Find out how to get from Florence to Cinque Terre quickly and cheaply, and learn about the sights you can see on the way.
How to Get to Cinque Terre from Florence
The route from Florence to Cinque Terre, with a distance of just over 160km, is so cheap and effortless by train that extra stops are definitely worth adding. Whether you’re holidaying in Florence and are seeking memorable day trips or have several days to discover the Italian Riviera, the train to Cinque Terre will take you past the best sights. All aboard as we delve into everything you need to know about navigating this picturesque region by train, including how to get to Cinque Terre from Florence the most enjoyable way possible.
Train route: Florence > Pisa > La Spezia > Cinque Terre
Take the Train from Florence to Cinque Terre
From Florence, a trip to Cinque Terre by train will take you to one of the “Five Lands” the region is named for. A string of fishing villages perched high along the Riviera’s coast, each with its own train station, make up Cinque Terre. Although there are no direct trains to Cinque Terre from Florence, the choice of transfer location opens up a host of sightseeing opportunities. And the rugged natural beauty of the region makes this train journey from Florence all the more exciting.
Nearest train station: Florence Santa Maria Novella
From Florence to Cinque Terre via Pisa
If you’re travelling by train to Cinque Terre from Florence, a day trip to Pisa can easily be added to your travel plans. Starting out early, it’s possible to first take the train to Pisa about 70km away. With trains running frequently, you can complete the journey to Cinque Terre at your leisure later in the evening. Along with the Square of Miracles, which is home to the Leaning Tower of Pisa, this famous Italian city is filled with museums, beautiful cathedrals and striking architecture. Luckily, one day in Pisa is enough to take it all in.
Nearest train station: Travel from Florence to Pisa Centrale
From Pisa to La Spezia
Before arriving in Cinque Terre, there is one final transfer at La Spezia, less than an hour along the coast by train from Pisa. Time will pass quickly on this stage of the journey as you take in the breath-taking sights of the Riviera. Take your time in La Spezia and enjoy the blooming public gardens, waterfront harbour and beautiful basilicas. History lovers will find great pleasure in 13th-century San Giorgio Castle and archaeological museum. For those wondering how to get to Cinque Terre from La Spezia, trains run almost 24-hours a day for the final leg of the journey which takes less than 10 minutes.
Nearest train station: La Spezia Centrale
A Florence to Cinque Terre Day Trip
If your time is limited and you wish to travel from Florence to Cinque Terre for a day trip, without any excursions along the way, this is also possible. Beginning before dawn and continuing throughout the day, trains leave from Florence for Cinque Terre frequently. As it only takes about three hours including transfers to Riomaggiore, the first of the five coastal villages, this leaves a full day to explore. And you’re going to need it if you want to experience everything that Cinque Terre has to offer.
Nearest train station: Travel to Riomaggiore // Fastest journey time: 2h 44m
Cinque Terre National Park
At 39km2, the Cinque Terre National Park is the smallest in Italy. This protected park is designed as a pedestrian space and surrounds the five villages that make up Cinque Terre. This stunning and unique UNESCO World Heritage Site features cultivated sloping land offering a wealth of local produce and wonderful views. The whole region is packed with walking trails and tracks. As it’s also one of the most inhabited national parks, you won’t have to look far to find somewhere to stop for a good meal made from the freshest ingredients.
Nearest train station: Any of the Cinque Terre village train stops
If you are short on time, the easiest way to travel between the Cinque Terre villages is by train, which takes only a few minutes from station to station. But, for the physically fit, getting from Vernazza to Monterosso is one time we recommend walking. The scenic Footpath Monterosso trail is a narrow path along the cliffs that connects the two villages and takes about 2 hours to follow.
This village is the oldest, and considered to be the most romantic, in Cinque Terre. Manarola is free of beaches and sits atop a distinctive rocky spur. This remote spot is best accessed by train with the tracks passing through the rocks. Wine lovers will be in their element here. The vineyards of Groppo are located nearby along with the Groppo distillery. An area of immense beauty with excellent food and drink, you will love the slow pace of life in Manarola.
Nearest train station: Manarola
This secretive beach requires a little effort to find. Unlike the other villages of Cinque Terre, Corniglia is not next to the sea but overlooking it. Surrounded on three size by steep farmland, terraces and vineyards, this village is not easily accessible unless by train. Visitors arriving at Corniglia train station must then climb a set of stairs known as the Lardarina and its 380 steps. Access to Guvano Beach is via an abandoned railway tunnel and, once there, clothing is optional.
Nearest train station: Corniglia
Whether you want the vibrant crowds of Pisa or the slow pace of life in the Italian Riviera’s remote fishing villages, the train from Florence to Cinque Terre can take you there with ease.