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.