I have been watching for schedules to come out for June 26th and beyond. We are traveling from Venice to Vernazza on June 26th. It looks like the schedules for high speed trains are now out, but not for city to city and regional trains. If I knew the best routes, I could potentially book the first leg of our trip from Venice. However, it's hard to do that when I don't know the best route or what times we can make connections for the rest of the trip. Our hotelier in Vernazza recommended we go from Venice to Milan and Milan to Monterosso. I see that costs have gone up quite a bit and that not all trips that were available for dates before June 9th are on the new schedule. Anyone have advice on the best route and whether to wait until the full schedule is up or to book part of the trip now?
Hi Connie. Yes, that is frustrating not to be able to see / book the whole trip. There are two main routes. 1) Venice to Milan on a freccia train, then south to CT. From Milan, likely an intercity train, with change in Genova or Levanto or other city of your choice, to a regional train to Vernazza.
2) Venice to Florence (Firenze SMN)) on a freccia train, then change to a regional train, likely change again in Pisa and La Spezia. You can look at the schedules for all trains now, just use a date next week. The schedules in June will be 98% the same. The discounts on the first legs of each route are substantial, you could buy those now if ready to lock in. The discounts on the trains from Milan or Firenze are less (or none if regional), so you could wait and buy those when in Italy. Also, this would allow you to spend a few hours in Milan or Florence if you like on the way. Make sense? Enjoy your trip!
Connie, There are two main routes from Venice to Vernazza, one via Milan and the other via Florence. Schedules likely won't change much between now and when you'll be travelling. I wouldn't be too concerned about purchasing tickets in advance, as some of the trains on that route will be Regionale, and there's no reason to purchase those ahead of time (and in fact it may be difficult to do so). The easiest solution would be to simply buy tickets at Venezia S.L. a few days before you'll be travelling, either from the ticket window or one of the Kiosks. One of the easiest trips appears to be a departure at 09:25, arriving Vernazza at 15:29 (time 6H:04M, changes at Firenze SMN and La Spezia Centrale, reservations compulsory on first leg). The only segment of that trip you'd be able to buy in advance is the first leg from Venice to Florence via FrecciaArgento (the other two segments are via Regionales). As reserved tickets are specific to a particular train and departure time, if you missed that train, your tickets would be worthless and you'd have to buy more at full price. Happy travels!
Thank you both for your advice. It is very helpful.