Cinque Terre Insider

American expat insight into Italy's fabulous "Five Lands"

Today is November 2nd and the off-season in the Cinque Terre has officially arrived.  Locals are breathing a collective sigh of relief after working nonstop for the past 7+ months.

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The Cinque Terre Express (with trains every half hour and a flat-rate of €4 per ticket) is only in effect during the peak-season.  Starting in November we go back to the “normal” schedule (read: with less frequent trains) and pre-Express rates for tickets (read: a significant savings for those traveling by train).  During the off-season it’s also possible to buy the weekly pass (abbonamento settimanale) for the Cinque Terre trains, even for non-residents. These passes include unlimited train travel on regional trains from Monday to Sunday.

Weekly rail pass rates

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La Spezia Centrale to Monterosso: €15

La Spezia Centrale to Levanto: €18.50

Riomaggiore to Monterosso: €11.10

Riomaggiore to Levanto: €13.10

While it *is* possible to purchase these tickets in advance online on the official TrenItalia website, it’s a pain and anything but a smooth process (oftentimes there are glitches that won’t allow you to continue).  My advice is to purchase your weekly pass once you’re here in Italy (you can purchase passes at any TrenItalia counter, even before reaching the Cinque Terre).

A few important things to note about the weekly passes:

  • You will need to write your first and last name on your pass and have valid ID with you when the controller asks for it.
  • The weekly passes are valid from Monday to Sunday, not seven days from the date of purchase.  No matter what day of the week you purchase your pass, it will still expire at 11:59pm on Sunday.  If you are staying in the Cinque Terre for dates that bridge Sunday (for example, from Friday to Tuesday) do the math to see if it’s worthwhile to purchase the weekly pass.

During the off-season, trains aren’t nearly as frequent as when the Cinque Terre Express schedule is in effect.  Sometimes that means there can be a two hour gap between trains!  For this reason, I recommend picking up a pocket-size train schedule from one of the Tourist Information offices (at the train stations in the Cinque Terre, Levanto or La Spezia Centrale) so that you can plan your day around the trains and not waste time sitting at the station.

I hope this information is helpful!

Happy travels,
Amy

 

 

 

 

10 thoughts on “Off-season trains and weekly passes in the Cinque Terre

  1. J says:

    Amy, We’ll be travelling to the 5T in mid April. Is this still considered the off-season for train tickets? thanks, Joannie

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    1. Ciao Joannie!

      Thanks for reading! Unfortunately, no. April is peak-season so the Cinque Terre Express trains will be back in effect (which means the weekly pass will no longer be an option).

      Best,
      Amy

      Like

  2. Ken says:

    Ciao Amy!
    I will be in Cinque Terre 16/3/18(Fri) & 17/3/18(Sat). I am a tourist, will I be able to buy the weekly pass (abbonamento settimanale) for La Spezia Centrale to Monterosso: €15.
    I am unable to see this option thru the trenitalia website and could not find this information anywhere else except your website.
    Is the pass sold at La Spezia Centrale station? Do I buy it from the tourist office or is that ticket counter to purchase the weekly pass.

    I would also like to check during this period do I need to purchase the hiking pass, as I heard it is unmanned during “off season”

    Thanks in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ciao Ken!

      Thanks for reading! Sorry for the delayed reply… we are still in the holiday period here in Italy (which will end tomorrow with the Epiphany).

      Unfortunately for you (or perhaps fortunately as it will means the trains will be much more frequent?) the Cinque Terre Express resumes on Saturday, March 17th.

      If I were you, I’d buy point-to-point train tickets for Friday, March 16th (these will be lesser expensive tickets) and then I’d buy the Cinque Terre Card for Saturday. You can purchase the CTC in any Cinque Terre village at the TI office or at the stations in La Spezia or Levanto. You can also purchase the CTC in advance online if you prefer (from the CT National Park website, I have a post on the subject here on the blog).

      I hope this is helpful!

      Enjoy your time here,
      Amy

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      1. Ken says:

        Ciao Amy!

        Hope you are enjoying your holidays thus far.

        Great piece of updated information you have shared.

        Unfortunately I will be in Cinque Terre for 2 days only , therefore would like to hike the blue trail on both days in case there is bad weather on one of the days.

        Understand for the Cinque Terre Hiking & Treno pass there is peak season & off season pricing. May I know what is the updated pricing for the pass for 1 day/ 2days in March 2018, if I purchase the 2 days pass on Fri 16/3/18 will I be charged the off peak or peak season pricing?

        Kind of tricky cause my dates overlap.

        Thank you.

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      2. Ciao Ken!

        The TI office will not sell you an off-season rate 2-day pass on Friday as it would not be valid for the following day when peak-season rates kick in.

        If I were you I’d buy point-to-point train tickets on Friday as well as a hiking pass (if you do end up being able to hike that day). On Saturday I recommend buying the all-inclusive Cinque Terre Card for €16 (which will include the trains, hiking and ATC buses in the villages, etc.).

        Best,
        Amy

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  3. Yuriy Malykhin says:

    Hi,Amy! I’m going to buy the weekly pass (abbonamento settimanale) for a week in September for travel between Imperia and La Spezia for €43.50. My question is: can I hop on /off anytime during ticket validity on ANY station between those two destinations( including Cinque Terre villages) ?? OR it’s a strictly weekly pass just from travel to/ from Imperia and La Spezia?
    Thanx, Yuriy.

    Like

    1. Ciao Yuriy!

      You can hop on or off anywhere along the line between Imperia and La Spezia. :). Just be sure to respect the train type (for example, if you bought the regional pass you can’t catch the InterCity trains).

      Best,
      Amy

      Like

  4. Mariano says:

    Hi Amy,
    found your blog trying to find information for Cinque Terre and I loved it, so much information!
    I have a quick question, maybe you can help me understand what’s our best option for our visit: we are a family of 5 from Argentina, we’ll be at Cinque Terre only one full day (two nights) in mid February and we already have an appartment rented in La Spezia.
    We want to visit the 5 towns using the train from and back to La Spezia, but I read that the Cinque Terre Express is not available during the winter season, so what is our best option for the train tickets? Do I need to buy tickets for each part of the trip?
    I love to plan everything ahead so I would like to buy them in advance online to avoid any lines or trouble when we are there.
    Our party includes my mother in law that is 75 years old so I don’t expect us to do any hiking, just walk around the towns, eat something, take a few pictures and move to the next one 🙂

    Thanks!

    Mariano

    Like

    1. Ciao Mariano!

      For the sake of simplicity, I would recommend that you purchase the Cinque Terre Card for the one day you will be visiting our area. That will allow you to hop on & off the trains without having to fuss with tickets for each leg. The Cinque Terre Card is validated just once before boarding your first train and you’re good to go for the rest of the day. 👍

      Keep in mind that when the Cinque Terre Express is not running the trains aren’t as frequent so you’ll want to know in advance the train times so you don’t waste precious time at the station waiting on trains. 😊

      Enjoy!

      Amy

      Liked by 1 person

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