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Old 02-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
mkmommy
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Cinque Terre on your own

Since everyone has so many great ideas and tips for Villefranche own your own, how about a similar thread for Cinque Terre on your own.

I have read lots but it sounds like the hardest part is finding the train station in La Spezia, anyone have tips they care to share?
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:18 PM   #2
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Since everyone has so many great ideas and tips for Villefranche own your own, how about a similar thread for Cinque Terre on your own.

I have read lots but it sounds like the hardest part is finding the train station in La Spezia, anyone have tips they care to share?
Agreed, the hardest part is finding the train station. Once you disembark there are local tourist information staff with free maps who will give directions.

Also, don't believe the station staff when they give you a platform number for the Cinque Terre train service. They gave us the platform for a Pisa service.

You will love Cinque Terre, Monterosso & Vernazza are the 2 I absolutely would not miss. I'd recommend trying the Cinque Terre wine, it's very good and reasonably priced.
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Old 02-08-2011, 08:30 PM   #3
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Oh count me in for ideas too!! We are planning to use romeinlimo for Rome & Naples but they really want a lot more euro for this port so I am torn about doing Cinque Terre or Pisa / Lucca.
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Old 02-08-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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Cinque Terre is gorgeous, I would definitely recommend trying to see it.

I hiked to 4 out of 5 towns. The last one is the hardest, and me and my friends didn't feel up to that. But its totally worth it. The views along the hiking paths are spectacluar and amazing. I would also recommend eating there, as that region is known for their pesto sauce. Delicious!!
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:14 PM   #5
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The train station is a bit of a walk - but it isn't too hard to find. You can always take a cab to save a little time. Once we got there we just missed the train and had to wait an hour for the next one - so that really ate into our time as well - but the walk there is nice . Rick Steves has a guide book on Cinque Terre and found that to be quite helpful. Wish we had several days to spend there not just a short day- didn't get to spend near enough time there.
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:07 AM   #6
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Someone told me that you can take a boat, instead of the train. Has anyone ever tried or heard of that option?
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Old 02-09-2011, 01:45 AM   #7
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. . . Rick Steves has a guide book on Cinque Terre and found that to be quite helpful. Wish we had several days to spend there not just a short day- didn't get to spend near enough time there.
We spent several days in the Cinque Terre, and loved it.

I recommend Rick Steves guidebook on the Cinque Terre no matter how long the stay. It was in our copy of Rick Steves "Italy".

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Old 03-09-2011, 11:52 PM   #8
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I am torn about doing Cinque Terre or Pisa / Lucca.
I'll make it easy for you, choose Pisa/Lucca. The Piazza dei Miracoli is dominated by four great religious edifices: the Duomo (cathedral), the Campanile (the cathedral's free standing bell tower), the Baptistry and the Camposanto. It's only been a few years, that the public has been allowed to walk up, the top of the Leaning Tower. Lucca is a nice walled town and the ancient ramparts date back to the 16th century. I'm not sure of the dining hours, they can be rather odd in Italy, but we love Buca di Sant'Antonio. We have dined there several times. The food is good and the chef very friendly. We had DD rehearsal dinner there and it is the most talked about meal...other than the wedding dinner.
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:22 AM   #9
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We didn't find it too hard to find the train station at all. When we walked off the ship there were people handing out maps of the town that were very easy to follow. La Spezia itself is a very pretty little town with a great park right in the middle and a lovely walking street with lots of restaurants. The train ride was really nice, cutting through the mountains and going along the coastline. The area really reminded me of the Northern California coast, just beautiful! We went straight to Monterosso and hung out at the beach for a few hours. We rented chairs (very nice ones) and an umbrella and were able to use the restrooms they had. Started to make our way back on train and got off to do the Walk of Love... very easy walk, not hiking at all, beautiful views along the whole way and a little cafe tucked in the cliff halfway through. From there took the train back to La Spezia where we managed to hit right at siesta (we should know better we live in Spain!) so we missed grabbing lunch in town. La Spezia is really nice clean and easy to navigate (especially after Naples!) and I am really glad we did Cinque Terre instead of Pisa.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:18 AM   #10
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Bump! Any more advice out there?!
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:57 PM   #11
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jumping on the thread here...

question to anyone who's gone to Cinque Terre... what might be the best way to experience it - on our own - with a 6 year old in tow? we'd probably limit any adventure to 5 hours or less... and prefer to "stroll" rather than "hike" (cause I know if it gets strenuous, my DH will end up having to carry DD6 on his shoulders!!)

any tips??? we'd be happy to just get a relaxed taste of the beauty there...
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:56 PM   #12
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One big tip I haven't seen mentionned is that when you get to the train station DO NOT stand in a long queue for tickets. We did this and when we got to the booth they told us that to buy the Cinque Terre card you had to go up onto the platform and there was a little booth there. The lady in the booth when we were there spoke English and gave us all the info and a copy of the timetable.

We went to Montorosso first and worked our way back. Because we left it late and had limited time as our youngest was in Flounders it was more of a whistlestop tour but Montorosso and Vernazza were definitely the highlights and we loved the whole area - we KNOW we want to go back for a longer visit.

I have been to Pisa on a previous visit to Italy and yes it was nice to get photos but as mentioned above the tower is the main event there and I would definitely prefer a longer day exploring Cinque Terre over a rushed trip trying to hit Pisa and Cinque Terre in one day.

Have a wonderful time what ever you decide to do.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:01 PM   #13
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One big tip I haven't seen mentionned is that when you get to the train station DO NOT stand in a long queue for tickets. We did this and when we got to the booth they told us that to buy the Cinque Terre card you had to go up onto the platform and there was a little booth there. The lady in the booth when we were there spoke English and gave us all the info and a copy of the timetable.

x
Is it easy to find the booth and is this the combination train and park ticket?

I have read several threads on cruisecritic where people have said that they have not been able to get the park tickets at the train station in La Spezia and I wonder if this is why, they did not know they needed to go to this booth.
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:54 PM   #14
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I visited Cinque Terre last year. I took a cab to the train station and that saved me enough time that I caught the first train while the folks that I started off walking with had to take the next train. I went to the furthest town and worked my way back. I took a boat between 2 of the towns just to see a different perspective. A couple of the trails were closed. I ended up only hiking the Via Del'Amore (sp).

I love Cinque Terre...reminded me of the Almalfi Coast...just not as commercialized.

Jill in CO
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Old 03-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkmommy View Post
Is it easy to find the booth and is this the combination train and park ticket?

I have read several threads on cruisecritic where people have said that they have not been able to get the park tickets at the train station in La Spezia and I wonder if this is why, they did not know they needed to go to this booth.
The whole area of the towns is considered a national park and the only thing we needed was our Cinque Terre card which included the train travel. We when you go into the station entrance you head right towards the platforms. If I recall correctly we had to go through an underpass ( not sure what you guys call these but underneath the platform and up the stairs on the other side. From where we came out on the platform the little office for the Cinque Terre card was a little way down to the left. If in doubt ask the station employees and they will point you in the right direction.

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