Hear, hear: You can finally purchase your Cinque Terre passes online 

32 thoughts on “Hear, hear: You can finally purchase your Cinque Terre passes online ”

  1. Amy… thank you so much for keeping us in the loop—you’re amazing.

    I’d love to meet you—when in Levanto next give me a call and I’ll pick you up at the station and we can have a coffee, aperitivo or I’ll make you lunch at VV.

    Best, Paula >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ciao Paula!

      Aren’t you sweet! ❤️ Thank you so much for 1) appreciating the blog (it means so much especially as it’s coming from another expat local), and 2) for the invite! So kind of you! I would love to meet you in person (hopefully when the weather cools off and the kids are back to school so I have some “me” time).

      x
      Amy

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  2. Dear Amy,

    This is a fantastic public service. Thank you!

    If I buy the Cinque Terre train combo card online, do I then have to print it out, or may I display it on my phone, please? I have a printer available now, but I won’t have one when I’ll know the date of validity. I’m thinking of driving to La Spezia and parking for free at the La Spezia Migliarina Station, where I believe the card can’t be purchased in person.

    Thanks.
    Yours,
    Chuck Strain
    DUIguy1@yahoo.com

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    1. Ciao Chuck!

      It’s my pleasure! I’m so glad you’ve found the blog helpful.

      As this is a brand new service, I don’t have the answer to your question yet (I could purchase a ticket to find out but then I’d end up with a card that I don’t need). I will try contacting the National Park to find out for you. Stay tuned!

      Amy

      P.S. Yes, you are correct… there’s no possibility to purchase a pass at the Migliarina station.

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      1. Dear Amy,

        Thanks! My wife and I will be driving in for a whirlwind, one-day excursion from a bit north of Florence, about 1.5 hours away. We plan to arrive very early (around 07:00) on September 4 or 5, when only one relatively small cruise ship (of about 1250 passengers) is moored at a nearby port (in this case, at La Spezia and Livorno, respectively). We may have friends with us in another car or two.

        With an early start, we plan to hike from Monterosso to Vernazza, and then Corniglia. We’ll probably then take trains on to Manarola and Riomaggiore for a quick look-see, before heading home (perhaps through Lucca and/or Pisa).

        If we can effectively buy the C.T. card online the day before without a printer, we’ll plan to park for free at La Spezia Migliarina and first use the cards to ride the train from there. (The card is good from there, right?)

        If not, I can think of several alternatives: 1) Stop by La Spezia Centrale Station, send a passenger inside to buy cards for all, and then drive to Migliarina to park; 2) Drop all passengers at Centrale, park at Migliarina, and walk back to Centrale where passengers are waiting; 3) Park at Migliarina and pay 1.9 Euros each to ride to Centrale, where all get off to buy cards; 4) Pay for parking at La Spezia Centrale; or 5) Pay for parking at Monterosso.

        Any advice, please?

        Chuck Strain
        DUIguy1@yahoo.com

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      2. Ciao again!

        I believe the National Park Info Points open at 8am but I’m double checking that for you at the moment. If that’s the case, you’d have to hang around waiting for them to open so that you can purchase your Cinque Terre Cards before boarding the train (which obviously isn’t ideal).

        Seeing your proposed itinerary, for the sake of simplicity and convenience I would recommend that you drive to Monterosso (exit the autostrada at CARRODANO/LEVANTO) and park at the large Fegina parking lot in Monterosso (at 7am it shouldn’t be a problem finding a space). Go ahead and start hiking (they won’t be checking tickets that early) and by the time you get to Vernazza you can pop by the Info Point at the train station to buy your Cinque Terre Cards. Problem solved! 🙂

        FYI: Parking rates at Fegina are 50 cents per hour from 10pm to 8am and €2.50 per hour from 8am to 10pm.

        I hope this info helps!
        Amy

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      3. Dear Amy,

        My last reply crossed with your astute updates. Yes, with the Info Points not open until 08:00, if we don’t have online-purchased Tren cards that can be digitally validated, we’ll drive straight to Monterosso. You deserve big hugs, and much more. Grazie mille!

        Chuck Strain
        DUIguy1@yahoo.com

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      4. Happy to be of help! 🙂

        I tried calling the national park admin office yesterday multiple times but there was never any answer. I suspect that they kept their offices closed for a long weekend (as today is Ferragosto, a national holiday). (*sigh*) Someone should definitely answer tomorrow.

        I’ll keep you posted!
        Amy

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      5. Ciao Chuck!

        I *finally* was able to get in touch with the person from the national park responsible for the online sales of the Cinque Terre Card (gotta love August… it’s the month for Italians to go on holiday!). He assured me that it isn’t necessary to print (though you can) the PDF file that is sent after purchasing the card. There’s a QR code that you’ll need to present to the controller, so you can simply take a screenshot and keep it on your phone. 🙂

        You’ll notice I’ve amended my blog post to reflect the new info.

        Take care and buona vacanza!

        Amy 🙂

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      6. Dear Amy,

        Thank you. I’d also inquired by email to info@parconazionale5terre.it (with no response) about the necessity of printing out evidence of the online C.T. card purchase. Perhaps they’ll someday put that information on their website, along with business hours of their Info Points.

        The ability to display a QR code is very convenient for travelers on the road, often without access to a printer. In this case, it will allow my party to avoid crowds and enhance the ability to find a parking spot by arriving before Info Points open. It will also permit me to park more inexpensively in La Spezia (than in Monterosso), and to save an extra 45-minute drive each way to and from Monterosso.

        You’re our C.T. hero!

        Chuck Strain
        DUIguy1@yahoo.com

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Amy,

    I’m now guessing that an online-purchased Treno card–if not also an online-purchased Trekking card–must be printed out. That’s because the Parco Nationale states: “Cards must be validated before getting on the train using validation machines at the station.” Without a physical card or paper in hand, it would require a rather sophisticated real-time database with multiple networked scanners to keep track of whether and when digital screen pass displays are validated. Does that make sense, please?

    Now, whether purchased online and printed or purchased in person at La Spezia Centrale, would the Treno card be valid to get us to and from Migliarina station, please?

    Thank you, kindly!

    Chuck Strain
    DUIguy1@yahoo.com

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    1. Ciao Chuck,

      I’m guessing you are correct but I won’t know for certain until I call the park admin offices tomorrow morning (as those I talked to that work at the Info Points didn’t know what to tell me). TrenItalia has a relatively sophisticated system where it’s possible to simply show a QR code on your phone that the controller can scan, so it *is* possible that the park has also stepped up to the plate (since the Treno Card is paired with TrenItalia). With all that said, I’m still thinking that it’s more likely that something will need to be printed.

      The multi-service Treno Card covers train travel on 2nd class regional (Cinque Terre Express) trains between La Spezia Centrale and Levanto. If you catch the train from La Spezia Migliarina you’ll have to pay for a ticket for that leg. 🙂

      Best,
      Amy

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      1. Dear Amy,

        You’re the best. The ability to digitally validate a screen image via a QR code would save us time–and maybe an extra stop at La Spezia Centrale–just buy a card there.

        I now realize that the advantage of free parking at La Spezia Migliarina must be balanced against the extra € 1.90 per person train fare to access that station, along with the extra time involved, both of which must be repeated at end of our excursion.

        I’m now thinking that we’ll bite the La Spezia Centrale pay-parking bullet of about € 12 (@ € 1,50 per hour after 08:00), if there’s space. Probably without a reservation, we hope openings will be likely before 07:00 on a Monday or Tuesday. If not, we could queue up and wait a bit. We could most simply buy the Tren card there, perhaps even while in the garage queue.

        Or I could drop passengers there while I park over at Migliarina. But that round-trip from Centrale to Migliarina and back may be impractical, taking anywhere from 20 over 60 minutes (with another time and money cost at the end of the day).

        Instead, if we were to give up on parking at La Spezia Centrale, we could just drive another 45 mintues Monterosso, and park at the Fegina beachfront lot for € 18 per day, at the Loreto garage for € 1,70 per hour, or “along the blue lines” a few minutes uphill from the Loreto garage for € 1 per hour.

        Make sense?

        Grazie!

        Yours,
        Chuck Strain
        DUIguy1@yahoo.com

        Like

  4. Thank you for all of the great information Amy – love your blog. We’ll be in Riomaggiore in Sept (Casa Lorenza) and I was really happy to see that we can now buy the Cinque Terre (Treno) Card on-line. I remember it taking a bit of time to figure out the last time we visited.

    Kind regards,
    Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Amy -yes, we have indeed stayed with Lorenza before, though it’s been a few years. And on this visit, we will take the panoramic stroll around Riomaggiore that you described. Thanks again for all of the great information – it’s been very helpful.
    Ciao!
    Marty

    Liked by 1 person

  6. After selecting the card type, make sure to change the date to the day you plan on being there and do not leave it as today. I accidentally purchased a family card for today (with two hours left before the end of the day in Italy), while I am still in the United States.

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    1. Ciao Josh,

      Absolutely! Always double check all details before proceeding with payment.

      If I were you I’d try contacting the National Park to see if they’d be willing to apply a credit towards the correct date. It never hurts to ask!

      Best,
      Amy

      Like

  7. Hi Amy – I will be in CT in October 8-14 staying in Rio and weather permitting will be hiking and making use of the trains quite a bit. It appears the CT Card only allows between 1-3 days use. I’d like to have a weeklong card if possible?? Did i miss something on the website that allows for longer access? Also, does the CT Card include hiking the path to the Monesteroli ?

    Looking forward to my first visit to CT – Thanks in advance!

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    1. Ciao Todd!

      There’s no need to get the Cinque Terre Card for the duration of your stay. There are currently only two hikes requiring a pass and those are the coastal trail sections between Monterosso and Vernazza and then between Vernazza and Corniglia. All other hikes are completely free of charge.

      If I were you I’d buy the monthly pass for the trains (even if you are only staying a week) and the trekking pass for the day (or days) you plan to hike the aforementioned trails that require payment. Check out my blog post that talks about the monthly train pass as well as my blog post on the Cinque Terre Card (which also details pricing for the trekking pass). 😊

      Hope that helps!

      Amy

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      1. Hi Amy,

        We just arrived in Riomaggiore this afternoon and were told that all 4 of the coastal paths (Sentiero Azzuro) are closed. The status from http://www.parconazionale5terre.it/sentieri-outdoor.php?id_tipologia=1#top seems to confirm that. Do you happen to have any info on when the Monterosso to Vernazza and Vernazza to Corniglia trails may re-open? We plan to hike other trails, so it’s not a problem – it was just a surprise given that I’d looked at the status a week or so ago.

        Kind regards,
        Marty

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      2. Ciao Marty!

        Thanks for your message. It’s normal procedure for the trails to be officially closed in the case of inclement weather. Usually when the weather improves the National Park will perform a walk-through on the coastal trail to ensure all is well and then they will officially reopen the trail (and start collecting payment again). Typically this all happens relatively quickly (usually the day following the storm or wet weather). However, for whatever reason this hasn’t been the case this time (as you know, we had beautiful weather all day yesterday). This morning I rang and spoke with a local that works at the Info Point and I was told the hiccup is that they are waiting on a geologist to carry out the walk-through. There was no mention of any slides or other real reason for the trails still being closed. *sigh* It boils down to a liability issue, so until the inspection takes place the park will tell you the coastal trail is closed. I know people are still hiking these trails as we speak, but it is obviously at your own risk. Hopefully the park will get their geologist here STAT and things will reopen and resume as normal ASAP.

        Happy trails!
        Amy

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      3. Thank you Amy!! And thank you for the amazing weather – yesterday’s sunset was unreal.

        BTW – we hiked the Manarola to Volastra to Corniglia path this morning – definitely a new favorite Thank you for the recommendation.

        Ciao!
        Marty

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hi Amy
        Yes, thanks that helps. I agree about the monthly train pass for my week stay in Rio, especially with many of the coastal paths schedule uncertain. I have tried to register and purchase the train pass online with no luck so I plan to purchase as soon as I arrive this coming Sunday. Do you happen to know if it cost the same purchasing online early as it does if purchasing upon arrival? Secondly, and this may be a silly question, what is the recommended method for making dinner reservations during my stay in 5T? Is a day in advance normal? Thank you! Todd

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      5. Ciao Todd!

        Please pardon the delayed reply… it has been a crazy week with dealing with a broken foot (youngest son) and a tonsillectomy (oldest son). I’m beat!

        The rate is the same online or in person for the railway tickets and monthly passes.

        As for dinner reservations, it really depends on where you want to eat (and if you are picky about what table or view you want). Keep in mind most restaurants here have a weekly day of closure (so you’ll want to make sure you aren’t wanting to reserve for their day off). Usually calling a few days in advance for reservations is fine. 😊

        Hope that helps!
        Amy

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  8. Hi, Amy!
    If we print out our Cinque Terre Express tickets on paper, can they be stamped at the train station in La Spezia? Or do we get a card at the station to replace the paper?
    Thank you,
    Colleen

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    1. Ciao Colleen!

      If you purchase your tickets online they will be for specific trains so you won’t need to validate. When you purchase at the ticket counter you have to specify the date you’ll use your ticket but you can use it at any time for the day specified (for regional or Cinque Terre Express trains) which is why you then have to validate your ticket before boarding.

      You’ll be fine with your paper printouts. 🙂

      Take care,
      Amy

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      1. Thank you for the quick reply! One more question – I went to the website to see if I could reserve a parking spot at La Spezia Centrale and one of the requirements was my SSI number. If I read it correctly, it did say that some other ID could be used by non-Italian citizens. Do I really have to give them my SSI number (don’t really want to do that) or what would you suggest as an alternative ID? Maybe my husband’s international permit number? Thank you!

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      2. Ciao Colleen!

        Most definitely do NOT give your social security number. For Italians they are asking for a “codice fiscale,” which is not a secret number. I will have a look later today and I will get back to you!

        Amy

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