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Cinque Terre to Venice

Has anyone made the trip from CT to Venice by train? If so, how long, realisticly, did it take? Also, what route did you find to be the best? We have blocked this day as primarily a travel day but would like an idea of what to expect. Also, should we make reservations in advance? This trip is in the beginning of September. Thanks!

Posted by
49 posts

We just did the reverse: CT to Venice. We went Vernazza-La Spezia-Bologna-Venice (3 different trains.) It took about 5 hours. I enjoyed the scenery along the way. The Bologna-Venice portion was Eurostar (reserved seats.)

Posted by
3580 posts

I took this trip several years ago and went via Milan. Each leg of the trip was about three hours. Be sure to allow more than a few minutes to change trains in Milan--trains aren't always on time and it can take 15-20 min to get off one train and find the other.

Posted by
19 posts

We did the reverse (Venezia - CT) in '05. We went via Milano also, only 2 trains. Each leg is about 3 hours.

Posted by
31 posts

Maybe we'll see you :) We'll be traveling using the same route on Sept 5th I think. I have a related question...

We'll be in Tuscany for 3 days so will have a car, then driving to Lerici/CT & was planning on dropping off our car then (so car rental for only 3 days)& then take a train to Venice. Someone suggested we keep the car in the CT area just parked and use it to drive to Venice and return it there. So basically the difference is car vs. train between CT and Venice. Would it be better to use the train then? We don't want to meander on this part of the trip because we're time limited here. If we check out of Lerici by around 10, how long would it take us to get to Venice? What's the quickest way?
Thanks, Missy

Posted by
31 posts

Maybe we'll see you :) We'll be traveling using the same route on Sept 5th I think. I have a related question...

We'll be in Tuscany for 3 days so will have a car, then driving to Lerici/CT & was planning on dropping off our car then (so car rental for only 3 days)& then take a train to Venice. Someone suggested we keep the car in the CT area just parked and use it to drive to Venice and return it there. So basically the difference is car vs. train between CT and Venice. Would it be better to use the train then? We don't want to meander on this part of the trip because we're time limited here. If we check out of Lerici by around 10, how long would it take us to get to Venice? What's the quickest way?
Thanks, Missy

Posted by
6898 posts

By the way, on the above note, we bought these tickets in Italy about 3 days before travel. There's this big scare about getting your tickets in advance. In reality, you do need a ticket but on the regional (R) and interregional (IR) trains just buy a ticket and get on. It's like your bus system at home. If there's a seat, you sit. If not, you stand. Usually, there's a seat on these intercity guys. You do need seat assignments on the nicer trains. I can tell you that the local trains in CT are getting crowded. Not to worry. Just get on. The journeys between stations are very short.

Posted by
6898 posts

We just did precisely this 3 weeks ago. The shortest way is from La Spezia to Bologna, change trains and Bologna to Venezia Santa Lucia (not Venezia Mestre). If you are in CT, you will have to change trains in La Spezia. From La Spezia to Bologna, you might have to take an interregional (IR). We left at 7.52am on IR train 2292 and arrived at Bologna at 10.36am. Cost was 32.80 Euro 1st class for 2 adults. About 40% less for 2nd class. No seat assignments necessary for either class on an IR train. From Bologna to Venice, we went on the Eurostar. We departed Bologna at 11.40pm on ES I 9464 and arrived Venice at 1.28pm. Again, we went 1st class. Cost was 60 Euro for two and we did have assigned seats. This was nice. The Eurostar has a dining car. For our complete travel experience, we had a nice hot lunch in the dining car. 52 Euro. It wasn't worth it. Hope this helps.

Posted by
339 posts

Larry,

Great information - thanks. For the Eurostar reservation, did you make that before you began your trip from the US or did you make it while in Italy? If in Italy, where did you make the reservations? Was the 1st class ticket really worth it?

Posted by
6898 posts

Lise, we bought our tickets in Florence about 4 days before our travel from CT. We went into a travel agency across the street from the main train station. The agent sold us the tickets and printed them out right there. Most of the travel agencies are Trenitalia affiliated. You pay a few euro more but very little waiting in line. The quickest route is the one I described above (La Spezia/Bologna/Venice). If you are in the north end of CT, it may be easier (but a slightly longer journey) to go Genova/Milano/Venice. The big secret is that by making a firm seat reservation for a certain time from Bologna or Milano, you need to make sure your train(s) get you to the transfer point at least 40-45 minutes early. For us, that required the IR train leaving La Spezia at 7.52am. We were delighted to be in Venice by 1:30pm. We had an unexpected afternoon. If you book the Eurostar, 2nd class if fine. 1st class buys you a wider seat and a bit more leg room.

Posted by
6898 posts

Lise, a bit more. The Eurostar we took had a dining car. We were doing the whole experience and booked a table for two. Food was fine (not great) and it cost 52 Euro. If we did it again, we would book 2nd class. Also, there is a food cart that rolls through the train that has some snacks. Note that I think that Monterosso is the only CT town with a live person ticket office. Wanna see? Here comes your Italian lesson. Go to the dreaded www.trenitalia.com site. Select the orange box on the right marked "cartaviaggio". Once there, select "In Regione" from the top bar. At this point you will see every region in Italy. Select "Liguria" (CT is in Liguria). Next, move to the right of the main left columns and you will see a second set of links. Pick the top one that says "Servizi in Statione". Suddenly, up comes the services provided in every station in Liguria. "Biglietterie" are the ticket offices. You can also see which ones store luggage, car parking and other stuff.

Posted by
6898 posts

Lise, I'm not done yet. At La Spezia, Monterosso and Levanto, you can buy passes that are only good from La Spezia in the south to Levanto in the north. You can buy a one-day or up to a seven-day pass. These passes are good for any train ride (unrestricted) for train rides between La Spezia and Levanto which includes the 5 CT towns. They are also good for the small mini-busses in each of the towns. Note that the buses do not go town to town. They are also good for the hiking trails between the towns (yep, they have toll booths along the trail). These passes are not good for the ferry. It's a good value. I'm done for now.

Posted by
689 posts

Melissa,

We kept our car parked during our one night stay in Cinque Terre and drove to Venice. It took about 6 hours but we spent a couple of those exploring along the way. We dropped the car at the airport in Venice which was quite handy.