The beautiful Cinque Terre region is well worth a visit, but if you’re planning on making a day trip to the area from Rome – don’t! It’s really quite a long way, so I don’t recommend even trying to take a day trip from Rome to Cinque Terre.
With so many beautiful places to visit near the Italian Capital, it would be pointless to travel so far just for a day, not to mention, the Cinque Terre deserve way more than a day.
Depending on the route you take, it’s hundreds of kilometers away, and several hours of travel each way. Most of your daylight hours would be spent traveling, so unless you leave super early in the morning and come back at night – which would be exhausting – it’s really not worth it.
However, if you intend to spend a few days in that gorgeous part of the country, simply traveling from Rome to Cinque Terre as your next destination is very doable. There are a few different ways you can get there, too – continue reading this post as I will highlight the best ones.
How To Get From Rome To Cinque Terre
Take the train from Rome to Cinque Terre
This is probably the most convenient and therefore most popular way to travel to the Cinque Terre from Rome. If you want to travel by train, you have several options at your disposal – some are quicker than others.
The Freccia train from Rome to Cinque Terre via La Spezia
First of all, you could take Trenitalia’s high-speed Frecciabianca or Frecciargento train to La Spezia Centrale. From here, you can change for the Cinque Terre Express train.
This is a regional Trenitalia service, stopping off at the towns that comprise Cinque Terre: Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso al Mare. This is the fastest way of getting to the Cinque Terre from Rome.
Let me go into a bit more details.
The Frecciabianca and Frecciargento train from Rome to La Spezia Centrale leaves from Termini Station. The journey usually takes between 3 hours and 3 hours and 47 minutes. There are 8 Freccia trains daily. The first train leaves at 6:25 am while the last train is 8:20 pm.
Ticket prices start around €29,90, depending on how far in advance you book and which time of day you decide to travel. If you have booked your ticket, note that this is only for the specific train and time that you book, and comes with a reserved seat.
You won’t have to print off a ticket, as the system is ticketless. You simply show your QR code to get through the gates to board your train.
From La Spezia, you can hop aboard the Cinque Terre Express. One-way tickets cost €5, and the journey is actually quite quick, taking just 8 minutes to take you to Riomaggiore, the first village when coming from La Spezia.
The InterCity train from Rome to Cinque Terre
Alternatively, you could also get an InterCity train from Rome to Cinque Terre. This isn’t the super fast Frecciabianca service, but it’s still quite quick.
There is only one direct train that goes all the way from Rome to Monterosso al Mare – the only Cinque Terre stop along this route – and it departs at 7:43 pm from Roma Ostiense station. It takes almost 5 hours to get to Monterosso, but you won’t have to change trains anywhere if you specifically opt for this one.
There are more InterCity trains throughout the day, leaving from Termini and Ostiense stations, but none of them is direct – you will have to change in Pisa, Chiavari or Sestri Levante. If you book in advance, tickets will cost you about €33.
The regional train from Rome to Cinque Terre
Finally, you could also opt for a regional train. These offer more flexibility, as although bookings can be done in advance, you won’t need to board an exact train. Instead, you can board any train in the four hours following the train you’ve booked – there are a total of 6 regional trains plying the route.
However, there are no seat reservations. Regional trains also take much longer than high-speed services (the fastest journey is 5 hours and 53 minutes), and require two changes; so make sure to study the timetable before you make your final decision. Prices are similar to those of the InterCity train.
Make sure to read my post How Many Train Stations Are There In Rome?
To be honest, I would avoid trying to drive from Rome to Cinque Terre: the entire area isn’t exactly car-friendly and you are better off moving around by train. For one thing, it takes a long time: around five hours (but it can be more, depending on traffic, road works etc).
However, if you really do want to drive and you’re in the mood for a road trip, then it isn’t impossible. I would recommend getting your rental car at the airport, though.
It’s much easier this way than trying to navigate the streets of Rome in a car you’ve never driven before! Otherwise, select a car rental company that has a pick up location outside of the city center.
The other thing that you should consider if you want to drive from Rome to Cinque Terre is the parking situation: once you arrive in Cinque Terre, you won’t find many places to leave your car, just adding to the hassle. You will probably have to leave your car in a parking lot outside of the village and walk all the way to your hotel.
All in all, it would be a lot of hassle to drive, but if you are a big fan of driving anyway, there’s no serious reason that you shouldn’t.
Check out the prices of car rental in Rome here.
Make sure to read my post Should You Drive In Rome?
By bus + train
Another way to reach Cinque Terre from Rome is by taking the bus. This isn’t the easiest way to travel between the two, but it can save you some money if you’re traveling on a budget and don’t mind the long journey.
One good thing to note is that you don’t need to book the bus far in advance to get a cheap ticket. But one thing to note is that it’s possibly one of the most time consuming ways to get where you want to be, taking at least 6 hours to reach La Spezia (depending on what bus you catch).
Another thing to note is that buses don’t actually go all the way to the Cinque Terre towns. Instead, you get the bus from Rome to La Spezia. From here, you have to catch the Cinque Terre Express train I mentioned earlier. The ticket costs €5 and the journey to the first Cinque Terre town takes around 8 minutes.
Buses to La Spezia usually leave from Rome Tiburtina or Rome Anagnina station. There are 10 daily buses, services are run by Flixbus, Marinobus and Itabus. The first bus leaves at 1:45 am, and the last one is at 11:50 pm. The best option is probably the 8:20 am Flixbus bus, which arrives in La Spezia at 2:55 pm.
Buses vary in price, but can cost as little as €7; the average price is €20, however. If you are watching the pennies, I recommend that you try to book the buses as early as possible to secure the best possible deal.
You can check the schedule and prices of the bus to Cinque Terre from Rome on the Omio app here.