourists awhile back. I might hope that they'll have it open again by this August but if not, you'll need to travel by train between the two. There ARE other trails but they'll be longer/more difficult.
Here is a map of the trails, and a table of which are open or closed at any given time:
The most popular trail between the villages is the #2/Sentiero Azzurro (of which the Via dell'Amore is one segment) and as you will see, all segments of that one are currently closed.
I'm been checking on google maps and it seems possible to do Vernazza to Riomaggiore by walk. Do you know how long it takes to walk the distance (along the coast)? It's about 10-15 kms? Do you recommend? Any other path that might be of interest?
Hi again -
All the information on that trail is in the link that I provided in my last post.
There are multiple paths but the lowest, most popular one is the #2 (marked as such on the map/table). That one is also known as the Sentiero Azzurro - Blue Trail - and stretches from Riomaggioreto to Monterosso, and ALL of it is currently closed: see any of the N. 2 segments on the table. I'm guessing it's for repairs and general safety during the winter.
That doesn't mean any of the segments will be when you're there in August but just be aware that because they're fragile, a heavy rain or danger of falling rock can close them at any time.
I do recommend this hike if the route is open but possibly not if all you have is one day: that may leave you little time to explore the villages themselves. And do be aware that it's not a "walk": large sections of the trails are very steep and involve lots of steps, plus it's likely to be quite hot: we did what parts of it which were open in May and got plenty warm! If you're a hiker, you'll be fine but people unused to lots of climbing will have a slow go of it. Wear shoes with a good tread, bring water, and wear cool, breathable clothing.
The table I provided in that link gives you the distances between each town, and approx. time for each one. For instance, the section between Vernazza and Corniglia is 4K with an estimated time of 1.30 hours. The trails - if open - are likely to be very busy, and getting stuck behind a less-than-speedy group can slow you down considerably, plus you're going to spend some time taking pictures so I'd allow for each section to take longer than estimated.
These are the only trails we've taken, and there are others which go far up into the hills (see the table: click on title for each trail to bring up more detailed info); they're supposed to be very nice and we'd like to do a few next we're in the area. But again, if you wish to spend any time in the villages, I probably wouldn't recommend that you do those.