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TRAINS IN TUSCANY

1) IS THERE TRAIN SERVICE FROM FLORENCE TO CINQUE TERRE? 2) IS THERE TRAIN SERVICE FROM CINQUE TERRE TO DONORATICO? THANKS, BJ

Posted by
7649 posts

1) Yes, there is train service from Florence to the CT. It varies from 2.5 to 3.5 hours, nearly all routes require a train change in La Spezia, most also require a change in Pisa. 2) There is also train service to Donoratico. Also about 3 hours, a change in La Spezia and Pisa again. More details can be found at www.trenitalia.com

Posted by
5 posts

KEN AND PAUL, THANK YOU BOTH FOR YOUR RESPONSE. WE DO NOT LEAVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER BUT AM GATHERING FACTS. WE DO ALREADY HAVE OUR FLIGHTS THOUGH. WE HAVE BEEN TO THIS AREA PREVIOUSLY AND HAD A CAR, HOWEVER, I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT THE PARKING/LICENSE ISSUES. Perhaps the train will be a good idea for us this trip. ALSO, KEN, I SEE YOU HAVE AN IOWA ADDRESS. I must say, we have been in Iowa for the RAGBRAI RIDE numerous times and you have wonderfully friendly people and a beautiful state. I did not know that any corn grew taller and more beautiful than Texas corn. And so delicious too. Yum! thanks again to both of you for taking time to answer. BJ

Posted by
5 posts

HI PAUL, Thanks for the quick response. Much appreciated. Am wondering if we should make online resevations or wait until arrival in Tuscany area? We are 4 traveling with 2 tandems and must drop the bikes off in Donoratico before going sightseeing, then returning to Donoratico for our organized cycling adventure. Any hints if we should consider a car rather than taking the train? BJ

Posted by
7649 posts

These are relatively short trips, cost at full fare is may 25 euro, and some legs involve regional trains. You can play with the website and see if prepurchase saves you much, but I suspect not, or at least not worth the hassle and risk of missing your train, especially on leaving the CT on a not so timely regional train. A car may be more costly just to get you from point A to B to C by the time you figure rental, insurance (needed in Italy), and a drop off charge if not returning to the same office. Renting a car for a Day or two to cruise around Tuscany though may be worth it.

Posted by
32244 posts

BJ, As the others have mentioned, the answer is "YES" to both questions. There is train service available, and that's usually the quickest and most efficient form of travel in Italy. The travel time ranges from 2 -3 hours each way, with one or two changes depending on which train you use. Check the Trenitalia web site for details. The rail station in Donoratico is designated as Castagneto Carducci-Donoratico and AFAIK this is an unmanned station and therefore has automated ticket Kiosks. As Donoratico is south of the Cinque Terre, you'll be entering the area via La Spezia. Were you planning to stay in the C.T. for a night or two? Which of the five villages are you considering? Using a rental car is NOT the best option in this case, as access to the C.T. is quite limited for vehicles. With a vehicle, you'd be better to park in La Spezia and use the local train to get back and forth to the towns. Driving in Italy can also present a few "difficulties" for those that aren't used to conditions there. Each driver would require the compulsory International Driver's Permit which must be used in conjunction with your regular D.L. Failure to produce an IDP may result in fines on the spot! There's also the issue of Zona Traffico Limitato zones, which come with expensive fines and of course parking, tolls and the high cost of fuel. You might want to have a look at some of the "Traffic Fines in Italy" threads in the General Europe section of the HelpLine. Happy travels!

Posted by
1589 posts

13 RAGRAIS from 1980 to the present! Have a great trip, BJ.

Posted by
32244 posts

BJ, Just to clarify, I DO NOT live in Iowa. The location listed in my Profile is "Vernon, Canada", which is located in beautiful British Columbia. We're generally quite friendly here as well. Cheers!

Posted by
33123 posts

Isn't Canada part of Iowa? I'm sure it is...

Posted by
5 posts

OH DARN, KEN I MADE A MISTAKE. WELL, WHAT CAN I SAY - BLOND, WOMAN - I CAN TAKE THE HEAT THOUGH! I MEANT THAT PARTICULAR NOTE FOR PAUL. I BET PAUL REALIZED IT TOO. AND, YES, CANADA IS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL AS WELL AS IOWA. THANK GOODNESS FOR GPS. YOU GUYS ARE GREAT AND I APPRECIATE ALL THE INFO! OH, I FORGOT TO MENTION WE WILL AGAIN BE STAYING IN MONTERROSO AT THE HOTEL PUNTA MESCO. BJ

Posted by
7649 posts

Yes, I realized the mis-reference; and thanks for the Ragbrai reference. It is one of the many great things in Iowa, if you are a biking enthusiast and have not heard of it or done it...you are missing out! This year in fact it is coming through my town...Cedar Rapids...looking forward to the party.

Posted by
5 posts

KEN, PAUL AND NIGEL, I just noticed the notation POSTS:....... Each of you have many posts. Is that the number of times each of you have asked or answered questions on this site? Wow! That is a lot of time on the site. I am thinking each of you have a lots of free time and what a wonderful thing it is for those of us needing answers. Here is one for you. We will be going to revisit Spain 2013 and saw some info I could use at a later date. I am wondering how often the answers/questions on the site are cleared. I do not have time to go through them now but will want to revisit the questions/answers after this September trip to Italy. Will the site retain this information or does it totally cancel out info and restart the process at a specific time each year or what? Thanks so much. Oh and NIGEL, your previous answer to my Iowa/Canada blunder still makes me laugh. Love it. BJ

Posted by
33123 posts

Well, BJ, I'll pop in because I just noticed your question. The others will be along soon, I'm sure. I do have a few posts under my belt, but nowhere near many others. I don't really have a lot of spare time, I'm still a working stiff. I haven't been posting on the Helpline near as long as many others either. I do tend to check the Helpline before I go to work, when I get home, when I'm on a break at work, and before I go to bed. I work shifts so I'm often on at odd hours, and because I work on the railways I have quite a lot of holidays and days off. On those days I catch up because during the working week I'm often a day or so behind. I specialize in transportation questions, especially British and London, because that is my field. I'm also pretty well traveled in Europe so will pipe up when I know the answer to something or know where it can be found. To answer your other question, the archives appear to be chiseled into the rocks of time. They never are reset and you can search way back. There is a terrific amount of knowledge here, both for (relatively) immediate answers and buried away in the archives. Have a dig around. You will find everything, including, if you will credit it, hula hoops.