My wife and I will be needing to train from Venice to Cinqua Terra on a Sunday in Mid September. How early do we need to make a reservation to be secure we can get the trains we want? And should we go 1st or 2nd class? whats the fastest route?
There are numerous trains throughout the day. Go to www.trenitalia.it to see the options. Enter "Venezia" for the departure and "La Spezia" for the arrival. As you'll see, most routes go through Florence and then Pisa. It looks like it takes about six hours and a couple of transfers. In La Spezia you have to buy separate tickets (cheap) on the local to the CT.
2nd class is just as fast as 1st. For the regional trains in Italy there's really no point in paying extra for 1st class.
You don't need to worry about reserving in advance. You can buy tickets at the train station and any seats requiring reservations can be secured with your ticket. If it puts your mind at ease, stop by the train station in Venice the day before and work out the schedule. But there's a train every hour (Make sure you buy the departure from Venezia Santa Lucia, not Mestre).
thanks! i'm glad to know that we don't need more than a days leeway to reserve tickets. However, I've heard that its faster to go from Venice through Bologna(?) to Cinque terra. Are there routes that aren't listed on the internet?
You can easily get tickets in the Venezia Santa Lucia train station. There is a Trenitalia help office in the train station. They speak English and will route your trip if you don't already have a train itinerary. They won't sell you the tickets, however. You either have to stand in line at the ticket window or use the automated ticket machine which works pretty damn good. You can even reserve seats on trains that require them. Your credit card will work just fine.
Now for the fun part. Traveling West from Venezia Santa Lucia to the CT is much different than the reverse. Going from the CT to Venice, we went La Speizia/Bologna/Venice. One train change and zippo. The Bologna/Venice train was a Eurostar. Not that way in reverse. Almost all routes want to take you through Florence and back up through Pisa. It's Eurostar to Florence and a regional to La Spezia. 6+ hours. You can book through Bologna but it's still 6+ hours. Message back and I can send you a sample train schedule
Thankyou. I understand through just looking at Rail Europe that there is a train leaving from Venice to La Spezia via Bologna and Parma, with a 2 hour lay over in Parma. That seems the most direct. IS Parma worth seeing?
Parma is worth seeing. The Duomo and the surrounding area are beautiful.
But it still seems to me that you ought to be able to get a quicker trip to CT.
I see the journey to Bologna and Parma. You have 2 train changes. It's not a 2-hour layover as you have to deduct the time from Bologna to Parma. It may be more like a 1-hour layover. There is a train leaving Venice at 3.38pm that changes once in Bologna and then goes direct to La Spezia. It will stop at Parma but you don't change trains. It is the reverse of the one that we took this past May. It looks to be 5hrs 35 min. You won't get much better time than that. Here's the Link to the Trenitalia schedule showing this journey.
The journey from Venice to the Cinque Terre is not difficult, however which route to take and the travel time will depend on which of the 5 villages you'll be staying in (just curious, which one did you choose)?
For example, cheking bahn.de I found one Sunday departure from Venezia S.L. at 09:51, arriving Riomaggiore at 16:51 (7H:00M, changes in Milano & Genova). Two of the trains used have MANDATORY reservations. There are slightly shorter trips available but they have more changes (your choice).
If you're not travelling with a Rail Pass, definitely use 2nd Class! Regarding reservations I'd suggest making these either on your way to Venice, or just after you arrive in Venice. You can make these at stations or check Rick's Guidebooks for travel agencies in Venice where you can book these.
Good luck and happy travels!
very helpful information! We are travaling the La Spezia as we are staying in Vernaza. We'd like to get there as early as posssible as we only have 2 nights there.
It sounds like we can reserve our tickets and find out the best route during our first day in Venace. If so i think we're set.
We will not have a rail pass as we are driving much of our trip, this being one exception.