Florence (Livorno) Cinque Terre Excursion Reviews
Loved, loved, loved Cinque Terre! It was really hard to not go to Florence since we've been there before and love it so much, but seeing Cinque Terre was worth the trade off!! Such an interesting area! Great tour!!
Much too ambitious an excursion from this port. It was 1 1/2 hr each way, and then, three trains to catch in villages. We spent as long waiting for trains in first two villages as we did being there. We
waited under blistering sun for 30 mins in first village, and then after almost the same amount of time in 2nd village, we had to run to a different track. In last station, we managed to catch the 2:30 train at 3:30. Once we arrived in a village, the rest of the time seemed to be spent in making sure we got back to the train in time. I never relaxed, and certainly, never stopped "to smell the roses".
And, I never got or even saw that iconic Cinque Terre photo so common on travel websites.
We docked at La Spezia. We walked from the port to La Spezia Centrale Train Station. There is an information both at the port where you can get a map. It takes around 30 minutes to walk to the train station- despite the fact that at the port we were told it takes 15 minutes. The station is quite chaotic and small. If going to Cinque Terre, find the Cinque Terre information office. When we went, it was located by the platform where the trains depart. So, do not stand in the long queue, walk toward the trains and hopefully you will find it. Buy your Cinque Terre card, which allows you travel on the trains, and buses. Ensure that you validate your card at each station. Even if you have your card, but it's not validated, you may get fined. We only visited two of the towns due to time restrictions, but will return. We had a lovely lunch at Food and Sea in Corniglia. I would definitely recommend visiting and it is easy to do it on your own. Mind you, there is lots of uphill walking, so not for the faint of heart, in wheelchairs, or otherwise impaired.
So we loved Cinque Terre - absolutely worth seeing. Our tour however was crowded and chaotic. The walking path was closed and the boats weren't running, so we had to take the train from village to village. Us and thousands of our closest friends (and pickpockets). We loved CT and would love to go back on our own schedule.
An amazing place to visit.