Learn about taking the train from Florence to Cinque Terre-Riomaggiore.
For many travelers, an Italian itinerary follows a stay in Florence with a trip to the Cinque Terre, those charming five fishing villages on the Ligurian coast that have become immensely popular for their hiking trails.
It may seem like driving would be faster, covering the 101 miles (163 km) from Florence to Riomaggiore in less than two hours, but driving requires you to navigate some winding roads toward the coast. Not only that, you can’t drive into or park in the Cinque Terre towns themselves. The train may take a little longer, but it eliminates much of the inconvenience…
There are 12 Trenitalia trains departing Firenze Santa Maria Novella station headed for Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre each day, spaced throughout the day from early morning to late afternoon. All of them require at least one change en route, as there are no direct trains from Florence to Riomaggiore, the southernmost of the five Cinque Terre towns.
Some routes from Florence to Riomaggiore require one change along the way, others require two changes. The one-transfer itineraries involve a change in La Spezia from one Regionale train to another. The two-transfer itineraries mean that you take a Regionale train to Pisa Centrale, an InterCity train from Pisa to Levanto, and another Regionale train from Levanto to Riomaggiore.
The journey time can range from 2 hours 39 minutes to 3 hours 25 minutes, with some of the two-transfer routes taking less time than the one-transfer routes.
Note that weekends and holidays typically mean less frequent service and sometimes longer travel times.
There are no direct trains from Florence to Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre
There are sometimes 1st class and 2nd class cars on Regionale trains, but not always.
FFlorence’s Santa Maria Novella station, the main station in the city, is close to the historic centre, and the street in front of the station is a major hub for city and regional buses, making it easy to get to and from the station if you’re traveling light.
The train station in Riomaggiore is near the start of the famous Via dell’Amore, the first part of the hiking trail that connects the five Cinque Terre villages. The base of the street that serves as the center of town is about a 5-10 minutes’ walk from the station.