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CT as a daytrip from Florence?

Is it possible to do a day trip to Cinque Terre from Florence via bus or train? Any recommendations or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by
10344 posts

It depends on how much time you want to spend seeing the inside of trains and train stations, compared to the limited number of hours you'll get in the CT to actually do what you went there to do. For you to make that decision, you can go to this website, which gives you station to station train times Add to the station to station times the time to get to the Florence train station, wait for the train, then same thing on the CT end, then same thing when you return to Florence.

Posted by
411 posts

I was simply looking for someone who'd done it as a day trip to share their experiences. We've been given an unexpected free day in Florence and I was just looking for ideas.

Posted by
1890 posts

Maggie, I wouldn't recommend a day trip to this region. A better day trip, if you don't already have it planned would be to Pisa, or Siena or even Lucca.

the CT is a wonderful place if you have at least one night. You'd want to hike a bit, it's so pretty to walk the trail and see the water and the villages as you approach. I think a day trip would be so rushed, you won't get the feel of the villages. The train takes a while, you have to make transfers to a local, and those trains are SLOW! The bus is also a pretty slow way to travel, although we didn't arrive in the CT by bus, but have taken the bus on several other trips within Italy.

Posted by
10344 posts

No problem--glad to help you get the facts you need to make the decision that's best for you. What we're trying to do here is give you honest, accurate advice. We realize that sometimes that's not what the traveler wants to hear. Your original question asked for a recommendation, for advice, your question was not "I want to do the CT as a day trip, how do I do it?" Some of the regular repliers here choose not to take the "100% supportive no matter what" approach, which might sound like: "Oh yes, anything you can think of sounds good to us, we know travelers who've done that very thing, and we're sure you'll have a great day trip." That kind of "advice" doesn't give you accurate, reliable advice or facts. If a traveler comes on here looking only for opinions from people who decided to do what the traveler is thinking about doing but wants advice about, then you may not get the benefit of honest and accurate advice and opinions from people who chose not to do what your propose, their reasons, and maybe some alternatives.

Posted by
1589 posts

" Is it possible ? " Yes

" Any recommendations ?" Not worth the time involved to get there and get back- 7 hours, noting that we ADORE the CT area. Perhaps you may be able to free up another day?

If you don't have Siena on your day trip list out of Florence, you should give it consideration.

Have a great trip!

Posted by
6898 posts

Maggie, it is possible. A long day but you can hike two of the four trails between the towns and visit four of the five towns. Just don't try to squeeze in Pisa and/or Lucca along with the CT.

Here's a suggested routing. Take the train from Florence to Riomaggiore. I suggest the 7:51am train that gets you to Riomaggiore at 10:08 with a train change in La Spezia Centrale. There is an earlier train to La Spezia but you will wait an hour for the next train to Riomaggiore. Leisurely stroll down the main street to the water. It's only about 500 feet or so. Try to find a TI to purchase a 1-day Cinque Terre Treno pass. This provides unlimited train and trail travel in the CT.

Walk the famous first trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola (30 minutes). It's beautiful). Note that there are ticket booths on the trail. Your CT Treno card will cover the fare. Tour Manarola (20 min). Pick up the 2nd trail in Manarola and hike to the Cornigla train station (45 min). Skip Corniglia which is high up on the bluff. Instead take the train to Monterosso. It's about 12:30 now. Tour Monterosso (about 1hr.). Have lunch there or take the train to Vernazza and have lunch there. Doesn't matter. Both great. Tour Vernazza. It's about 3:00pm-4:00pm now. You can extend your town visits and stay later. Finally, take the train from Vernazza to Florence (about 3.0hrs). Or, if you are really adventureous, take the ferry from Vernazza to Portovenere and then take the short bus ride to La Spezia Centrale and pick up the train from there. There's your long day.