UPDATED MAY 2016
I’m saddened to report that with the introduction of the new Cinque Terre Express light rail (and the increased ticket prices that came with it), TrenItalia has done away with the weekly pass for the Cinque Terre trains*. At this point, I’m recommending that visitors purchase the Cinque Terre Card if they plan to take numerous trains in one day. For more information on the Cinque Terre Card and all that it entails, click here. Rest assured that I will update on the blog if a loophole is found or if something more cost-effective comes out of the woodwork.
*While not available to visitors, the weekly pass is still available for residents of the Cinque Terre, Levanto and La Spezia (but proof of residency is required).
12 thoughts on “Insider Tip: The pass they won’t tell you about…”
Hi- The In Cinque Terre FB page today said that the weekly pass is residents-only at the station, but still available to all online. Any idea if true?
It’s true, anyone can purchase the ticket online (however it clearly states the ticket is only for residents). I do NOT recommend buying the weekly pass online because when a controller asks for your ticket he will also ask for proof of residency (which you won’t have and you’ll be fined).
Hope that helps!
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First of all thanks for all the super clear and practical information. My boyfriend and I are thinking of making a trip to Cinque Terre for a few days in the next couple weeks (I live in Milano). We thought of renting a Vespa in La Spezia and driving through the towns. We were wondering about the plausibility of traveling on the inter-town roads via scooter, also if we will be able to find scooter parking? He has international drivers license, as well as a motorcycle at home so these are not concerns for us right now. Thanks!
While it *is* possible keep in mind you’d only be able to drive as far as Vernazza (as the road is interrupted between Vernazza & Monterosso). On a nice day the drive will be beautiful! Just be super attentive as many tourists driving in this area are a bit clueless (assuming it’s a one-way road when it is, in fact, two-way or just so taken with the views that they don’t keep their eyes on the road as they should). Obviously on a scooter you’re in a more vulnerable position than a car. On a positive note, finding parking would be much easier than with a car. 🙂
Hope that helps!
What a fabulous website – extremely resourceful and well laid out. The best I’ve found on the cinque terre – top marks.
My family are staying in a villa just outside of Lucca and I’m planning a day to visit the cinque terre, it seems to make sense to drive to La Spezia and use the underground car park and then get the cinque terre card.
What I would like to know is there an option to include ferries on the card. I am thinking of visiting three of the villages – would you recommend three and how to travel between them. We will be 8 adults and one child – are there any group tickets?
Thanks in advance.
Thanks for your positive feedback regarding the blog! It made my day. 🙂
As for the Cinque Terre Card, unfortunately there’s currently no possibility to include the ferries with the card. There is actually a day pass for the ferries (for an unlimited number of trips for the day), sold by the company that runs the ferries (they aren’t affiliated with the national park).
While you could most definitely park beneath the La Spezia Centrale train station and train/boat between the villages, I think this could be another great option for you:
Drive directly to Portovenere and park there (there’s lots of street side parking, though you may have to walk a bit). Make sure to have lots of change on hand as you’ll have to feed a meter to get a parking ticket for the day. You can have a wander around Portovenere (beautiful!) and then buy the day pass for the ferries and go visit the Cinque Terre! This way, you can avoid the trains all together and won’t need to buy the €16 Cinque Terre Card.
N.B.: This option would work *only* if sea & weather conditions are good.
If you are traveling by ferry and have time to visit only three villages, I would recommend choosing between Riomaggiore & Manarola (as they are very similar) and then stop in Vernazza & Monterosso.
I hope this helps!
Enjoy your time in Cinque Terre! And Lucca, which I love!
You are a wealth of info!!! Thank you for that. I will be traveling alone. Want to spend a few days walking between the villages, in the first half of August. Are those guided walks that I see posted for June available every day in August? How much do they cost? Would I need to reserve? Do they fill up? It sounds like a great option for me, since I don’t want to sign up for a 7 day tour. I look forward to hearing from you.
I am not on social media (am a dinosaur) and really appreciate any help you can give me.
Joyanne Burnaby BC Canada
Ciao again Joyanne!
Each day of the month during peak-season the national park has these guided walking tours & excursions. The former will be easier and more like tours of the villages themselves and the latter will be bona fide hiking. The price is €2.50 per person, per day (you can’t find a better rate, it’s a steal!) or if you have the Cinque Terre Card it’s free. On certain days they also offer the possibility to taste local wines (at an additional cost, price depends on which local cantina).
I definitely recommend booking in advance as there’s a cap on the number of participants per day (and an advance reservation is required). Email: email@example.com
I hope that helps!
Thanks for such a helpful response and apologies for not thanking you sooner. Where does the time go? Anyway it’s now only a couple of days before we fly out to Italy. I’ve just done some research about parking in Portovenere and their website recommends parking in La Spezia. Before we head directly to Portovenere are you able to advise that street parking is more plentiful than their website suggests. It says it’s very difficult in the peak season. I will be driving an opel vicar (9-seater) and was planning to drop my family off in the centre whilst I the go and park the vehicle and then walk back. I don’t mind walking for 10-15 minutes.
Your advice would be much appreciated.
There’s lots of street side parking in Portovenere (you’ll see there’s a big loop). I’ve always found parking there (although, like you mentioned, you might have to hoof it a bit). Also, the earlier in the day you go the better your chances. I imagine they discourage everyone from driving to Portovenere as a preventive measure to avoid throngs of cars on a narrow road. Worst case scenario, you could park a bit further out (in one of the neighboring towns) and take the bus in.
Have a great time!
Thanks Amy, I’m sure we will have a fabulous time.
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