Fastest journey1hr 30m
It is easy to take the train from Genoa to Pisa via the Cinque Terre coast. Intercity trains travel this 170-km-long route, with an additional five fast Frecciabianca services each day. The route takes in the eastern part of the Ligurian Riviera, including the famous Cinque Terre villages – which are on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Unfortunately, you don’t see very much of the Cinque Terre coast from the train. You’ll catch a few tantalising glimpses, but for much of the Cinque Terre coast the railway line is tucked away in tunnels. But elsewhere, as you ride south along the coast of Liguria, you’ll get some good views of the beaches and resorts that line this coast.
If you want to the Cinque Terre villages, it’s best to take a local train south from Sestri Levante (or north up the coast from La Spezia) to Vernazza, where the railway station gives easy access to one of the most picturesque communities on this stretch of coast.
Bookings on this route normally open four months in advance of travel, and that's when you'll find the cheapest tickets.
Genoa to Pisa
Trains from Genoa to Pisa leave from Piazza Principe station, and then make a second stop at Genoa Brignole station. You’ll arrive at Pisa Centrale, just south of the city centre. The fastest Frecciabianca trains on this route make just one other stop (at La Spezia), taking 1 hr 45 mins for the journey. Intercity trains on this route stop up to a dozen times along the way and take about 30 minutes longer for the ride to Pisa. The traverse of the famous Cinque Terre coast takes only about 10 minutes as the train travels through tunnels between Levanto and Riomaggiore.
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Image credits: Leaning Tower of Pisa © Chakphet Sirichumsaeng