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According to e.g. Wikitravel, there should be "regular local trains with high frequency" from Genoa (Genova) but it doesn't give any details.

Which of the five villages can I get to by train from Genoa? (Apparently all of them have stations but some are only used by local trains within Cinque Terre.) Also, how often do the trains run, and what's the approximate price?

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2 Answers

As far as I know, only one village can be reached from Genova on a regular basis, that is to say Monterosso. I suppose that the others may be connected to La Spezia through local trains, whereas Monterosso has a few InterCity trains (going from Genova to Pisa) which stop at its station.

The journey from Genova Brignole to Monterosso takes a little over one hour (be careful, in Genova there are two train stations, the other being Genova Piazza Principe, and they are not particularly close; if you need to go from one to the other, you had better catch a bus).

I checked the timetable for a midweek day in December and I came up with seven options of direct trains, leaving Genova as early as 7.54 in the morning or as late as 10.06 in the evening (look here for the timetable). The price is 9 euro for a direct one way ticket.

EDIT : Genova Brignole is the station from which all the trains going eastwards leave, whereas Genova Piazza Principe is the one which serves the western part of Liguria.

If you wish to get to another village in the Cinque Terre area, you may want to reach La Spezia and catch a local train from there. This however is more expensive and takes much longer.

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Also Vernazza and Riomaggiore can be reached directly from Genova, but less frequently than Monterosso. –  Jonik Nov 22 '12 at 23:20
    
@Jonik. Trenitalia site does not seem to agree with you. If you put either Vernazza or any other Cinque Terre destination (apart from Monterosso) with Genova as your starting station, you don't come up with any result. Perhaps they don't want you to buy tickets for local trains through the internet... –  Paola Nov 22 '12 at 23:24
    
@Jonik. I checked again, and it's true that you may come up with some local train going directly to Riomaggiore from Genova Piazza Principe or Genova Nervi (which is further towards Cinque Terre), but it takes quite a long time (close to two hours). My apologies, anyway, for the wrong statement. –  Paola Nov 22 '12 at 23:32
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

From Genova (Piazza Principe or Brignole), take a regional train with the destination of La Spezie Centrale. There are direct trains to 3 of the 5 villages, so depending on your preference, buy a ticket to one of:

  • Monterosso (northernmost)
  • Vernazza (2nd from north)
  • Riomaggiore (southernmost)

But note that there are many more direct connections to Monterosso than to Vernazza and Riomaggiore.

To Monterosso travel time is 1h 45 min, and it costs 6.60€ (Nov 2012). Buy the ticket from the station; remember to stamp it on one of the Italian-flag-coloured devices near the platform before boarding the train. There's roughly one regional train per hour, from 04:53 until about 22:00.

Here's an example of the timetable for one such regional train: enter image description here

There are also direct intercity trains to Monterosso every few hours that take 1h 15min and cost 9.50€.

For more details, try the Trenitalia online search (e.g. Genova Piazza Principe to Monterosso).

In my case it was slightly run-down urban 2-storey carriage with dirty windows. Not as charming as the villages, but gets you there quite smoothly. :)

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