If you want to swap the breathtaking cultural highlights of Florence for the tranquil coastal villages of Liguria, Cinque Terre ticks all the boxes. These five pastel-colored villages cascade down hillsides like icing on a cake. Each is unique, filled with winding narrow streets, trattorias, and charming specialty shops. It’s easy to walk or take the express train between the five villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso Al Mare. The more important question is how to get from Florence to Cinque Terre in the first place. Here’s our guide to give you some ideas on how to visit Cinque Terre from Florence.
Best Way To Get From Florence to Cinque Terre: Join a Tour
If traveling on foreign public transport sounds too stressful for a relaxing vacation, check out a guided tour from Florence, Tuscany instead. We offer a range of day trips and multi-day packages which include a guide-accompanied train ride from Florence to Cinque Terre. Upon arrival, the expert tour leader will escort you through the wonderful villages and share fascinating insights about the area.
Our Hiking Day Tour from Florence is the ideal choice for those seeking an adventurous and active route through the five villages, stopping off at shops, historic sites, and landmarks along the way. We also highly recommend our 5 Day Tuscany & Cinque Terre Tour Package. This includes all tours and transportation between the best spots in both regions.
Other Ways to Get From Florence to Cinque Terre
Florence and Cinque Terre are located in two different Italian regions, Tuscany and Liguria. Despite this, it’s relatively easy to visit one from the other. Frequent trains depart from Florence’s Santa Maria Novella train station to La Spezia on the Italian west coast. Tickets for this first leg of the journey cost between $16.50 and $25. Exact prices depend on the time of day you travel and how far in advance you book.
When you arrive in La Spezia, you can jump on the train to Cinque Terre. The journey time from La Spezia to Riomaggiore, the first village of Cinque Terre, is just 9 minutes. If you wish to disembark at other villages further along the coast, the train journey time is around 2 to 5 minutes between each village.
It can be a little confusing at first to travel by rail throughout Cinque Terre. However, it’s helpful to remember there are only 2 platforms at the village railway stations. One platform says ‘Per Genova’ – trains at this platform head north towards Monterosso Al Mare. The other says ‘Per La Spezia’, which runs south towards Riomaggiore and La Spezia.
The current cost of a Cinque Terre railcard for unlimited one-day use between La Spezia and Levanto is around $20 per adult and $12 for children from 4-12 years. Alternatively, you can purchase a Cinque Terre family card for $53 a day, including the train for up to 2 adults and 2 children under 12.
There’s no better way to experience the Italian countryside and coastline than by car. If you plan to hire a vehicle during your stay, you can drive to Cinque Terre in 2.5 hours from Florence. Simply take the A11 route north of Florence and drive towards Viareggio on the Tuscan coast. Here you will join the E80 coastal route which takes you past picturesque Marina di Pietrasanta, upscale Forte dei Marmi (great for designer shopping), the Gulf of Poets, and La Spezia.
Depending on where you begin your exploration of Cinque Terre, you might continue on the E80 to the furthest village of Monterosso Al Mare. Or, drive along La Spezia’s palm-lined seafront boulevard to reach Riomaggiore. En route, there are great places to stop for lunch and beautiful seaside towns such as Portovenere. As most of Cinque Terre’s villages are tumbling down a hillside, you can’t take cars into the village centers. There are dedicated car parking spots atop the hills, and minibusses and taxis can transport you to the shore.
Tourist Italy Is There for You!
If you do choose to arrive independently, we suggest you join one of our best guided tours of Cinque Terre once you’re there. Whatever route you take, Cinque Terre has so much to offer and is guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience.