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Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Central Coast NSW
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Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

We are flying in to Milan early in May for just one night. We want to get the train the next morning over to Cinque Terre where we will be staying in Manarola. Thought it best to go through Genoa. Is this correct? And also do we need to pre-book and purchase these rail tickets or could we just buy them when we arrive to Milan the day before or even on our morning of departure? Appreciate any info - cheers.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Go to www.trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html and look for trains from Milan to Manarola. Most of the recommended journeys go through Genoa, but there is considerable variety about where you have to change.

If you can, it would be a good idea to book the night before in case there are queues at the ticket office or ticket machines.

Central Coast NSW
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2. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Thanks Nick - do u think it would be wiser to book from home before we leave or is that just not necessary and the day before just fine. Would hate not to be able to get on a train that morning - is it likely that could happen or just 'no way' that would happen?

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3. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Early in May it is very unlikely that trains will sell out. They are the normal way for people to travel around Italy.

Central Coast NSW
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4. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Thanks for your help - think we will just book our tickets the day before, when we arrive in Milan. Planning a journey Milan to Tirano later that week - will book it then too. Cheers.

Milan
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5. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Beware that the trip will take longer than you may imagine, IamAussietraveller. The distance between Milan and Manarola is not much (some 260 km / 160 mi), but the train takes more than 4 hours, mostly because the coastal stretch is very slow: It takes less than two hours to get to Genoa, but then it takes some 45 minutes to get to La Spezia, where you'll have to wait some 20 minutes for the local train that wil take you to Manarola in 10 minutes. If you take the 8 o'clock Intercity train in Milan, you won't be in Manarola before noon.

You don't need to book your tickets long time before the trip, you can purchase them on Trenitalia's website (www.trenitalia.com) the day before. Anyway, as you can buy the tickets through the Internet, if you don't want to worry at all, you can do it a few days before.

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6. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

To get to Manarola from Milan, there is no need to go to La Spezia. Take an InterCity train to Genoa or Sestri Levanti and change there to a Regionale along the coast to Manarola. The travel time is around 3.5 hours.

For example, leave Milan Central at 12.05, change at Sestri Levanti, and get to Manarola at 15.35.

Milan
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7. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Quite correct, sydneynick. To get to Manarola from Milan, one doesn't necessarily need to go to La Spezia.

However, I suppose IamAussietraveller would like to get to Manarola as soon as possible in order to profit by the entire afternoon at least, and currently the most comfortable way to get to Manarola around noon is the following:

1. Intercity train from Milan (8.00 am) to La Spezia (11.36 am)

2. Local train from La Spezia (12.00 pm) to Manarola (12.11 pm)

The 8 o'clock Intercity also stops in Genoa, long before La Spezia, but changing in Genoa extends the trip by a few minutes and, most of all, requires a longer stretch on the local train, usually more subject to delays – then you would run the risk of extending your trip time by more than just a few minutes.

If our Aussie friend doesn't disdain getting up at an ungodly hour, he can even leave at 7.25 am and get straight to Manarola at 11.15 am, without any train change.

Your trip option (Milan/Genoa/Sestri Levante/Manarola), sydneynick, is the best if you leave later in the morning (around 11), but then you won't get to Manarola until 2.30 pm.

adelaide south...
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8. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

I too am going from Milan to La Spezia, but straight from the airport (so I will catch a bus to Milano Centrale). When I get to Milano Centrale, how do I find the train that goes to La Spezia? Do I just go to the ticket counter? which train am I requesting - do I just ask for La Spezia or is there a specific carrier?

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9. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

All mainline trains in Italy are run by Trenitalia. If you want to go to one of the Cinque Terre villages, don't ask for La Spezia: ask for the village you will be going to.

To get your tickets, go to a ticket window or a ticket machine (they work in English). You will be travelling from Milan on a Eurostar or InterCity train with seat reservations, and your ticket will show your train number.

The stations have departure screens, headed "PARTENZI", which are similar to those at airports. They show the departure time, the train number (see your ticket), the final destination (which may be beyond where you are going), and the platform (binario) that will be used.

If you will be using Milan Malpensa airport, there are now Trenitalia trains from there to Milan Central station.

Edited: 01 April 2011, 14:11
Milan
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10. Re: Train from Milan to Cinque Terre

Sydneynick's explanation is perfect, except that the Italian word for "departures" is PARTENZE, not PARTENZI.