Bordering the coast of the Italian Riviera sits Cinque Terre and its five villages, all of them holding historical differences but sharing similarities in color and vibrancy. Located in the region of Liguria, the towns of Cinque Terre are connected and can be hiked, allowing for up-close experiences with the centuries-old destination.
You can reach Cinque Terre from multiple points throughout Italy, the easiest one being Rome. The high-speed train travels from Rome to the port city of La Spezia in under 4 hours, where you can catch a regional train to Corniglia, the oldest of Cinque Terre's villages. You can also rent a car or book a private transfer from Venice to Cinque Terre. The drive takes only 4.5 hours (plus the possibility of traffic) and you're able to stop at cities like Florence and Bologna if time allows. Another option is to fly from Palermo—located right across the Tyrrhenian Sea—to Pisa and then take regional trains to reach Corniglia.
You can always book a tour through kimkim, too, like this 7-day trip that starts in Pisa, goes through Cinque Terre and Portofino, then loops back. Or, once you arrive in Cinque Terre, you can then take this 8-day tour that explores the coastal destination in depth.
Duration: 4.5-6.5 hours (depending on mode of transportation)
The fastest way to get from Rome to Cinque Terre is by taking the high-speed train to La Spezia and connecting to a short regional train to Corniglia. Depart from Roma Termini station on one of the direct routes to La Spezia Centrale station. Trenitalia, the government-run rail company, has several trains leaving Roma Termini station that gets to La Spezia Centrale station in under 4 hours. Make sure you look out for “frecce” trains when booking your ticket, which is what Trenitalia calls their fastest trains. From La Spezia, take the hourly regional train to Corniglia station that takes approximately 17 minutes to reach.
Although it takes longer, you can fly from Rome to Pisa or Genoa, then take regional trains to Corniglia. If you're headed to Pisa, depart Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport (FCO) on a 55-minute flight to Galileo Galilei Airport (PSA), also simply known as Pisa International Airport. Upon arrival, take a 5-minute tram to Pisa Centrale where you can take a regional train to La Spezia station, then another regional train to Corniglia station.
If you'd like to arrive in Genoa, take a 1-hour-and-5-minute flight to Aeroporto di Genova-Sestri Ponente, where you can take a regional train from Genova Piazza Principe to La Spezia and then a transfer to Cinque Terre.
Duration: 4.5 hours (depending on traffic)
If you're traveling from Venice, renting a car or getting a private transfer is the best mode of transportation. Not only is it a fairly direct route, but you can also stop in nearby cities like Bologna and Florence. After exiting Venice, take A13 autostrada (which means toll road) toward the Bologna/Milan exit, then eventually merge onto A1 autostrada. Merge onto the A15 autostrada toward the La Spezia/Parma exit and that will take you to Corniglia. Make sure to have a GPS on to navigate minor steps toward the end of the road trip.
You can also take a high-speed train from Venice to Corniglia, but since it involves four train transfers it is far from the most convenient option.
Duration: 4.5-5 hours
Palermo is right across the Tyrrhenian Sea from Cinque Terre, so flying from there to Pisa and then taking regional trains to Corniglia is around the same time as traveling from Rome. Depart from Falcone Borsellino Airport (PMO) on a 1-hour and 25-minute flight to Galileo Galilei Airport, which is simply known as Pisa International Airport. From there, you can take a high-speed train that gets you to La Spezia Centrale, where you then transfer to a regional train to Corniglia station.