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Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

Quebec City, Canada
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Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

Hi,

I was planning to be in Florence for 4 full days (5 nights).

I wanted to do a day trip to Pisa.... and another day trip to Siena.

Now, I forgot about Cinque Terre. I read that it's possible to do it on a long full day from Florence. Is it worth it? Is it doable?

If it is, I'm afraid I won't have enough days in Florence... and I might take off one day in Sorrento. I also have 4 full days (5 nights) in Sorrento and I was planning a day trip to Pompeii and another one to the Amalfi coast (and maybe even visit Capri).

I have also one full day in Milan (can't take this one off), 3 full days in Venice (I thought it was about right) and 6 full days in Rome (I thought it was necessary).

What do you think?

1- Is Cinque Terre worth it and doable on a day trip from Florence?

2- If so, will I have enough days planned for Florence?

3- If not, where would you take off a day to add it to Florence?

Thanks for your advices!

Sarasota, Florida...
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1. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

Will you have a car? I suggest the following:

Day trip from Florence to LUCCA AND PISA : Lucca is between Florence and Pisa. It is the best preserved walled city in Italy and my favorite town in Italy. Be sure to rent a bike and ride on top of the wall. Open market is on Wed and Sat mornings. Most shops are closed on Mondays. After visiting Lucca, drive to Pisa.

If you do not have a car, take the LAZZIO BUS (not the train) from Florence to Lucca because the bus stops right at the medieval wall in Lucca. You catch the Lazzio bus at the bus station across the street from SMN train station. (Start walking at the McDonalds across the street from SMN train station. Walk 1/2 block north--your right shoulder will be facing McDonalds and your left shoulder will be facing the train station across the street. You will see the Lazzio bus station on the corner.) The Lazzio bus will take about 1 hr from FLorence to Lucca.

When you get off the bus at Lucca, go inside the bus station and ask which bus goes to Pisa AND STOPS AT THE Leaning Tower. The tourist bureau and bike rental shop are in the same parking lot as the bus station in LUcca. Wander around Lucca and then go back to the bus station for the ride to Pisa. The bus ride from LUcca to Pisa will take you about 45 minutes. Once you have visited the Leaning Tower, walk 1/2 mile to the TRAIN station and take the train back to Florence.

For CINQUE TERRA -- if you don't have a car, contact the following tour group. They charge 40 euros for a day trip from Florence to CQ. bus2alps.com. Don't miss CQ -- it's wonderful!

Good luck and Ciao!

Edited: 01 April 2012, 02:22
Arlington, Texas
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2. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

I say no. You already sound like you are spending way too much time traveling and not enough time to enjoy the city you are actually staying in. (Cinque Terre is not a "day trip" from Florence.)

I think one day trip out of four is ok. But after that, why a "day trip"? There is so much to see in Florence. Stay in Florence. Check out the DKEyewitness Travel Guide for Florence. There are 4 separate walks defined. One takes you out to Fiesole, up in the hills above Florence. One through Renaissance Florence. One up past Galileo's house and to the Piazza Michelangelo (best place to view Florence at sunset). Download "Rick Steves Audio Europe 2012" to your Iphone. He has at least 3 Florence walks.

This town is rich with its history... Michelangelo, DaVinci, Galileo, the Medici. Trust me, there is plenty to see in Florence for more than 3 days.

If you go at the pace you sound like you're going, you won't remember ANY of it when you get home. It will be one big blur.

You might want to slow down and enjoy Italy the way the Italians do.. the slow way. :)

Seattle, Washington
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3. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

I would probably not try to do Cinque Terre as a day trip from Florence. You won't really have time to appreciate it, and if you're going to the Amalfi Coast I think you will see similar sights. With 5 nights/4 days in Sorrento, you will have time to visit Positano, Amalfi & Ravelllo (one full day), and take the train to Pompeii (at least a half day, could also do Herculaneum the same day if you're interested) and a boat ride to Capri, still leaving a day to enjoy Sorrento itself.

Sounds like a fabulous trip, enjoy!

Quebec City, Canada
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4. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

Thanks for your detailed answers!

"Will you have a car?"

- No I won't.

"if you're going to the Amalfi Coast I think you will see similar sights."

- Would it be better to see Cinque Terre instead of the Amalfi Coast?

"There is so much to see in Florence. Stay in Florence."

- I'm really wondering if I should take off one day in Sorrento to add it to Florence... what do you think?

Thanks again!

Sarasota, Florida...
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5. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

I would stay in Tuscany and skip the Amalfi Coast. It's a major tourist trap, and you really need a car to see it.

I would stay in Tuscany--Florence, Lucca, Cinque Terra, Siena, etc.

I would also rent a car rather than rely on the trains/buses.

Seattle, Washington
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6. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

No matter what, you will not be able to see all of Italy in a couple weeks - and no doubt you'll want to return :-). So figure out what appeals most to you and focus on that, spend enough time to appreciate it.

The Cinque Terre and the Amalfi Coast are both wonderful (and both filled with tourists). There's another recent thread on here that tries to answer the same question of which to do. The Cinque Terre towns are more tiny little hamlets, very scenic, and you can walk or take water taxis between them. The Amalfi Coast has somewhat larger towns, also connected by boats, or a winding, congested 2-lane highway.

Since most of your trip is concentrated in the north, the benefit of doing the Cinque Terre is that you'll waste less time on trains getting back & forth.

Quebec City, Canada
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7. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

"No matter what, you will not be able to see all of Italy in a couple weeks - and no doubt you'll want to return"

- You're right... I'm trying to see everything in 3 weeks ;)

west barnstable...
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8. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

Spend more time in Florence--all those day trips leave you no time to see the city. You can't possibly "see everything" in three weeks. I've been traveling to Italy for over 20 years and still fel that I've only scratched the surface. Pick a few things, slow down, and enjoy.

Brea, Ca.
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9. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

SatanicSurfer

Its a 2 hour train ride each way from Florence to the Cinque Terre(w/a train change in Pisa then La Spezia). I wouldn't think it is worth it unless you feel you must "check" it off. Put it this way, would you travel 4+ hours to just touch a beach without much time to actually be there? Kind of defeats the whole purpose-too rushed to see much of the 5 villages and no time to slip into the relaxed ambiance of the area.

Atlanta
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10. Re: Day-trip to Cinque Terre... doable?

My wife and I just returned from a 7 day visit to Florence. One of our days was spent with Alessandro "Ale" Cammilli as a guide where he picked us up at our hotel and drove us to Cinque Terre. We returned via Lucca and Pisa. We found Cinque Terre to be one of the highlights of our visit. Along the way, Ale filled us with multiple historical facts about Italy in very well spoken English. He dropped us off at the first town in Cinque and picked us up at the third town. The area is absolutely beautiful and the combination walk and short train ride between towns was very relaxing. The scenery is absolutely stunning and the towns are very quaint with great places to eat and drink. My wife and agree that this is one part of Italy that you should not miss, especially if you are as close as Florence. Our day trip started at 8:15AM and ended at 7:30PM. Further, we would not hesitate recommending "Ale" to anyone. He came to us via a recommendation from Nat and Sam who run "Florence for Foodies" (another highly recommended tour). His website is www.alessandrocammilli.com. He will provide a great tour for you.