GETTING TO ITALY aND THEN TO CINQUE TERRE
Which airport you choose to fly in and out of depends on (apart from price) how long you plan to visit Italy and where you plan to travel.
- The major airport for traveling in northern Italy (Venice, Lake of Garda, Piedmont) is Milan.
- The major airport for traveling in southern Italy (Rome, Amalfi/Capri, Naples) is Rome.
- The closest airports for traveling to Cinque Terre and Tuscany are Pisa, Florence and Genoa.
Some of you may be planning to visit other parts of Italy and may want to book flights into/out of Rome or Milan. If you book your ticket into ROMA or MILANO, keep in mind that it can take 3.5 to 4 hours by train or by car to get to the Cinque Terre.
If you’re planning to make stops between either of these cities and the Cinque Terre, it makes sense to fly in and out of these airports.
If you choose to fly into ROMA:
you’ll have the opportunity to spend at least a few days in Rome. (It’s one of our favorite cities in the world.)
Or, instead, take a train or drive to the Naples area and visit Pompei and the Amalfi coast. (The Amalfi coast is very similar to the Cinque Terre.)
Or, drive through Umbria (a beautiful region, almost like Tuscany, but lesser known – wonderful for wine and olive oil tasting), where the quality of food, wine and villas are on par with Tuscany.
Or, after landing in Rome, spend a few nights in Tuscany and its villages or to do some Italian shopping. (From Tuscany, it’s easy to get to its neighbor, the Cinque Terre.)
If you choose to fly into MILANO:
you can shop ’til you drop but we suggest getting out quickly.
From Milan, you can easily reach the Lake of Garda, Lake of Como, Lake Orta (the famous Lakes, quiet with beautiful panoramic views), Venice (but expect about a 5-6 hour transfer from Venice to the Cinque Terre; or, if you are a serious wine and food lover, and you’re not interested in Tuscany, the new mecca for you is Piedmont (home of Barolo, Nebbiolo, and some of the most amazing food in Italy), which is just north of the Cinque Terre region, in northwestern Italy.
Piedmont attracts true lovers of Italian culture who know how to celebrate simplicity and the highest tastes.
If you’re coming for the weekend only, or only adding Tuscany to your trip, we would suggest flying in and out of Pisa, Genoa or Florence.
Even if these tickets price a bit higher than flights into/out of Rome/Milan, it will make your life easier.
To get to the Cinque Terre by flying into PISA (PSA), GENOVA (GOA), and FIRENZE:
there is a shuttle train at the airport that takes you from Pisa Airport to Pisa Centrale.
From Pisa Centrale, there are trains that take you to the Cinque Terre, with a transfer at La Spezia Centrale. (Depending on when you arrive at Pisa Centrale, you may be able to purchase a direct ticket from Pisa Centrale to Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, where we’ll be staying.).
For train schedules, go to www.trenitalia.com. (Approx. Travel Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.)
There is a shuttle bus at the airport that takes you from Genoa Airport to the Genoa train station. From the Genoa train station, you can take a direct train to the Cinque Terre villages. For train schedules, go to www.trenitalia.com. (Approx. Travel Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes.).
From Pisa or Genoa by car, the approximate travel time is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. Keep in mind that after you pass La Spezia and approach your hotel/apartment in the Cinque Terre, the roads are narrower and winding. It can take you approximately 45 minutes from La Spezia to Monterosso, the fifth of the five lands in the Cinque Terre.
The approximate travel time is about 2 hours. By car, it is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Keep in mind that after you pass La Spezia and approach your hotel/apartment in the Cinque Terre, the roads are narrower and winding.
It can take you approximately 45 minutes from La Spezia to Monterosso, the fifth of the five lands in the Cinque Terre.
It’s a fantastic place to spend two extra days.
However you decide to get to the Cinque Terre, keep in mind that the largest and closest city to the Cinque Terre is called LA SPEZIA. (As you research train schedules or highway driving directions, if your search engines or the trenitalia.it website is not recognizing your hotel/apartment address, try inputting LA SPEZIA as your destination location.)
REGARDLESS OF THE ARRIVAL AIRPORT YOU CHOOSE: If you plan to rent a car from the airport, please ask the hotel or apartment manager if there is a parking space for you and/or where to park. Monterosso has a parking area (about 18 euros per day) if your accommodation does not have a parking space.
If you would like to transfer from the airport to your hotel or apartment by taxi/private car service, please let us know . One-way private car transfers can cost approximately 150-250 euros from Pisa or Genova and from 400 euros from Rome or Milan (or from 750 round trip).
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT THE TRAINS — VALIDATE YOUR TICKETS BEFORE BOARDING.
There are small colored (usually yellow) boxes at train station platforms that are ticket validating machines. You have to validate your ticket before jumping on a train (or you may be asked to pay a surcharge/fine.)
Just slide your ticket into the validation machines and it will time stamp and validate your ticket.
Train Schedules/Information: You can check train timetable at the official Trenitalia website (www.trenitalia.com) or you can download the LocomoTimes App from the Apple Store on your iPad or iPhone.
MORE “HOW TO” ABOUT CINQUE TERRE:
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