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La Spezia

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Southport, Australia
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La Spezia

We've just travelled from Paris/Nice to La Spezia. If you are doing this trip, make sure you don't get on a regional train in Nice, to get to La Spezia! It stops at around 87 stations on the way, with 5 minutes stopping at each station! Ask if it's an express, but not a Regional train which we were shown onto. It took 7 hours to get from Nice to La Spezia, arriving at midnight. La Spezia has nothing going for it. If you want to come to Cinque Terre, stay in one of the five little villages. We were recommended to stay in La Spezia and booked into a grotty hotel through expedia.com whereas we could have stayed in any one of the multitude of villages in any of the 5 CT villages which were much prettier and close to the walks. We did the Vernazza to Corniglia walk today in about 1.5 hours and while it's energetic there are lots of stopping places and you'll be so glad you achieved the distance.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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1. Re: La Spezia

Well, we left Vernazza after several hours of being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tourists carrying their Rick Steeves' guide books and were delighted to spend the remainder of the day in Le Spezia. It was pleasantly lacking in tourists and very nice not to hear English as the main language.

Different strokes.

2. Re: La Spezia

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Imperia, Italy
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3. Re: La Spezia

A salutary tale.

It's not a question of 'asking if it's an express', it's a question of finding out the train timetables before you leave a place, so you can decide for yourself which trains you want to get, then leaving at the right time to get them, and buying the right tickets.

If you had bought a Regional ticket, or if you had a rail pass and had chosen yourself not to make reservations on faster trains, you were "shown onto" exactly the right 17.54 train in Ventimiglia station. At least it had the virtue of requiring no change of train in Genoa, though it did not get to la Spezia until 23.40.

A faster journey was possible on InterCity trains leaving Ventimiglia at 18.58, changing in Genoa, and arriving at la Spezia at 23.19. This would have cost you an extra €12.10 each, or with a pass would have required you to buy reservations on two IC trains for €3 each for each train. So at least you saved money.

There are 64 stops altogether between Nice and la Spezia on the connection you chose to take.

Southport, Australia
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4. Re: La Spezia

Thanks for your advice. We did have Eurail passes, and did have Reserved seats. During the trip from Paris, we were told that there was repair work being done on a tunnel between Nice and Ventimiglia, and that we would have to change trains in Nice, and go via Monaco to Ventimiglia, then Genova. It was during these changes that we missed our connection to Genova by 15 seconds, and had to wait for another train 45 minutes later. When in Genova, we checked out the next train, checked with the ticket information office, and were 'told' to get on the 17:01 train to La Spezia, causing that long trip to La Spezia. When you've never travelled in Europe before, can't speak the language, but have Eurail passes AND reserved seats, it does make things a bit more difficult when given information that isn't always as helpful as it could be. But we survived. Thanks for advising that the train only stopped at 64 stations and not 87. I am relieved!

Imperia, Italy
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5. Re: La Spezia

My apologies - it is true that you were "shown onto" the wrong train. If there had been someone around with sufficient English language skills and sufficient insight, you should have been advised to change your existing reservations without charge at the booking office, and take the later InterCity trains.

It is easy, however, to see why this did not happen, as the train you were shown onto leaves Ventimiglia more than an hour before the InterCity, and also runs direct to la Spezia where the InterCity requires a change in Genoa. So an easy mistake for anyone to make!

6. Re: La Spezia

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Removed on: 29 November 2010, 05:17
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