We will be arriving by air in Pisa, at 1635 on Sunday, 9/1/13, and need to take a train to La Spezia and then end up in Vernazza. I've read many posts on this topic to better understand this route, and have the RS Italy and CT books. I understand we'll be taking a regional train, we don't/can't book tickets ahead of time, and if the seats fill up, we'll stand. I just want to be sure we can get to Vernazza that same night. As I look at the trenitalia site, the trains listed for 1743, 1805, and 1834 show 'NA' under 'first price' and 'second price'. Are there fewer trains on Sunday. The only two trains I see leave at 1900 ('first price' 14.90 euro; 'second price' for 12.40 euro) andk at 2119 ('1st price' for 21.40 euro;'2nd price'for 16.90 euro). Can we purchase the tickets once we arrive to Pisa? Can we be assured there will be a train? Would appreciate any advice on how to assure successful arrival to CT on 9/1/13.
Have not tried it so any relying on what you posted. If it is a Regional train then there will be no price list until seven days before. The trains with prices are probably an IC or a fast train. What is the train code for those times? That should give you a clue.
This may not work for you, but we did nearly the same thing you are planning. Flew into Pisa on a Sunday headed for CT. But rather than rush to get there and travel at night, we spent a quick night in Pisa and it became an unexpected highlight of our trip. We landed about the same time you are planning and took the quick 5 minute train ride from the airport into town and then a short walk to Hotel Astor (simple, but clean and friendly) where we checked in and lost our luggage. From there we took a pleasant ~15 minute walk to the leaning tower. Although it was night and closed, it was still cool to see. After that we had a nice little dinner, got some rest, and then headed for the CT first thing in the morning. It worked out pretty well. If your lodgings are flexible still, I would strongly consider it.
Susan, I checked out the schedule listed on DB Bahn. ON 9/1/13, for the R train.Pisa Cent. to Vernazza. 17:43, 18:05, It will take about 1H45M with one train change in La Spezia. To my understanding Pisa airport have a train direct to the Pisa Central station and you can buy ticket in the airport. For the R train (regional) you have no problem to get on. Just no seat if they all fill up. Make sure you validate the ticket before you get on train. The schedule also listed 17:36, 19:00. the train is IC and R. Meaning that the train to La Spezia is IC and change to R train. IC have have seat assignment. If they sold out, you can not get on.
Have a good trip.
KyleThank you for this suggestion. Since we've been to Pisa and have seen the Leaning Tower, we opted to skip a stopover. We do have our reservations in CT, beginning that night, so my focus is getting to Vernazza successfully, and if possible, efficiently. This day is actually a little more ambitious than the post conveys....we leave that morning from Arles, France, take a take a train to Marseilles and a Ryan Air flight to Pisa. I believe we have that part figured out; just needed input and reassurance for this last leg from Pisa to Vernazza. Thank you again, though!
We travelled from Pisa to Vernazza in early June, presumably just as busy as early September. Had no problem catching a Regionale train by just showing up. We took numerous trains through Italy and none were full. The closest to getting a full train was within the CinqueTerre itself, where they are busy, but if you're worried just show up 10-15 minutes before it departs.
Susan, That's a very simple trip and unless there are any unexpected problems such as a strike, you should easily be able to get to Vernazza in a couple of hours. There's no need to spend one night in Pisa. When you've collected your luggage, go to the rail station at Pisa Airport and buy your tickets from the ticket office or a Kiosk, specifying Vernazza as the final destination. I'd suggest packing along a printout of the Trenitalia Sunday schedules, so you'll have some idea of the departure times. Unfortunately, the train appears to only run once an hour, so you may have to wait for the next departure. The route that looks most likely is a departure from Pisa Airport at 18:18, arriving Vernazza at 20:36 (time 2H:18M, 2 changes at Pisa Centrale and La Spezia Centrale). Fare for the entire journey is currently listed at €8.60 PP. The trains are all Regionale so DON'T forget to validate prior to boarding the train! If you can connect with the 17:18 departure, that would of course be better. Happy travels!
Susan, there is a train station in the Pisa Airport. You can buy the tickets there. There are numerous trains a day - even on Sunday. The train from the airport will make a 5 minute run to Pisa Centrale where you will change trains to go to Vernazza. You will most likely change trains again at La Spezia Centrale or, some runs pass Vernazza and you change trains at Monterosso to reverse back to Vernazza. Sounds complicated but its not. Monterosso get several more trains a day than does Vernazza. For 9/1, Trenitalia shows four runs from the Pisa Airport to Vernazza. 17:18, 18:18, 21:03 and 22:20. There are several more trains that depart from the airport and several more trains that depart Pisa Centrale. The limitation is the number of trains going to Vernazza. You should have no difficulty getting a train to Vernazza. Here's a link to a picture of what I see for 9/1 on Trenitalia. http://gyazo.com/fb42a9bcc77e1f5c764bf2009e4b5110 The 18:18 run is all regionale trains. You cannot buy online unless you are within 7 days of the travel date. They are not showing the way they do on Trenitalia because they are full. It's the way Trenitalia lists their regionale trains. You can buy either of the other two runs online right now. But, there is risk if your plane is late. Simply, arrive, retrieve your luggage, clear Immigration, go to the train station and buy your tickets. One last thing. It's a 2.5hr train journey to Vernazza from the airport. 3.0hrs for the 22:20 run. Make sure that your place to stay is aware of your late arrival.
Thank you, everyone, for the detailed and helpful guidance. I understand the process now and am confident with this info, that we can navigate this leg of the trip. Much appreciated!