This page explains how to buy train tickets from La Spezia or any of the Cinque Terre villages to other European cities at the cheapest prices, buying online direct from the operators, usually with print-at-home tickets.  Click here to buy tickets starting in another city.

I want to go from La Spezia or Cinque Terre to...

      Florence   Rome   Naples
  Venice   Siena   Cinque Terre
  Sicily   Paris   Anywhere else in Italy
  Switzerland   Nice, Monaco   All other destinations

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a 35 point-to-point ticket online?".  And most important, click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

Which station in Cinque Terre?

European train travel FAQ...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Cinque Terre to Pisa...

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Cinque Terre to Florence or Siena...

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Cinque Terre to Rome...

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Cinque Terre to Naples, Sorrento, Amalfi, Capri...

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Cinque Terre to Venice...

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Cinque Terre to Palermo, Catania, Siracuse & Sicily from 39.80...

Option 1, by daytime train.  La Spezia to Sicily in a day...

Option 2, by direct sleeper train.  An epic ride in your own private sleeper, direct to Sicily...

  • A direct sleeper train leaves La Spezia just after 23:00, travelling along the scenic coast towards the toe of Italy next morning, before being shunted onto a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina, a unique experience, have your camera ready.  It arrives in Sicily late afternoon.  This sleeper train originates in Milan.

    It has Comfort couchettes with 4-berth compartments, ideal for families.  It has a sleeping-car with 1, 2 & 3 bed compartments with washbasin.  The couchettes convert to seats for daytime use, the sleepers convert to a private sitting room with sofa.  There's no restaurant car, so bring your own picnic and bottle of wine or beer.  See more information & photos of Italian domestic sleeper trains.

  • Fare start at 39.90 including a Comfort couchette or from 79.90 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper.  Book ahead for Trenitalia's cheap Super-Economy and Economy prices.

  • Buy tickets from La Spezia to Sicily at either www.loco2.com, www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own site www.trenitalia.com.

    If you're starting at one of the Cinque Terre villages, add a separate ticket from there to La Spezia allowing at least an hour between trains in La Spezia.  In fact, I'd allow more time and have dinner in La Spezia.

    All 3 sites sell the same tickets, all offer ticketless travel for Italian intercity & high-speed trains, you simply quote your booking reference on board the train.  Booking opens 120 days ahead, except when the mid-June & mid-December timetable changes are imminent when the booking horizon shrinks to less than this with some trains loaded before others.

    1.  www.loco2.com is easy to use, it's written in plain English, it can be used in , or $, and it has no booking fee.

    2.  Italiarail.com is also easy to use, it's in plain English, it can be used in , , $ & Aus$.  They charge a 3.50 booking fee but they'll refund this if you email seat61@italiarail.com with your PNR after you book.  A key advantage is that it can be cheaper than Trenitalia.com for 2 or more people travelling together as explained here.

    3.  Trenitalia.com is fairly easy to use but you need to use Italian-language place names and it has a few quirks so see this advice on using it.   There's no booking fee.  You will need to understand Italian to book sleepers, if you're not happy with this, stick with www.loco2.com or Italiarail.com.

Option 3, by train to Rome then sleeper to Sicily.  Time-effective, but better timed than option 2 so probably the option I'd choose...

  • Catch an early-evening train to Rome, then a direct sleeper train from Rome Termini to Palermo, Catania or Siracuse.  In the morning the sleeper train is shunted onto a ferry to cross the Straits of Messina, a unique experience, have your camera ready.  It arrives in Sicily late morning.  See more information & photos of Italian domestic sleeper trains.

  • Pisa to Rome starts at 19.90, Rome to Sicily starts at 39.90 including a Comfort couchette or from 79.90 with a bed in a cosy 2-bed sleeper.  Book ahead for Trenitalia's cheap Super-Economy and Economy prices.

  • Buy tickets at either www.loco2.com, www.italiarail.com.  If you'd like longer in Rome between trains (perhaps plan to have dinner there, or an afternoon wander) book each train separately, it makes no difference to the price.

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Cinque Terre to all other Italian destinations...
  • Just run your journey through either www.loco2.com, www.italiarail.com or Italian Railways' own site www.trenitalia.com.

    All 3 sites sell the same tickets, all offer ticketless travel for Italian intercity & high-speed trains (you simply quote your booking reference on board the train) and print-your-own tickets for regional trains.  Booking opens 120 days ahead, except when the mid-June & mid-December timetable changes are imminent when the booking horizon shrinks to less than this with some trains loaded before others.

    1.  www.loco2.com is easy to use, it's written in plain English, it can be used in , or $, and it has no booking fee.

    2.  Italiarail.com is also easy to use, it's in plain English, it can be used in , , $ & Aus$.  They charge a 3.50 booking fee but they'll refund this if you email seat61@italiarail.com with your PNR after you book.  A key advantage is that it can be cheaper than Trenitalia.com for 2 or more people travelling together as explained here.

    3.  Trenitalia.com is fairly easy to use but you need to use Italian-language place names and it has a few quirks so see this advice on using it.   There's no booking fee.  You will need to understand Italian to book sleepers, if you're not happy with this, stick with www.loco2.com or Italiarail.com.

  • Tip:  When looking through the search results, generally look for a journey with the fewest changes.

  • Tip:  Tickets for InterCity trains, Frecciabianca trains & Frecciarossa trains are only good for the specific train you book and come with a reserved seat.  There are cheaper fares if you pre-book.  It's ticketless, you just quote your booking reference on board.  Tickets bought online for regional trains must be printed out, they are good for the train you choose and for any other regional train leaving in the following 4 hours.  There are no seat reservations on regional trains, you sit where you like.

  • Ticket validation:  You don't need to validate tickets for regional trains bought online as they come pre-validated for a 4-hour time period, nor tickets for Frecce or InterCity trains however you buy them.  But regional tickets bought at the station must be validated by putting them in the little green validator machines, see the photo here.  Once validated, regional tickets are good for any train in the next 4 hours.

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Cinque Terre to Paris from 48.90...

Option 1, by daytime train.  The scenic option...

TGV bar car   TGV from Milan to Paris

Turin to Paris by high-speed TGV...  Above left, the cafe-bar serving drinks, snacks & hot dishes  Above right, the TGV at Paris Gare de Lyon.  Larger bar photo.

TGV interior by Christian Lacroix, second class   TGV 1st class by Christian Lacroix

A table for four in 2nd class on the TGV to Paris.  360 degree photo.

 

1st class seats on the Turin-Paris TGV.  360 degree photo.

Mountains from the TGV train to Italy

Take a good book, a bottle o' red, and enjoy the scenery from Italy to Paris with your feet up.  These are mountains in France...  Watch the Paris-Milan TGV video guide.

Option 2, by Thello sleeper train.  The time-effective option...

Refurbished sleeping-car on the Paris to Venice 'Thello' sleeper train   1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper, in evening mode, on the Paris-Venice Thello overnight train...   2-bed sleeper, night mode, on the Paris-Florence/Rome overnight train...

A sleeping-car on the Thello sleeper train to Venice boarding at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

 

Sleeper with beds folded away.  Larger photo360.

 

2-bed sleeper.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

Thello couchette compartment   Boarding the Thello sleeper train at Paris.

4 or 6 berth couchette compartment.  Much more comfortable with just 4 people.  Larger photo360 degree photo.

 

A couchette car on the Thello train from Paris to Venice, at Paris Gare de Lyon.  More Thello info here.

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Cinque Terre to Monaco, Nice, Cannes & South of France...
  • Simply check times and buy tickets from La Spezia Centrale or any of the Cinque Terre villages to Monte Carlo, Nice, Antibes, Cannes or Marseille at www.loco2.com.  Look in the search results for a 1-change journey (OK, 2-changes if going beyond Nice on weekdays in winter).

    Loco2 provides ticketless travel for Italian intercity, Frecciabianca & Thello trains (you simply quote your booking reference on board the train).  Booking usually opens 120 days ahead, except when the mid-June & mid-December timetable changes are imminent when the booking horizon shrinks to less than this with some trains loaded before others.  If you're journey involves an onward French train, booking for those only opens 90 days ahead.

Thello train from Marseille & Nice to Milan, at Marseille St Charles   1st class seats on Thello train from Nice to Milan

The Genoa-Nice-Cannes-Marseille Thello train at Milan...  See more photos & information about these Thello trains.

 

1st class seats on Thello.  All seats have power sockets.  Plenty of luggage room on racks & between seat backs...

2nd class seats on the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Cafe counter on the Thello train from Nice to Milan

2nd class seats on the Thello train.  All seats have power sockets, with plenty of luggage space on racks and between seat backs.

 

The small cafe-bar counter on the Thello train from Genoa to Nice, serving tea, coffee, wine, beer, soft drinks and snacks.

Coastal scenery from the Thello train from Nice to Italy

Views from the train, along the Ligurian coast between Genoa and Nice.  Photos courtesy of Lucas Martin.

Yachts seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan   Coastline seen from the Thello train from Nice to Milan

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Cinque Terre to Switzerland from 48.90...
ETR610 EuroCity train from Switzerland at Milan Centrale   2nd class seats on an ETR610 EuroCity train to Italy

ETR610 EuroCity train, now used on all Milan-Switzerland routes.  More information about ETR610 trains.

 

2nd class seats on the stylish ETR610 EuroCity train...

Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan to Zurich train

This is Lake Lugano, seen from a Milan-Zurich EuroCity train...

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Cinque Terre to all other destinations...

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