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Zurich Train (1st Class) to Vernazza Italy

Can you provide information about the route or fast train to Vernazza, Italy from Zurich. We will leave on October 14 and need to arrive by that evening for our reservations. We have traveling from Milan to Vernazza so we are familiar with this route. We just need to make sure we can make our connection and we don't know how to read the train schedules. Any help would be appreciated.

Posted by
15430 posts
from Zurich
To Vernazza
Choose a date (
Enter 00:00 as time
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The 9;32 departure is a good choice. Change trains in Milan and Monterosso and arrive at 17:34

Exactly two hours later at 11:32 there is the same combination available.

Posted by
33134 posts

What time does your flight arrive in Zurich, or are arriving from elsewhere in Switzerland?

Posted by
6 posts

We arrive Zurich noon October 13, 2014. So we have the rest of the day and want to leave as early as possible to get our start for Vernazza so we can be assured of our connection in Milan to avoid any chance of overnight stay as we have reservations in Vernazza

Posted by
8889 posts

If you don't want to stay in Zürich, why are you flying there?
Why don't you fly somewhere closer, like Milan, Genoa, Pisa or even Rome?

And why do you say "Train (1st Class)"? Nearly all trains have both first and second class carriages.

Posted by
20329 posts

If you are landing at noon, its 8+ hours to Vernazza. So if you can get across the street to the airport train station ASAP, you might get in at a decent hour. 3:13 pm is the last departure that gets you in that night at 11:30 pm.

Posted by
6 posts

We do land at noon but don't travel to Vernazza until the next day. We will have time to buy our tickets that afternoon and leave on the 07:32 train direct to Milan which doesn't go through Bern. Looks like the best route and arrives Vernazza 15:26.

Thanks for your help Roberto!

Posted by
6 posts

By the way, our travel route was dictated by husbands company because we actually have to meet up with company group in Zurich for Rhine River Cruise after our trip to Vernazza. They arranged our flight and was more economical to fly in and out of Zurich with the rest of the group. We were advised by someone to make sure to get first class ticket when purchasing since we are traveling a distance. More comfortable I assume.

Posted by
8889 posts

First class costs approximately 50% extra, for which you get 50% more space, 2+1 seating (second class is 2+2), and proportionately more legroom.
Swiss trains are very comfortable, rarely full, and more expensive than most other countries, so I wouldn't bother with first class (unless your husband's company is paying).

Italian trains on the other hand are cheap and can get very full. Both first and second class are a lot cheaper per Km than Switzerland, the extra to upgrade to first class is worth it. If you have already travelled from Milan to Vernazza you are familar with italian trains.

But first and second class are still the same train and get there at the same time.

Your Rhine Cruise probably starts from Basel, in which case you will save 1-2 hours by going back direct to Basel, not via Zürich.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks Chris for your insight into the trains. I appreciate the overview.

We have reservations in Zurich upon our return Oct 17th the day before all are to arrive on the 18th & we will meet up with our group and travel with them to Basel by bus to board our boat. Since the bulk of our luggage will be waiting for us at the same hotel we reserved at upon arrival in Zurich we decided to just stay in Zurich upon returning before we meet the group. Thanks again for the advice because we plan to return again and we'll be able to use your tips!

Posted by
16724 posts

You could save almost 100 CHF on each ticket from Zurich to Milan by going in 2d class ( fine on Swiss trains) if you buy in advance on The "Special Offer" price is 40 CHF; full fare in 1st Class is 137 CHF. The discounted tickets are available for both the 7:32 and 9:32 trains on Oct. 14. Similar offers are probably available for the return, although I did not check. These are tickets you buy online and pick up at the station in Switzerland using a printed code they give you at the time of purchase.

For Milan to Monterosso, you can buy "Economy" tickets on These are "print at home" tickets, so you will save the hassle of buying them at the station in Milan. Both the 12:10 IC 665) and the 14:05 (IC 669) trains have Economy tickets available in First Class for 28€. That is not a huge savings over the full fare of 36€, but worth doing to save time.

All told you can save around $450 on the return trip.

Posted by
4554 posts

Ask Tim Parks, his latest book is all about Italian trains and Italian "train logic"

And if you're not comfortable with train schedules, Rail Europe is there to help.

Posted by
32245 posts


You shouldn't have any trouble at all arriving in Vernazza by late afternoon, as the trip from Zürich to Milan is only about four hours if you take a direct train (I travelled that route last week and it's very easy). The trip from Milan to Vernazza is about 3.5 hours (depending on which train you connect with). You can see the details on the website.

I wouldn't bother paying for first class (especially on the Swiss trains) unless you have a large budget, as second class is very comfortable. On the trip from Milan to Vernazza, you may be travelling at least for part of the trip on a Regionale, which doesn't offer first class service (DON'T forget to validate your tickets prior to boarding the train!).

Posted by
23434 posts

......And if you're not comfortable with train schedules, Rail Europe is there to help.......

That is questionable. Rail Europe is a travel agency and sells train ticket but they do not sell tickets to all trains in all locations. And offer no discounts if discount fares are available. The easiest schedule site to use is that is the German rail site. Bahn lists all schedules in Europe but you can only buy tickets that start or end in Germany. Rail Europe schedules are limited. Personally I don't think that first class is worth unless it is very close in price. Second class train travel is about like business class on the airline as to space and seats.