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Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

Houston, Texas
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81 posts
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Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

We are sending my parents to Italy in the beginning of December. They will be staying primarily in Florence and only have one night in Vernazza before heading back to Florence the next day. I was just wondering if 1) It would be better to have them go from Florence to Pisa and then on to Vernazza - so they might also see the Leaning Tower? 2) Do the trains still run as frequently during the month of December? 3)If they do go to Vernazza via Pisa, do they still stop over in La Spezia and have to catch the local train from there? 4) And finally - if they have to stop in La Spezia is there some place indoors for them to wait for the next train as they will be there in the winter?

P.S. Some of these questions may sound silly, but it has been so long since I have travelled there and we really want my parents to have a stress free trip as they are not seasoned travelers.

Thanks so much,

Traci

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

Hi Traci,

I'm not going to be much help except to get your post bumped up and maybe attract some more replies. I'm trying to remember the details of our trip a few months ago. I know we caught the train from Florence straight through to Cinque Terre and didn't have to change trains.

At the time of planning our trip, I thought it would be nice to see the leaning tower in Pisa but we couldn't face getting off the train and dragging our luggage and getting back on the train so we didn't go there after all. I'd say your parents would be better off to ask their concierge in Florence to check out the best straight through train or at least the best connection and book it for them. If they stop in Pisa then they'll get into Vernazza later and with only one night they won't have much time to enjoy CT.

It seems tempting to try to do it all when you travel so far but in my experience it's best to do fewer things but really enjoy them rather than spread yourself too thin. I've also heard people say on the Italy forum that they were a bit disappointed with the tower of Pisa especially after Florence.

If you want to check out the train schedule for December, why not email or phone the hotel that your parents are staying at in Cinque Terre and ask them because you won't be able to check on the trenitalia website until closer to the date of travel. I'd say it doesn't run as frequently in winter as it does in summer. If you wait until 60 days before, you can check the timetable on the website.

If I have one piece of advice for anyone traveling in Italy by train, it's keep your luggage small and light. Don't expect any help with getting on and off trains or up and down stairs (because you'll be unlikely to have any offered) and at most stations you have to go down two or three flights of stairs and up again to cross platforms (there are no lifts). Having said that we had a fabulous time and overall the train system is excellent, efficient and affordable.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

Hi Traci

We travelled from Florence to Vernazza in July 08.

As far as I know there are no direct trains so you must change at La Spezia to get to Vernazza. We timed it so we would not be there for long. But there was an indoor area that your parents would be able to wait.

We also stopped at Pisa. My first thought was not to stop but I'm glad we did. The leaning tower seems to lean much more than photos depict and I found it quite interesting.

Your parents may have to change trains at Pisa anyway.

We put our bags into storage, walked the 20 minute walk to the Leaning tower, had a look and walked back to the station within an hour or two. We then collected our bags and continued onto Vernazza. It was a nice break and in my view that was sufficent time to see Pisa. Though if your parents are older and it might be quite cold, they may not want to walk.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

Thank you both for your replies - I so appreciate all the information given! I know all your valuable information will help make this a very memorable trip for my parents!

Thanks so much,

Traci

San Clemente...
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires, Argentina
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4. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

Have a look at www.trenitalia.com for the train schedule. They do not change very much and you can check again close to December. As mentioned above, there are no direct trains to Vernazza from Florence. The logical place to change is Pisa,since they want to see the tower. There is a left luggage office at Pisa Train station.

There is one train at 1441 which goes directly to Vernazza from Pisa without changing. The other trains will require a change in Sarzana, La Spezia or Monterosso. All three trains staions are easy to maneuver.

Enjoy!!

Washington, DC
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5. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

The other item to consider is the time of year. Sunset will be earlier than the summer months so that daylight in Cinque Terre will (could) be limited in December. That might affect scheduling.

6. Re: Travelling from Florence to La Spezia

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