Can anyone share their best/most scenic train route between the two? We'll be staying in Monterosso, Cinque Terra and then traveling by train to Venice? Thanks for your input!
Kelly, as you're staying in Monterosso al Mare, you will likely travel to Venice via Genova & Milano. I'm not sure if this is "scenic", but is the most efficient route (everything in Bella Italia is scenic!).
Check www.bahn.de for listings on the various routes that might be available. You might find different possibilities by travelling via La Spezia rather than Genova?
As Ken has stated, you can go either north through Genova or south through La Spezia. One particular problem you may have is placing Monterosso in the train schedule as your starting point. On www.trenitalia.com, most trains will take you through Pisa and even Florence - some with 2-3 train changes. We took the 7:52am train from La Spezia to Venice and changed trains once in Bologna. The train from Bologna to Venice Santa Lucia is a Eurostar which was great. We arrived in Venice just before 2:00pm which gave us the whole afternoon to enjoy. You can easily jump on the 6:32am or 7:12am train from Monterosso to La Spezia and change trains there. You can take later trains but it will take longer and you will have more stops (until later in the day). For the north, you can do the same with Genova/Venice and go through Milan. Again, you'll find faster trains than by placing Monterosso in origination field.
I did this before a couple of weeks, the shortest way between the two takes at best 2 train changes and you should take the exact information/timings from the information center at any train station one day prior and do the necessary reservation as one train at least will be IC thus reservation obligatory. As others are saying, it's always scenic in Italy. It's about 5-6 hours (the short way) and you don't want to make it any longer believe me. The route is generally through Florence (or Viareggio) and youchange at Pisa - Centrale and at Firenze - Santa Maria Novella. I had to go from Venice to cinque terre, and I took the train from La spezia (you can take it from monterosso, it's the same one). It's very scenic now I remember=) the sea by your side and all.
With all these specific train routes avalible, would it be better to take one of these or just PLAIN DRIVE.
We will have a car in CT and were planning on either drivng to Venice (we will alreay have a car, or just turning the car in while we're in CT and do the CT-Venice rought by train.
THe most important part of this dilemm is my husband and myself will be our 6 & 8 year old children. Well behaved yes, but still the average child. They're messy, often want to play, eat, drink or stop in every single bathroom
Thanks for your help!
DRIVE!! to Venice from Cinque Terre. The train situation is NOT the best especially if you are traveling with young children. We changed our itinerary from Venice to Cinque Terre because of the train schedule. Now we are going to Florence BEFORE Cinque Terre then picking up our rental car in LaSpezia after visiting the Cinque Terre. DRIVE!
With the kids it may be easiest to drive to Venice s there will be 2 train transfers involved.
In May we went from CT to La Spezia to Bologna to Venice, it took about 5 hours. Very easy and scenic.