a VirtualTourist member from Glen Ellyn
How difficult is it to get to the Spezia Main Train Station from the cruise ship ports? We are 4 seniors - in decent shape - and want to purchase train ticket to the Cinque Terre towns this November. Can we walk? How long would it take? Are there taxis by the cruise port or is this a waste of$ ? How difficult is it to purchase a round trip ticket and Cinque Terre card at the station? I tried to find train schedule using next week's dates on the internet using links posted in this forum, but I could never get to the schedules (Departure: La Spezia Main Station and Arrival: using Genova, Monterosso al Mare, etc and I kept getting an error message for no such destination.) HELP
As for timetable. Try La Specia Centrale and Monterosso (witout anything).
We walked from the parking at the port and had no problem. It wasn't a long jorney, while we enjoyed the viws around us. But it was summer, I don't know whether it will be as nice in November. And we are quite young, so it's up to you wether to walk or take a taxi.
Don't know the distance from the port to the train station, but buying your ticket at La Spezia for CT is very easy. You can get off at Riomaggiore and walk from there to Manarola, which is a very easy 1km walk that should take no longer than 20-30 minutes. Lovely coastal views!
Hop on the train again at Manarola for your onward hop off-hop on journeys to Corniglia, Vernazza (beautiful - have a pizza and coffee next to the harbour!) and Monterosso Al Mare.
Remember to get the day pass.
Any chance you remember how long the walk was? I should have figured a GERMAN site would be better organized than the ITALIAN train site ?!
I think I read train ticket is good for 6 hours in one direction? I can buy return ticket in Cinque Terre station (and start a new 6 hour journey if needed)
Frankly speaking, I don't remember. I think it was about 20-30 minutes, but may be I'm wrong. I hope that someone local will answer.
No, the "6 hours" is the clock ticking when you validate a ticket for a regional train (if the trip is a long one, otherwise, I think it's 4 hours). That is, a ticket for a regional train is from point A to point B, but not at any particular day or time. When you validate the ticket (put it in the yellow box trackside), it prints the date and time on the ticket...from this point, you can take any regional train from the starting point on the ticket to the ending point, so long as the trip finishes within 6 hours. In short, this is an ordinary one way ticket.
Note: the Italian word for validate is often "cancellare" - this sounds like you're voiding your ticket, but you're just "stamping" it (it's the same word used for marking when the Post Office "cancels" postage stamps.
There is no such thing as a round-trip ticket in Italy - you get two tickets, one for reach way (even if you buy them together). There is very seldom any discount for round-trip (never for the regional trains). You can buy both tickets at La Spezia (since you'll validate only the one way outbound for the initial trip, the other ticket will still be valid until you validate it when you want to leave Vernazza or wherever you're staying).
I don't know why you had problems with the Trenitalia website; it is actually pretty well done (try using the Spanish or the French ones if you don't believe me ;-) )...the German rail website is very well done, but, of course, won't give pricing for trains in Italy.
I am sorry that I can't give you a definitive answer on the walking issue. The official website for the cruise port in La Spezia says that it is "4 kilometers" (2.4 miles) to the train station, but whenever I look at maps (even at the same website), the port facility appears to be right in the center of town, less than a kilometer away (and an easy walk). I did note that this port facility website said that cruise ships don't actually dock in La Spezia but anchor out in the harbor, and you are transferred by boat to the shore...does this sound right?
I've been to La Spezia, but I was driving, but if the shore boat arrives where I think it does (near the intersection of Viale Italia and Viale Giovanni Amendola), this is an easy walk to the station, especially if you're in no hurry and don't have luggage (as I guess you won't)...it would be nice to get it confirmed, however...
Just so I don't forget, the brochure for the cruise facility in La Spezia is at speziacruisefacility.it/doc/...
From the boat pier, from the left, where the palm trees end,walk across Viale Italia and the gardens, along Via del Prione to Piazza Garibaldi and straight to tha Central Station. 15/20 minutes in a 90% " no traffic zone " through the old city with nice little piazzas,shops,museums, bars and restaurants.
Try this link to the official Cinque Terre site. You will see they have day passes you can buy at the station and allow you to travel all day to every villages up to Levanto, plus other perks.
Thank you, Sergio. Is it not strange that the brochure for the cruise port (speziacruisefacility.it/doc/... says that the distance is 4 kilometers (see page 4)?
Am I missing something?
I want to thank everyone for their help. I think our group can now manage this without paying a guide for all day - which our group was considering! So if I understand...I'll buy 2 tickets at Le Spezia ; validate one when boarding - and it is good in one direction for 6 hrs, getting on and off the train. When we're ready to return (going opposite direction back to La Spezia) we'll validate 2nd ticket. AND we'll remember to buy our day pass for Cinque Terre at the Tourist Office in La Spezia station
No, the ticket is not good for 6 hours unless it is a long trip, which the Cinque Terre is not. I am getting conflicting reports from the Trenitalia website, but I would say that the ticket is good for only 3 (English page) or 4 (Italian page) hours once you have validated the ticket.
In real life, it will be difficult to try to make multiple trips on the same ticket and still enjoy le Cinque Terre, so don't worry about it - it's not like the tickets are all that expensive.
On the other hand, you mentioned the Cinque Terre Card. Note that there are several such cards, including:
"The Cinque Terre Card Treno also allows unlimited train travel on the Levanto - La Spezia Centrale - Levanto line (on Direct Regional and Interregional trains in 2° class) in the period stated on the user’s card."
In this case, you have unlimited 2nd class travel on the regional trains, so the 6 or 4 or 3 hours limit doesn't matter...make sense?
OK...I think that makes sense. I also see not all trains stop at each town, and we are planning on taking the train to each town and getting off. So...we'll have to keep an eye on the schedules as we could be "stuck" in one small town longer than anticipated. If ticket "expires", we'll buy another to continue the journey or maybe purchase the Cinque Terre Card Treno.
The distance of 4 km is most likely the driving distance, as you get from a map search, and it makes sense. The walking distance is about half, or 2 km.
Also, the the 5 Terre train Pass indeed entitle an all-day run up an down the coast. No need to buy other tickets.