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Staying outside Cinque Terra - Is the CT Tren Card the Way to Go?

Help!

We are staying in Bonassola for 4 nights at the end of July. Bonassola is one town removed from the end of the Cinque Terra train line - which is Levanto. I am driving myself crazy trying to figure out whether it makes more sense to by two CT Tren tickets each good for 2 days (46E for all 4 days) or just buy the tickets as we need them. We we be using the train twice a day to go from Bonassola into CT and back.

I think it may be cheaper to pay as you go, but this doesn't take into account the hassle of buying tickets at the station during the height of the tourist season. I imagine Bonassola will be less crowded, but queuing for a line in Vernazza or Monterosso could be a different story.

Finally, if I get the CT Tren ticket, I am getting mixed messages as to the cost of going from Levanto to Bonassola, which is outside the CT zone. Once inside the CT zone, I can use the CT Tren ticket, but to get to Monterosso from Bonassola, for example, I think I would need to buy a Bonassola to Levanto ticket and then continue with my CT ticket. Some places say the cost of going from Bonassola to Levanto is 2.40E, while TrenItalia says it is 10E. Anyone know the true cost? And what if I get on the train in Monterosso with my CT ticket and then continue past Levanto to Bonassola? I am not saying I would do this, but it does cross my mind.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide, it is very appreciated.

Keir

Posted by
457 posts

I haven’t stayed in Bonassola, but went spent a lovely afternoon there a few years ago (we were staying in Riomaggiore). When I looked at a random date in June, all the tickets said €2.40. Will you have a cell phone with you when you travel? If so, you can download the Trenitalia app and buy tickets from your phone. That’s what I did and it worked well. In the afternoon, the lines at the ticket machines were sometimes long. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
51 posts

A train ride between each of the five towns in CT is 5€ one way. These are single use tickets. So the one way ride from one end of CT to the other visiting each town on the way will cost 20€. CT treno MS card is s good value if you plan to hop from one town to the other multiple times and plan to hike. It also includes free wifi, bus rides within the towns, free access to the wash rooms etc.

Posted by
16100 posts

I looked on the Trenitalia website (which is what you should be using) and end-of-July tickets for Bonassola> Levanto all came up as 2,40€ for all departure times. I'm not sure where you're seeing 10,00 € unless it's not to Levanto?

And what if I get on the train in Monterosso with my CT ticket and
then continue past Levanto to Bonassola?

The treno card doesn't cover Monterosso >Bonassola so if caught by an authority checking tickets you will incur a large fine on the spot. Ticket checks are not unusual for this region so I wouldn't risk it.

It's how much you'll use the trains each day within the CT that is the question mark. I'm seeing 8,50€ for an end-of-July ticket from Levanto> Monterosso at 9:05 AM (9:01 Fri - Sunday) but that increases to 10,00€ for practically all other times. Monterosso> Vernazza is also 10,00€ all times as is Vernazza>Corniglia, Corniglia> Manarola and Manarola>Riomaggiore.

A train ride between each of the five towns in CT is 5€ one way

Not anymore. They introduced low, mid and peak-season pricing this year. Peak-season price applies to the OP's end-of-July visit.
https://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/en/cinque-terre-timetable

Tickets for dates in the RED boxes are peak-season 10,00€ per-journey price.
https://www.cinqueterre.eu.com/images/stories/web/train-timetable/cinque-terre-single-ticket-category-biglietto-singolo-categorie.webp

An adult 2-day Cinque Terre Treno card costs 59,00 Euro pp. for peak-season use. It expires at midnight the day after being validated so is truly a 2-day and not 48-hour card. It also covers the cost of hiking any open segment of the "Blue" trail route plus the shuttle bus that travels to/from Corniglia and its train station (I believe a ticket is otherwise 2.50 EUR),
https://www.parconazionale5terre.it/page.php?id=158

Dates in RED incur peak-season pricing.
https://www.parconazionale5terre.it/pdf/TabellaB-TariffaCinqueTerre.pdf

So I guess you have to do the math based on what you think you'll be doing? Use the trains 6 times within the 2-day validity, plus the bus, and you'll have a little more than broken even on the card. Add the Bonassola> Levanto ticket price on top. You can purchase tickets for multiple Bonassola> Levanto (and reverse) journeys at the station at one time and validate them (that very important!) as you use them. If using a Treno card within the CT, you only have to validate it the first time you use it.

(Fixed a typo)

Posted by
21 posts

Meg, Shom & Kathy,

Thank you all! And major kudos to Kathy, who clearly has the CT experience fully dialed-in.

As Kathy points out, like the cost of the CT Tren card, the cost of single train tickets within the CT region has changed and now depends on the season. In November, for example, the cost of taking the train from one city to another inside the CT zone is 2.40E. But in high season, the same ticket now costs 10E.

Thank you, Kathy, for pointing out that traveling from a city outside the CT zone to a 'start' city, like Bonassola to Levanto, is still quite cheap even in high-season (2.40E). Interestingly, in high-season, it is slightly cheaper to travel from outside the CT zone to a city in the CT zone, rather than from two cities within the zone (and the CT cities are literally minutes apart). So, for example, going from Bonassola to Manarola is 8.70E, while going from Corniglia to Manarola is 10E. Weird, I know.

But, bottom line, one has to do the math. I am only using the train for one round-trip ticket each day, so for me it is cost effective to 'pay as I go' and not purchase the 2 day CT Tren pass.

And thank you for pointing out what is obvious, but which I totally overlooked, that rather than queuing every time for tickets, you can buy them all at one time, assuming you know your itinerary, and then validate them as you use them.

Keir

Posted by
16100 posts

I am only using the train for one round-trip ticket each day,

So I'm a little confused? There are 5 CT villages and you have 4 nights/3 full days. As well, the villages, individually, aren't large enough to occupy you for an entire day so you are probably going to want to visit more than one each day. How are you planning to travel between them? And you also have Bonassola to enjoy?

Posted by
21 posts

Hi Kathy,

We have been to CT before and will not visit Riomaggiore this time. We arrive July 28 and depart August 1, so it is five days and four nights. On July 28 we are going to Framura for lunch and exploring Bonassola. On July 29, we are taking the train to Monterosso and hanging out for the day. In the afternoon, we will return to Levanto and rent bikes and bike back to Bonassola. On July 30 we are biking the trail from Bonassola to Framura and the returning to Levanto. Depending on how we feel, we may walk on the trail back to Bonassola or take the train from Levanto. On July 31 we are taking the train to Manarola and hiking to Corniglia for lunch and then hiking to Vernazza for drinks, and taking the train back to Bonassola. On August 1, we are taking the train to Manarola and later leaving from there for Parma.

Keir

Posted by
16100 posts

Ah, oK, Your first post said you were in Bonassola for 4 nights, and using the train twice a day to go from Bonassola into CT and back so that's what I was going on, You know that the Blue Trail segment between Corniglia and Manarola is closed, right? There are ways around it but longer/more strenuous.

Posted by
21 posts

Yes, we will take the bus up to Volstra and then hike the 586/587 trail into Corniglia.