Train from Florence to Manarola (Cinque Terre)
After the masterpieces of art and architecture in the Tuscan capital, move on to the equally breathtaking land and seascapes along the Ligurian coast. Here’s the complete guide to taking the train from Florence to Cinque Terre-Manarola.
The area’s postcard-perfect fishing villages, dramatic coastal cliffs, and scenic hiking trails have made Italy’s Cinque Terre a popular stop for travelers. Though it’s possible to day trip from Florence, to truly explore the area and do any hiking, plan on staying at least overnight. Regardless of how long you visit, the train is the best way to get there.
Though the coast is just 111 miles (179 km) from Florence, keep in mind that driving to and around the Cinque Terre is complicated by both the mountainous terrain and the tiny size of the towns, which are largely closed to vehicles. It’s far more simple to take the train directly from the center of Florence to the center of Manarola.
Frequent Trains from Florence to Cinque Terre-Manarola
Trenitalia runs about 11 trains a day from Florence to Manarola, the second smallest of the five towns which make up the Cinque Terre. Because Manarola is so tiny, there are no direct trains to its two-track station overlooking the Mediterranean, and almost all trains are Regionale for either a portion or for the entire trip.
Manarola is along the local line which runs from La Spezia, so all trains from Florence include at least one change of train at La Spezia. Some trains include two changes, first in Pisa (or, rarely, the Campo di Marte station in Florence) and then in La Spezia. Be sure to check your itinerary closely to be sure to make your connections at the correct station, and sit on the left side of the train from La Spezia to enjoy spectacular views of the sea along the route which hugs the coast. The trip takes from 2.5-3.5 hours, and tickets cost $20-28.
Keep in mind that weekends and holidays often mean less frequent service and occasionally longer travel times.
Direct Trains from Florence to Cinque Terre-Manarola
There are no direct trains from Florence to Manarola. All routes include one or two connections, so when you book, note how many changes you’ll need to make.
Amenities on Trains from Florence to Cinque Terre-Manarola
Regionale trains are the most economical of Trenitalia’s routes and include few amenities. There are sometimes both 1st and 2nd class cars, but don’t expect anything close to luxury in the 1st class cars. Regionale trains often have spotty air conditioning and the power outlets may not all work. Reservations on these trains aren't necessary, so passengers choose a seat in their class as they board.
Frecciabianca and Intercity trains are the lowest category AV trains and have air conditioned 1st-class and 2nd-class cars and a café car. First class seats have meal service, a mini-bar, power outlets, and free newspapers.
Florence and Cinque Terre-Manarola Train Stations
Florence's main Santa Maria Novella station is just across the street from the historic center, and the major hub for city and regional buses is right in front of the station.
Note: the Florence Santa Maria Novella station currently has a security check before the platforms, so factor in extra time for the delay.
Manarola is the second to smallest of the five Cinque Terre towns, and has a tiny double-track train station directly above the coastline. Only the slowest Regionale trains servicing the Cinque Terre stop here. There is a pedestrian tunnel alongside the track which leads into the center of town.