What’s the deal with the Cinque Terre Card?

61 thoughts on “What’s the deal with the Cinque Terre Card?”

    1. Does the CT card work for just two calendar days – say 22-23 April – or does it work for 48 hours? Say 11 AM 22 April through 11 AM 24 April? We are coming on those dates this year and are going to buy the two day pass. But, we will need to take the train on the morning of the 24th. So, I am not sure if a two day card will cover that. Grazie!

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    2. Hello, Thank you for your wonderful blog. Succinct and informative. Love it! We are driving to La Spezia from Loro Ciuffenna on a Tuesday. Google maps says 2 hours 8 minutes. How much time should we allow as we are need to find parking and buy our CT pass for the 5 of us adults. We want to board the earliest train possible. Do the trains ever fill up at peak times? We don’t want to risk getting bumped either heading in or out. We are so very excited for our upcoming trip.

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      1. Ciao Suzanne!

        Have you considered booking your parking spot beneath La Spezia Centrale in advance? I have a blog post that explains how to do that. 🙂

        You mentioned that you are wanting to catch the earliest train possible… but how early is early? The first train heading to the Cinque Terre from La Spezia is right around 5am! Heads up: The TI offices where you can buy your Cinque Terre Cards aren’t open that early.

        Be sure to read my post on train travel in Italy (and on the Cinque Terre Express). These posts should answer all of your questions. 🙂

        Enjoy your trip!
        Amy

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    3. Amy, your information is so helpful. Clear and well organized, ahhh. Yet I still have a question. I have the use of an apartment in Portovenere for two weeks, and arrived June19, 2017. I am a seasoned hiker ready to hike the cinque terre. Is it MANDATORY to buy a pass? If I take a boat to one of the towns can I just start hiking? (I have an excellent map). I am used to 20 mile one day hikes, is it possible to hike all the way thru in one day? Not that I am in a hurry. Also it is not clear where the ferry leaves in Portovenere, there’s as as many ticket booths as there are ice cream shops on the waterfront! Could a one way Portovenere to Monterosso be 18 euros? Can’t tell if there is a more public, less expensive ferry and if so where I would find the schedule (and the boat!) thank you!

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      1. Ciao Lisa!

        I’m so glad to hear that you’ve found the blog helpful. It’s a labor of love… 🙂

        The only hikes that you will be required to have a pass (€7.50) for are the coastal trail sections between Monterosso and Vernazza and between Vernazza and Corniglia. All of the other trails in the Cinque Terre (and there are LOTS of them!) are completely free of charge. If you are planning on getting an early start (before they start checking tickets at 8am) just go ahead and start hiking and you can purchase your ticket when you come to an open control point (there’s no penalty for not having the hiking pass in advance). You *can* hike through all five villages in one day (and it sounds like you’re in great condition so I imagine it wouldn’t be a problem for you) but I personally prefer to break it up so that it isn’t all a blur. For example, you could do the coastal trail from Monterosso to Corniglia one day (that would be the day you’d need the hiking pass) and then do Corniglia to Riomaggiore (on the alternate routes as the coastal sections there are closed) on another day.

        If you are a seasoned hiker then you’ll want to hike from Portovenere to Riomaggiore at some point! It’s really quite beautiful (and free of charge). Just heads up that the trail is quite rugged between Portovenere and Campiglia.

        To reach the ferry docking point (and where they sell tickets) in Portovenere, head past the historical buildings and past the teeny-tiny stretch of sandy beach. Continue walking along the water front until the lane bends towards the left and right there on that corner you should see the ticket booth and ferries (if you reach the playground you’ve gone too far). You should see signs indicating “Consorzio Marittimo Turistico
        Cinque Terre Golfo dei Poeti.” A one-way ticket from Portovenere to either Riomaggiore or Manarola would cost you €13 while one-way Portovenere to Vernazza or Monterosso would cost you €18.

        Hope this info helps! Enjoy your time spent here. 🙂

        Amy

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  1. Hi – Still loving reading through these posts! Do you happen to know if you can buy the hiking card (without train option) the day before using it? Since we will be there in August, we were hoping to hike very early morning, before the ticket office opens.

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    1. Ciao Tara!

      Thanks for reading. 🙂

      There’s no need to purchase the hiking pass in advance. Go ahead and start hiking as early as you like and when you get to a checkpoint that’s open you can purchase your hiking pass then (unlike the trains, there’s no penalty if you don’t buy it in advance).

      Happy trails!
      Amy

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    1. Ciao Kevin!

      There’s no national park info point at the La Spezia Migliarina station so you will need to buy your Cinque Terre Card either at La Spezia Centrale, one of the five villages or Levanto.

      Best,
      Amy

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      1. Hi

        Where is the National Park Info Point located at La Spezia Centrale to purchase a 1 day CT Card for €16.00, is it in the main booking hall, or on one of the platforms – we will be arriving by train from Pisa Centrale?

        Great site by the way, full of very useful tips.

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      2. Ciao Jezza!

        The National Park Info Point at La Spezia Centrale is located near the 1st platform (but not in the main booking hall). You’ll see the signage. 🙂

        I’m glad to hear you’ve found the blog helpful!

        Take care,
        Amy

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  2. Hi Amy we are a family of 3 and we are thinking of buying the card, how much is for a child? he is 8 years old. Thanks

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  3. Ciao Amy!
    I’m excited to find this blog which provides helpful information and tips from an insider. I’ve ever been to Vernazza and Riomaggiore in 2004 and last year, and will visit Cinque Terre again in early August. Since it’s sad to learn that the prices of train tickets jump, I’m wondering if the one direction ticket good for 6 hours is still available? Grazie!

    Michael

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    1. Ciao Michael!

      Thanks for your positive feedback!

      This year we have seen numerous changes by TrenItalia (many of which locals and visitors alike are less than thrilled about). TrenItalia no longer sells kilometer tickets (e.g. 10 kilometers, 20 kilometers, etc.), you now have to specify your departure and arrival stations when purchasing your ticket. They’ve also dubbed the line between La Spezia Centrale and Levanto the “Cinque Terre Express” and because they consider this a “light rail” they’ve made rules regarding the line that are different from other regional trains. At the moment, a ticket on this line is good for 75 minutes from the time it was stamped (this is due to change August 1st, after which the time will increase to 4 hours after the ticket has been stamped). *However,* keep in mind that you will have to buy a €4 ticket each time you get on/off the train (as multiple stops with one ticket, even if within the time limit, are not permitted). It stinks, I know. The only way around this is to buy the Cinque Terre Card (1 day is €16) so you can have unlimited trips for that day or if you’re staying on for more days in our area you might want to consider purchasing the monthly train pass (the price for unlimited trains between Riomaggiore & Monterosso is €32). As each ticket is €4, do the math to see which option is worthwhile for you.

      I hope this info helps!

      Amy

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  4. Dear Amy,

    I cannot say how happy I am having found your blog. There’re many helpful info for those who want to visit these lovely villages.

    We, a couple from Thailand, plan to go to Italy for the 1st time in early Dec and CT will be one of places my wife and I’d love to visit. However, after doing some research online, I found that many people wouldn’t recommend to go there during this time as it would be very quiet. I don’t mind that actually as I always be an off-season traveller wherever I go 🙂 So my questions are:

    1) How’s the weather like in early Dec? Do you think hiking in the area is still possible? How’s the trail condition during that time?

    2) Is the CT card coverage included Porto Venere? I heard a good thing about this town and plan to go there if I have spared time from 5 villages.

    Thank you very much !

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    1. Ciao Suraglin!

      Ahhhhh Thailand! It’s on my bucket list of places I’d love to see. 🙂

      I personally love the off-season here. Sure, you won’t have as much selection in restaurants and shops, etc. but I think the trade off for the tranquillity in the villages and on the trails is well worth it!

      The weather here usually cools off in November so in December you’ll want to have warm clothing and jackets. If it’s not raining you can still hike! However, if the forecast shows constant rain for the Cinque Terre for the dates you want to be here you’ll want a Plan B as most everything to do here is outdoors.

      Portovenere is not included with the Cinque Terre Card. Keep in mind there is no railway station there. The ferries don’t run in the off-season so the only way to reach Portovenere will be by train to La Spezia Centrale and then by bus to Portovenere, by car or taxi, or by foot (it’s a 5 hour hike from Riomaggiore). Portovenere is a beautiful place and definitely merits a visit!

      I hope this info helps!

      Amy

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      1. Thank you so much Amy – that helps a lot 🙂 If you happen to have chance to come to Thailand, please let me know. I could recommend some good places to travel around.

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  5. Hi Amy,
    This is all super helpful! Thank you!

    Question: Are the 2 day tickets valid for 48 hours or only two days of the week? We leave on Thursday less than 48 hours after we arrive on a Tuesday, so I’m wondering if we bought it on Tuesday afternoon, is it still valid for our early morning regional train out of Corniglia on Thursday?

    In our 1.5 days there, arriving around 11am on Tuesday and staying in Corniglia, how would you recommend we spend the time? We enjoy hiking and were planning to do as many of the trails as are open. Should we plan to do that on Wednesday? If so, what would you recommend for Tuesday afternoon? Thanks for any help or advice you can offer!

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    1. Ciao Erin!

      The two day pass is good for two consecutive calendar days and will expire at midnight of the second day. If you were to validate your ticket Tuesday afternoon it would expire Wednesday at midnight.

      If I were you & I’d hike to Manarola via Volastra on your first afternoon. If you are feeling ambitious, you could actually continue hiking to Riomaggiore on trail #531 (the Beccara trail). From either Riomaggiore or Manarola you can train back to Corniglia for €4 per person (as those trails are free, there’s no need to buy the Cinque Terre Card for that day). The following morning you can hike from Corniglia to Vernazza and on to Monterosso. For those hikes you’ll need the hiking pass (€7.50 per person). Depending on how many trains you plan to catch that day will help you to decide whether it makes sense for you to buy the Cinque Terre Card (remember that each time you get on/off it will cost you €4).

      I also recommend squeezing in a ferry ride if time permits (maybe on the second day you could go from Monterosso to Riomaggiore if you did not see Riomaggiore the day before?).

      Enjoy!
      Amy

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  6. Hi.
    What is the best 5 terre village to stay? With the best acess? The 5 terre card to travel includes train and bus? How much cust per day?
    Than you!

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    1. Ciao Raquel,

      There are five villages: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza & Monterosso. If you are looking for best access I wouldn’t stay in Corniglia as it’s the most remote. Access from any of the other four would be the same. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the beach, Monterosso is probably your best bet. I actually have a post here on the blog which is a quiz on which is the best village to match your needs. Have a look!
      Also, you’ll find all the pricing details and what the Cinque Terre Card encompasses here on this post.

      Best,
      Amy

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      1. Hi Amy

        I contacted you on 8th July and we did our visit to the Cinque Terre on the 22nd September and enjoyed a cloudless blue sky and 25c+ temperatures, it was a great day.

        We purchased the day ticket at La Spezia Centrale and although heading for Platform 1 it was not immediately obvious where the ticket office was located, numerous signs in nearby shops telling people in English that to buy the Cinque Terre ticket you needed to move past another two shops helped us to find it. Bearing in mind the number of persons looking for this office, you would think there would be better signs throughout the station and importantly on other platforms and in the underground tunnel. It was a relatively small office with 2 hard working ladies processing the ticket requests from many nationalities, it must be VERY busy in July/August with quite long wait times.

        We made 6 trips on the trains, used the bus service at Corniglia (€2.50 each way for non card holders) and used the Wi-fi so it was well worth it, but just the convenience of not having to keep buying single tickets at the stations was a major plus as the machines are often very busy and seem to take ages to deliver a very large sized Trenitalia train ticket – why are they so large, like an airline boarding pass?

        We hope to go back again one day, this time taking the boat along the coast, we just need another fine day and a calm sea.

        Best regards

        Jezza

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ciao Jezza!

        I have to admit that I smiled as I read your message. Poor signage is a HUGE pet peeve of mine and I swear Italy can be the worst about it! Seriously, how hard is it to make clear signs and place them in strategic points? *sigh*

        I do agree, buying the Cinque Terre Card offers a great convenience factor. Earlier this year TrenItalia did an overhaul of their ticketing system and to say it has been a disaster since is an understatement! I, too, have been a victim to waiting for what felt like FOREVER to have a ticket print (and, like you, I feel quite sorry for the people working hard at the park offices to churn out people/tickets as it’s not their fault but rather TrenItalia’s).

        Good thing Italy is so beautiful and charming right? Otherwise… 😉

        Take care and hope to see you back in Riomaggiore someday!

        Amy

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  7. Hallo Amy,
    Great website by the way.
    Just wondering if the trails is open on the 31st December and New Year’s day?
    How about the ticket office to buy the CT Card and hiking pass? Are they open during that time?
    Thank you

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    1. Ciao Tetty!

      The trails are always open assuming that weather conditions are good. The only trail that you will need a pass for is the coastal trail (at the moment… and for the foreseeable future… only the Monterosso to Vernazza and Vernazza to Corniglia portions are open). There are TONS of other hikes as well (including alternate trails for the closed portions of the coastal trail), all free of charge. As long as it isn’t raining or wet then you’re good to hike! The TI offices are open all year (although they have limited hours in the off-season). I hope this info helps! 🙂

      Thanks for reading!
      Amy

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      1. Thank you Amy 😘
        At the moment, I’m doing a planning for our itenary in Italy in December. ( The only time we can go on holiday, suck, I know) No matter how I do it, Cinque de terre will fall either on New year’s or on Epiphany day. Let’s hope the weather will be bright and shine. If I have to choose between those, which one is the better one? My worry is to find a place to eat. Especially on Epiphany day.
        Thank you
        Tetty

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      2. Ciao Tetty!

        If I had to choose between the two, I’d choose New Year’s as restaurants will be open. Children celebrate the Epiphany by having their stockings filled by the Befana. Other than this, the holiday isn’t really observed (so most restaurants will be closed).

        Fingers crossed for sunshine for you!

        Amy

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  8. Hi Sir/ Madam,

    Please advise if you got a 4 days pass including trains from Le Spezia to 5 villages and hiking along with 5 villages. How much do it cost?

    Could I buy it in Le Spezia Centrale train station on the same day or do I need to buy this how many days in advace?

    Thanks,
    Andy

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    1. Ciao Andy,

      The National Park sells 1, 2 & 3-day Cinque Terre Cards (the rates are €16, €29 and €41, respectively). There are currently no 4-day Cinque Terre Cards available (but you could always purchase a 3-day card plus a 1-day card to cover your four days here).

      While there are plans to make these cards available for purchase online at some point this year, that’s still not yet an option. You can purchase your Cinque Terre Cards at any National Park TI office in La Spezia, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso or Levanto.

      I hope this information helps!

      Amy

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  9. Hi Amy, really thank you for the Cinque Terre Card information!

    May I just also ask if you happen to know of any luggage storage places in Cinque Terre?

    Many thanks,
    Gin

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    1. Ciao Gin!

      My pleasure. 🙂

      You’ll find a place to check luggage near the Riomaggiore train station at a place called Rio Major (they have signs out on the piazza, it’s at the very start of via Signorini).

      Hope that helps!
      Amy

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  10. Hi,

    If I purchase the All-Inclusive Cinque Terre Card one day ahead of time, can I validate it the next day on a local ATC bus (rather than at the train station, since I’d like to get to the station in the morning via bus).

    Thank you!

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    1. Ciao AZ!

      I don’t foresee any problems with that! However, just to be safe I’d validate the card again before boarding your first train (validate the opposite end of the card so that the two different stamps don’t cover one another). If the train controller questions why you’ve stamped twice just explain that one was for the ATC bus and one for the trains. So long as both stamps indicate the same day there should be no problem. 🙂

      Take care,
      Amy

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