Traveling from Florence to Cinque Terre by train is so convenient that the Italian Riviera has quickly become a must in most classic Italy itineraries as well as one of the popular day trips from Florence.
While it’s possible also to reach Cinque Terre from Florence by car, this option is great only if you don’t mind driving along narrow and bendy roads and if you have a hotel with private parking. This is because once you reach the Cinque Terre, you have to leave your car outside of the protected area of the five villages.
Florence to Cinque Terre by train – Why and how to book
3 reasons to reach Cinque Terre from Florence by train
- Bendy roads. Unless you come from a mountainous area and love driving across narrow and bendy roads like my husband (used to Afghanistan’s streets), you and your passengers are probably going to enjoy the view more if you travel by train.
- Restricted area. You can’t access the five villages by car and you will need to leave it outside the Parco delle Cinque Terre protected area. From one town to the other, you will still have to travel by local train or walking/hiking when it’s nice weather.
- Limited parking. You are in Italy, after all, so parking will definitely be limited, especially in the high season. In fact, ideally, only having a hotel with private parking can ensure you always have a spot for your car.
How to book your Florence to Cinque Terre train ticket
From Florence to Cinque Terre, there is no direct train, so you will need to change once or twice. Usually, the changes are in Pisa or La Spezia.
The duration of the trip Florence to Cinque Terre by train varies between 3 to 4 hours, depending on which station you are changing trains and how long you have to wait.
Usually, the trains from Florence to Cinque Terre are regional or fast regional (regional veloce), and the price is fixed at €16.05.
There are also some traveling options with the Intercity trains but that often involves two changes (Pisa and La Spezia Centrale) and costs slightly more expensive, €24.10. This option takes a little less time, around 2 hours and 55 minutes instead of 3 hours or 3 hours and 40 minutes, but if you have luggage, it might not be very handy.
You can find also an option that includes a trait with the Freccia high-speed train but it takes as long as with the Intercity because a lot of it depends on how long you have to wait for the next train.
Traveling by train around the Cinque Terre
Once you have reached the Cinque Terre from Florence by train, you have two ways to travel around the five villages: by train and on foot.
When I visited the Cinque Terre, I had limited time and it was cold season, so I opted for the train and visited all five towns. This is a local train that you can book on the same Trenitalia website and each journey costs around €2.50.
You can also buy a Cinque Terre Express card that costs €18.20 for one day with unlimited trips, €11.40 for kids between 4 and 12 years old, or €14.80 for those over 70.
There is also a family ticket and for the price of 48€, it covers 2 adults and 2 kids 4-11 years old. By purchasing the local train card, you will also enjoy other benefits such as guided tours, discounts on admission tickets, and the local bus included.
The Cinque Terre Treno Card is available to be purchased at the Tourist Information Points within the Parco delle Cinque Terre, at the train stations of Levanto and La Spezia, and also online here or from the mypass app. If there is a yellow or red weather alert, they won’t sell the train card.
To reach the other towns of the Italian Riviera, such as the beautiful Portovenere, Lerici, Tellaro, and the town of Le Grazie where is also the military base of Varignano, the school to form Italian Navy’s deep-sea divers.