What’s the Cinque Terre Express?


From April 1st to November 1st, the trains that connect the Cinque Terre villages are dubbed the “Cinque Terre Express.”  TrenItalia would like for you to think of the Cinque Terre Express as a light rail system for the five villages but the truth of the matter is that they are the same tracks and trains as always, just with a slightly increased frequency and with tickets at a much higher rate (*sigh*).

Local residents have actually filed a class action lawsuit with TrenItalia over the matter but it’s still currently buried in Italy’s judicial system (and I don’t want to bore you with details, if and when there’s news to report I’ll post about it here on the blog).

What you need to know about the Cinque Terre Express

  • The Cinque Terre Express trains connect between La Spezia Centrale, Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso and Levanto.  If you are arriving by train from elsewhere in Italy, it is highly likely that you will have to change trains in La Spezia or Levanto. 
  • The Cinque Terre Express trains have flat-rate prices: €4 per adult, €2 per child age 4-11, free for kids age 0-3.  Whether you travel a very short distance (like between Riomaggiore and Manarola which takes just two minutes) or a longer distance (like between La Spezia Centrale and Levanto, which are on opposite ends of the line) the same ticket price applies.
  • Each time you get off and back on the train you’ll need a new ticket. IMPORTANT: In order to avoid a hefty fine, don’t forget to validate your ticket before boarding the train!
  • If you plan to take the train between the villages at least four times in one day, you’ll want to buy the Cinque Terre Card. This all-inclusive card costs €16 and includes unlimited train travel on the Cinque Terre Express, among other perks (see my previous post for details here).  Aside from the potential to save you money, the Cinque Terre Card will also save you time & stress (as you won’t need to queue up to buy and validate tickets each time).
  • The Cinque Terre Express is popular not only with visitors, but also with pickpockets.  Be on guard and read my previous post on the subject here

Want to know how to consult the schedule for the Cinque Terre Express trains? Easy! As these are TrenItalia trains you can consult the schedule online at www.trenitalia.com

Safe travels,



21 thoughts on “What’s the Cinque Terre Express?

  1. Pingback: What’s the deal with the Cinque Terre Card? – Cinque Terre Insider

  2. Hi Amy!
    Thanks for a fantastic blog!
    My husband and will arrived to CT 25 of may and plan to stay to 29.
    We have not booked hotel or B&B yet. Can you recomennd something? Or is it too late to find something during the peakseason?
    Thank’s / Linnea


    • Ciao Linnea!

      I’m happy to hear that you’re enjoying the blog!

      I know those dates have been highly requested. Have you checked Booking.com? You might be able to find a place available due to a cancellation.



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  8. Thank you so much for all the information! We are planning to go to Italy for our honeymoon for 2 weeks in September and plan on doing a day trip from Florence. We want to leave really early. Since it is a day-trip and we don’t know when we will come back, we want to make the most of it. So the plan is to use the Cinque Terre card and do a combination of hiking and train. If we are sticking to the No2 trail, which sections should we skip and instead take the train? We are also thinking of taking the ferry in addition to the above.

    A few questions:

    If we are buying the Cinque Terre Card, should we book a ticket from Florence to Riomaggiore, or from Florence to La Spieza, and then buy the Cinque Terre Card to go to the towns?

    Can we buy the Cinque Terre Card from La Spieza?

    What time do the offices open for selling the tickets?


    • Ciao!

      Congrats on your upcoming wedding!

      To answer your questions:
      1) Book a ticket from Florence to La Spezia Centrale. The Cinque Terre Card covers train travel on the regional trains between La Spezia Centrale (one stop to the south of Riomaggiore) to Levanto (one stop north of Monterosso).

      2) Yes, you can purchase the Cinque Terre Card at La Spezia Centrale from the park info point which opens at 8am.

      If you plan to get an earlier start than that and don’t want to wait until 8am to buy your Cinque Terre Card you can purchase it in advance online (check out my blog post on the subject).

      Hope that helps!



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  10. Hello! Your blog came just in time for our upcoming trip! Quick question on the Cinque Terre Rail MS 1 day ticket. When you purchase it online, how do you use it upon arrival? Is there a physical ticket exchanged for the printed version? Thank you in advance.


  11. Hi, Amy ! We are coming next month from Florence for a driving by car for a day trip . We are planning to Park in garage in La Spezia , and take express train. How long it takes to go to
    riomaggiore and then vernazza and back. Can we buy daily ticket and use it to go there and come back. what are the latest time for trains to come back to La Spezia . Thank you so much for your help and information


    • Ciao Jasmin!

      Buy the €16 Cinque Terre Card (there are posts about it on the blog). Then you can hop on, hop off the Cinque Terre Express train with no problem. The card is valid until midnight and there are trains until then (just less frequent than during prime-time). There are lots of posts on the blog about the trains and other practical info, so be sure to read them!



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