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How can I get from Rome airport to Cinque Terra?

Landing around 10 AM in Rome in August. Have 2 days/nights before I have to be back in Rome to start a tour that doesn't include the Cinque Terra. How can I get from the airport to the CT? Is the CT worth a trip to spend only 2 days? What town should I stay in? Is it too early to book a room? What hotel do you recommend? Never been to Italy before.

Posted by
16 posts

The vast majority of train routes between Rome and the Cinque Terra require a brief stop in La Spezia (and that usually means changing to the local 'milk' run train) ..... don't worry as the La Spezia Centrale station is VERY small, so it's not a big deal if you do have to switch.

I think there may be one or two runs a day that are direct on Eurostar between Rome and possibly Monterossa (?) .... check on Trenitalia website to verify schedules.

Frankly, the LAST thing I'd want to do after a long overseas flight into Rome would be to manage the logistics of even more travel in a jet-lagged stupor. After you land in Rome's FCO airport, it'll take about 1 hour to get to "Termini", the main train station in Rome. And then another 4 1/2 hrs or so on another train(s) to then arrive at whichever CT town. That sounds like a very long and exhausting day ..... of course, you'll only be there for 2 days before having to make the return schlep back to Rome.

Do I think it's worth the trip? Noooooooooooo ..... consider other cities/towns that are closer/easier to get to prior to the start of your tour.

Posted by
521 posts

I absolutely think it is worth the trip... unless that is the only thing that you are seeing in northern Italy. If you are going to see Pisa, or Florence, or Milan, or even Venice, then I do not think it is an unreasonable travel time to head out to the CT. That being said, if Rome is as far north as you would be going otherwise, maybe look at Sorrento?

Posted by
6898 posts

From the Rome airport, take the Leonardo Express train to the main Rome train terminal (known as Termini). At Rome Termini, buy a ticket to whichever CT town you wish (there are five). The train run from Rome Termini to the CT will include a transfer to a local train at La Spezia Centrale for the short ride into the CT. The train trip takes about 4.0hrs. The most popular town to stay in seems to be Vernazza. Others on this site should have good recommendations on where to stay.

Posted by
525 posts

I have a question for Larry. Does the train go directly into one of the CT towns or do you have to change to another train in LaSpezia.
J.D. I think you would be rushed to get to the CT for two days then rush back to Rome. Is there someplace closer that you could do a day trip?
Just what popped in my head as I read your question.
I see you are going in August. It will be very crowded.
It may be worth it to find a town closer to Rome. I think you would enjoy Orvieto to visit many sights there. In the evening you can join in with all the locals for the passagieta (sp. In my opinion, it would be more worth your time to enjoy the time to relax after your flight into Rome and able to be with the locals.
The CT is beautiful and enjoyable but you would need time to hike/walk some of the trails and go to each town. A little rushed for this trip. I know I wanted to do everything but had to cut something out. My husband and I (in our 60's) enjoyed Orvieto. If I recall it is about an hour by train from Rome. Let us know what you decide to do. Where does the tour go? Book a room now for August travel. Many will let you cancel closer to the time you are going to leave with no penalty.

Posted by
1158 posts

yes you will need to change the train in La Spezia. Then you take the slower train that stops in each of the CT towns.
The official train info in Italy is
You can look up for schedule, prices etc.
What are going to do in CT? majority of people go to CT to hike. It's beautiful there.
Here is some info about CT: this site has some info about hotels too.
As far as I know many things are closed in August in IT.They take vacation, so CT might be very crowded because of that.
You can ask about this on There are many locals on this site who might give you a correct answer.

Posted by
6898 posts

Miss B, as others have already indicated, you will change trains in La Spezia Centrale to a regionale train for a short train ride into the CT towns. If you have a bit of time there while waiting for your regionale train, there is a McDonalds and a sandwich shop there. There is also a TI where you can buy a Cinque Terre Treno card that will provide unlimited train travel and free travel on the coastal trails (yes there are ticket booths).

Posted by
6 posts

Thank you everyone for your replies. What I am taking from your answers is that I should think about not making this long trip right after flying all day and night. It's just that at my age (64) and financial position (getting poorer and poorer every day - aren't we all?), I just know that I'll never get another chance to go again, so I was pushing my limits and I kind of knew it.

So, I will give up on the CT, and consider some of your other suggestions. I had originally thought of Sorrento, but our economical tour stops there at a cheap hotel, I'm sure, on the outskirts of town.

Miss B suggested Orvieto. I'll look at that. Really wanted to spend some time on the coastline.

Dog gone that Steve! He made want to see the CT so badly! Love his shows and DVD's.

Thank you all for your feedback.

Posted by
7737 posts

I suggest you spend the time in Rome instead. It's an amazing city, although in August everyplace is going to be pretty toasty. What other towns is your tour taking you to? Please reply for everyone to see.

Posted by
6 posts

To answer your question, it is a Cosmos budget tour, starting in Rome (I am arriving two days/nights early). I just copied and pasted the following from their brochure:

Italy is home to a wealth of “magnificents,” and this vacation features them all. Experience Rome with its famed archaeological sites; Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance;” Pisa’s infamous Leaning Tower; the unique floating city of Venice; and Pompeii’s remarkable archaeological site. You also visit Milan, the capital of fashion; enchanting Lake Maggiore; Italian-speaking Lugano, Switzerland; lively Sirmione on Lake Garda; Ravenna with its precious Byzantine mosaics; Assisi with the frescoed St. Francis Basilica; Perugia, capital of Umbria; the lively resort of Sorrento; and the Isle of Capri, where the rich and famous meet. Sightseeing tours in many of the cities introduces you to Italy’s famous landmarks. Enjoy all of this, along with the warmth of the Italian people and the beauty of the diverse landscapes, as you discover the best of this captivating country. You’ll cherish the memories and stories you’ll get from this amazing Italy vacation.

I wish now that I had booked in September instead of August to avoid crowds and heat, but now I'm committed. I tend to like smaller more intimate towns like in the Cinque Terra, but I only learned about the Cinque Terra after booking, and after watching Rick's DVD's.

I will have one day and three nights in Rome (which now sounds awfully hot, busy, and expensive). So I thought maybe something by the sea might be cooler and restful after flying, intimate, and possibly providing a place to swim. I'm thinking now, if not Cinque Terra, then maybe Sorrento, although I have still to consider Orvieto as another member suggested.

Alas, I am learning, sometimes too late. But you wonderful folks here are helping me from making even more mistakes, and I thank you very much for your insight.