Take a break from the Tuscan capital in the gateway to the Cinque Terre. Learn about taking the train from Florence to La Spezia.
The Cinque Terre has become one of the more popular tourist destinations in Italy, even for first-time visitors, whether it’s for a day trip or a few days. The biggest city near the five towns is La Spezia, which has a larger train station than any of the Cinque Terre villages and even has direct service from Florence.
The distance from Florence to La Spezia isn’t excessive at only 91 miles (147 km), and the drive would likely be shorter than a train trip, but since driving in Florence and in any of the Cinque Terre towns is a hassle chances are you’re better off taking the train.
Frequent Trains from Florence to La Spezia
Trenitalia operates 44 trains per day from Firenze Santa Maria Novella station in Florence to La Spezia Centrale station, including both direct trains and some that require a change along the way. The direct connection in this case isn’t always the best choice, however, because it’s a slower train that makes the journey take longer.
Pisa is the stopover point between Florence and La Spezia, and Regionale trains from Florence to Pisa run 2-5 times per hour throughout most of the day. From there, you can take a Frecciabianca or an InterCity train to La Spezia, with the fastest trip coming in at just over two hours. Most of the trips that require a change in Pisa take around 2 hours 10 minutes. The direct options are Regionale trains, which are slower - that trip takes 2.5 hours or more.
Ticket prices on this route range from $16-23 - the ones at the lower end are the slower direct trains.
Note that weekends and holidays typically mean less frequent service and sometimes longer travel times.
Direct Trains from Florence to La Spezia
As mentioned above, while there are direct trains from Florence to La Spezia, the better option is often going to be to change trains in Pisa. The direct trains are slower, adding at least 30-45 minutes on to your journey time over the indirect trains. This is one case when the direct trains are cheaper than the indirect ones, since the latter are faster.
Amenities on Trains from Florence to La Spezia
Regionale trains are fairly low on the Italian train pecking order when it comes to amenities. There are sometimes both 1st and 2nd class cars, but the 1st class cars aren't anything like the Frecciarossa 1st class. Sometimes Regionale trains don't even have air conditioning in every car. Reservations on these trains aren't necessary.
On the Frecciabianca trains, there are both 1st class and 2nd class cars. As with Frecciarossa trains, 1st class passengers get a free drink and a newspaper. Frecciabianca trains usually have a cafe car which all passengers can use, and power outlets are in both class cars at each seat.
Florence and La Spezia Train Stations
Florence's Santa Maria Novella station, the main station in the city, is close to the historic center, 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.
Pisa Centrale station is also the city's primary station, located 1.4 miles (2.3 km) from the main attractions of the leaning tower and cathedral. There is a luggage storage office at the station if you need to stash your bags while you make a quick trip to see the tower. Take the number 1 bus from the station to get to the Campo dei Miracoli.
La Spezia Centrale is the city’s main station, located in the city center on Piazza Medaglie. Several bus lines stop outside the station, and there are regular trains from La Spezia to the Cinque Terre towns nearby.
See below for details on traveling from Florence to La Spezia Centrale by train.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Train Travel in Italy
From seat assignments and luggage space to the different types of tickets, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about train travel in Italy.
Arrival and Departure Train Destinations
Read on for information about Florence to La Spezia Centrale train stations.
Santa Maria Novella (SMN) Guide
The center of the Renaissance is also a popular Central Italy hub for rail connections.Read More >>
La Spezia Centrale
La Spezia Centrale is the main station for the city of La Spezia, considered the gateway to the nearby Cinque Terre on the Ligurian coast.Read More >>
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