Ah, Florence and Cinque Terre, two beautiful places that are probably on everyone’s couples bucket list, and rightfully so as they are both marvelous places.
Florence is the epitome of art and architecture and Cinque Terre boasts colorful Cliffside villages that seem too real to be true. If you are reading this post, then I assume that you are planning to head from Florence to Cinque Terre during your time in Italy.
We recommend taking this journey if you have 3 days in Florence or longer. It really is worth your time!
Well, don’t fear. We have done more than our fair share of travel in Italy, so you are in good hands.
We have several options for you including the Florence to Cinque Terre train, guided tours, and self-driving. Keep reading to hear the pros and cons of each so that you can make the best decision for your Florence to Cinque Terre travels.
*This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. That Texas Couple is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
Florence to Cinque Terre Train
Train travel is one of our favorite things about not only Italy, but also Europe in general. Travelling by train in Europe is generally convenient, comfortable, and economical.
It is important to note that if you are taking the Florence to Cinque Terre train, you can plan about 3-4 hours for the one way journey. More than likely you will have to change trains in Pisa if you choose this route as well, which may affect your travel time also.
In order to take the Florence to Cinque Terre train, you will need to travel from the Firenze Santa Maria Novella station to the La Spezia Centrale station.
There are a couple of direct trains, and if you get lucky then you might be able to get one. If not, then you can plan on having to change trains in Pisa as we mentioned above.
If you are changing trains, take note of the connection times and be sure that you have plenty of time in between trains.
Once you arrive in La Spezia Centrale station, your journey isn’t over just yet. From here, you will need to buy a ticket to the regional Cinque Terre train to continue your journey to the five villages.
To accomplish this, you can purchase a single ride ticket or a daily train pass with the Cinque Terre Card. We recommend getting the Cinque Terre Card so that you can “hop-on and hop-off” of the train at your convenience.
The nearest village is Riomaggiore and is about a 8-10 min train ride from La Spezia.
You can choose to start your journey in Riomaggiore and work your way up through the villages, or start at Monterosso, which is the village furthest away from La Spezia and work your way back. The choice is entirely up to you.
Honestly, we feel that you should spend at least a night or two in the Cinque Terre. Staying in Cinque Terre will allow you to experience the villages at a slower pace.
We were amazed by how different the villages become in the evening when the majority of the tourists have left. Not to mention the fact that making the trip from Florence to Cinque Terre in one day feels very rushed.
Day Trip from Florence to Cinque Terre With a Tour
If you do make the choice to do the Florence to Cinque Terre journey as a day trip, then we highly recommend that you book it with a tour group. With this option, you can leave the transportation and planning to someone else as you just sit back and relax.
Taking a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre with a tour group not only takes care of your transportation options, but the majority of the tours also give you an expert guide that ensures that you have the inside scoop to fully enjoy your time in the villages.
While a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre is jam packed, we completely understand that this might be the only way that some people can fit Cinque Terre into their Italy Itinerary.
There are several tour options available, so be sure to read the description and reviews to find the best one that suits your needs. Here are some of our recommendations.
Florence to Cinque Terre by Car
Another option for a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre is to rent a car for the day. Renting a car will allow you to make the Florence to Cinque Terre trek at your own pace. Keep in mind that if you are planning to spend a night (or more) in Cinque Terre, then the train is definitely a better option than renting a car.
The drive from Florence to Cinque Terre will take you a minimum of 2.5 hours, depending on traffic and the amount of stops that you choose. So keep this in mind as you are planning your day.
Note that the roads are narrow and there in minimal parking in the villages of the Cinque Terre. Due to this, I would recommend driving into La Spezia and parking at the train station and then hopping on the train to go into the Cinque Terre.
What to do In Cinque Terre
Once you arrive in the Cinque Terre region, we feel that you will be amazed by the beauty and charm of this area. Take your time exploring the five villages as each is unique.
Most people visiting this are want to hike between the villages to see the beautiful scenery. If you are choosing to hike between the villages, then be sure the check the Cinque Terre National Park’s website as trails sometimes close.
If you are doing just a day trip from Florence to Cinque Terre, then you might want to just hike a small portion and see the rest of the villages by train to save time.
Whatever you decide, I am sure that you will fall in love with this area. We spent several days in the Cinque Terre when we visited. This allowed us to explore the villages at our own pace, enjoying each as we went along.
I remember that I was mesmerized by the view when we stepped off the train in Riomaggiore. We loved hiking through the vineyards in Manarola to get to the most incredible viewpoint I have ever seen.
We ate apertivos and drank Spritz in Corniglia, and explored the small beaches and church in Vernazza. Then we spent a day on the beach in the fabulous village of Monterosso.
You can head to our Instagram page to view this and many more of our photos from our fabulous trip to Cinque Terre.
Final Thoughts on Getting From Florence to Cinque Terre
As we always say, travel is such a personal choice. For us, taking a train into Cinque Terre was the best option as we wanted to spend several days slowly exploring this area.
If you truly only have one day to go from Florence to Cinque Terre, then personally, I would opt for a guided tour just so I didn’t have the hassle of a rental car.
Again, this is a personal choice. If you prefer the freedom associated with driving yourself, then by all mean, a rental car is a great way to enjoy Cinque Terre even if it is only for a day.
No matter what option you choose, I don’t think you will regret devoting some of your time in Italy to this wonderful region.
While You Are Here, Check Out These Other Italy Posts:
Like this post? Please Pin It or share to your favorite social media!
About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.