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Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

San Miguel de...
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Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

We're in our 70s and are taking a once in a lifetime trip iN September, a month in Italy.

We're not fit enough to hike through CT--would we see a lot from the train just taking a direct train all the way through, not stopping?

The photos are so beautiful. Can we see anything worthwhile from the train, or is it absolutely necessary to get out at the towns and face those horrible (to us) climbs.

We are starting in Rome and will be going to Sorrento and the Amalfi coast, then on to Florence where we will rent a car for Tuscany.

Where would be the best place to catch a train along that route for the trip over to CT? Any ideas on how often the trains run from the suggested departure spot and how much they are and how long they will take to get to the north end of CT?

Since we don't plan to stop, is there any kind of food or soft drinks served on the train or should we bring some food and drinks in our carryon? We will have one big suitcase each--will this be a problem on the train?

I know these are probably simplistic questions and I've been trying to figure things out on the internet and from train schedules, but perhaps one of you could put it all into perspective for me.

Is it ridiculous to plan to see CT only through a train ride straight through? Thank you so much.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

The local trains, stopping at all stations, take about 15 minutes to get from one end of the Cinque Terre to the other. Fast trains take about 5 minutes. Most of the line is in tunnel, so you get only glimpses of the scenery.

In four of the five villages, you can get out of the train and walk down a quite gentle slope to the sea front and enjoy the scenery. You do not have to hike along the trails if you do not feel up to it. The exception is Corniglia, where the village is on the cliff top.

My wife and I are not fit enough for steep slopes, but we enjoy the Cinque Terre. You can get an idea of what can be seen without strenuous exercise from http://nickbooth.id.au/Europe09/Levanto.htm

Take your own food onto the trains. Even if food is available, it is not very good.

You can get train times and costs from www.trenitalia.it/homepage_en.html using a travel date in the next 7 days to get costs on local trains.

Umbria, Italy
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2. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

Yes there are steps at Monterosso and Vernazza that require some mobility but you could get off at Riomaggiore and walk to Manarola (or in reverse)as I have seen wheel chairs do it withease.

Slow walking can do it in 30 minutes and you would really get a taste of the small village atmosphere and stop perhaps for a taste of the famous anchovies or a vino from the area.

Make sure you carry a corkscrew if self catering as the stelvin tops are a rarity in the good local vinos.....as Nick said do get your own food as it will be better. I do it even on 1st class.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

I think Mausgrass means that there are steps at Monterosso and Vernazza if you want to get to the walking trail. There are no steps on the main street between the station and the waterfront. If you don't want to walk the trail, the only steps are one flight down from or up to the train station platforms.

Brisbane, Australia
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4. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

HI

My sister in law and myself went to Cinque Terre by train from Sestri Levante which is north of the Cinque Terre. We caught the train to the furtherest south, Riomaggiore and from the station there is a lift that goes up to the top of the village.Then there is a walk, firstly on a reasonable level past the church and then down the hill to the waterfront. Here, eventually, we caught the ferry to Vernazza (foregoing Manarola and Corneglia (latter no harbour) and returned to Montorossa al Mere where we did have to walk up a hill and then downhill to the train station. Perhaps a cab for you if possible. Check on the web. The train station is across the road from the beach ( which is the only beach in CT, Vernazza has a vert minute one) and this is a village which has an old town and a new town, so that is why you alight from the ferry at one and walk to the other. Must add that not all trains pull into Montorossa al Mere though. It is the village furtherest north also.

My sis in law could not do much walking but managed this route. There is a board walk to get on the ferry but you would be helped by the staff.

The train between stations, has no real ocean view and a quick glimpse between tunnels as mentioned.

My sis in law was around your age also. We also did a month in Italy in early Oct 07

Here is my review

tripadvisor.com.au/ShowUserReviews-g187817-r…

We stayed in Sestri Levante which was about 40 mins or so north of CT. It is a nice village perched out on a peninsular. We based ourselves there for 5 nights, and did CT for a day out and then trained it north to Rapallo, Saint Margherita Ligure and a bus to Portifino another day out. Ther is a ferry from Rapallo to Portifino though. Sestri Levante is easy to walk. I would say that this is a lovely part of Italy and I would certainly look into staying a bit longer.

I have reviews of all these places on page 2 of my reviews.

You can get a train from Florence to CT. Think it is about 2 1/2 hours or so.

Cheers

Niec

NY
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5. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

Saw that question about 2 big suitcases. If you are not staying in CT, then you would not want to lug the bags around, leave them in the place you are staying, Florence etc. (not in the car) before you get on the train.

You will likely be on regional trains, no food or beverage service so take a sandwich, water etc. or you can get off at one of the towns for a restaurant or reasonable cafe. If not walking the trails, you do not need to buy a park pass, just tickets for the train (and be sure to validate the tickets)

If I were not getting off somewhere, I would not take the train through CT just for some limited views when the trains exit the tunnels.

United States
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6. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

If you do decide to leave your suitcases before taking the train and getting off somewhere, I'd suggest Vernazza. It is the only village that both tracks are on the same level and does not require steps down from one platform, walking underneath the tracks, and then up to another platform or the station. There is a lift from the platform to the ground level and then a sloped street to the harbor.

Once in Vernazza you could take a ferry along the coast, they will help you with the board walk needed to board the ferry. Then return to Vernazza in order to get the most comfortable train station and return onwards to your journey.

It would be best to buy your train tickets ahead of time because some of the station offices have been closed and there are no self-serve kiosks. Tabacchi will sell KM tickets good for traveling through the area. A KM ticket from Riomaggiore to Monterosso is good for 6 hrs and you can get off an on as long as you stay within the time period and are going in the same direction. LIkewise a ticket from Monterosso to Riomaggiore would work the same going in the opposite direction.

TAB

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7. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

Just a couple of details - there is a lift in Vernazza, but it sometimes does not work and also I do not take it because I do not want to get stuck if it breaks down - just paranoid I guess.

Re tickets they are valid for the hours noted AFTER you valiate, otherwise they are good for a long time until validated - I forget the number of months, but in your case don't worry about hours. In case you cannot find a validation machine that works, then write the date and time on the ticket before you get on the train, and look up a conductor if you can - this sometimes happens

Le Marche, Italy
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8. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

If you don't want to hike, the boats between the towns are the best way to see the scenery. You can get boats to the Cinque Terre villages from a number of other ports, such as La Spezia and Portovenere. If you'll have a car, you could probably park at one of those ports.

Here is the web site of one of the companies providing service to the Cinque Terre.

www.navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it/home.asp…

The tickets allow you to get off the boat in all of the villages, and to go from one to another by boat. On one of my trips to the Cinque Terre, we took a boat there. I thought we left from Porto Santo Stefano, but I don't see any boats from there going to the Cinque Terre, so I may be confusing it with a trip to the island, Il Giglio.

If you don't want to hike, you might want to choose a different town altogether to visit. The entire coast is beautiful and there are many other picturesque little seaside towns. The Cinque Terre is distinguished for the hiking, and for the enormous numbers of foreign tourists who flock there.

Brisbane, Australia
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9. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

Sounds as if you are just wanting to pass through this area onto somewhere else, if you are wanting to take luggage. IMO I would not be lugging a large suitcase around Italy if travelling by train. We had a soft zip bag not unlike an overnight bag but a bit larger on wheels. Downsize the bag at least three times and carry it around at home to see how you go. If you are travelling by train, there are quite a few stairs up and down to platforms and you will have to lift your bag onto most of the trains as they are not level with the platform.

I would not bother just training it through CT, but if you do have time as mentioned get off and spend a bit of time there. Vernazza is a reasonable flat walk in from the ferry also. We spent most of our time there and had lunch.

Le Marche, Italy
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10. Re: Worth it sightseeing from train all the way through CT?

If you want coastal scenery, the Amalfi coast is hard to beat. I see you're going there as well, so maybe you could skip the Cinque Terre. Otherwise, a round trip boat trip from Portovenere or La Spezia, leaving the suitcases in the car, would be the best bet, with a stop in Vernazza for lunch.

In general, I urge you not to travel by train with large suitcases. I'm fit enough for hiking, but I hesitate to travel alone with a heavy suitcase. I'm trying to save my shoulders and knees for my old age. Before leaving home, do a trial pack of your suitcase. Take it to a nearby mall and walk around with it for half an hour, taking it up and down the stairs. Try to lift it to shoulder height. Then rethink what you need for the trip.

I can carry enough clothing and gear for two weeks in a small carryon-size bag, which I check in so I don't need to lug it around airports, plus a little backpack or duffle bag, which I actually carry on the plane. The benefit of having two smaller bags is that I can carry one in each hand going up and down steps at train stations, and I can lift both up onto an overhead rack in trains.

Here are two photos of the luggage my husband and I use for a two-week trip:

https:/…5526685840703231938

https:/…5494141200686197842

I actually took these photos on returning from two different trips. I would take the same suitcases on a one-month trip, but I would plan to have some laundry done halfway through.

Both times, part of this luggage was gifts for family and friends in the US. My daughter says my suitcase is like the little car at the circus that 20 clowns pour out of.