Staying in Pisa even though you’re planning to visit the Cinque Terre towns in Liguria, does it even make any sense? Well, the answer is YES!
In this post, I share 4 reasons why you should consider staying in the city of Pisa even if you plan to spend the day in the Italian villages of Manarola, Riomaggiore, Monterosso and Corniglia.
1. The Cinque Terre are easy to reach by train from Pisa
If you decide to travel by train from Pisa Centrale train station, you will be able to reach the first of the Cinque Terre villages, Riomaggiore, in less than 1 and a half hours.
However, make sure to choose the right train before hopping on. Some trains with the same destination take almost 2 hours! You can easily check the best and fastest journey on Trenitalia’s website. In case you’re not familiar with it yet, Trenitalia is Italy’s main train operator.
Where to buy train tickets?
It is possible to buy train tickets online directly on Trenitalia’s website. This will definitely save you last minute stress, and you will be able to book your journey at the best price.
If you decide to buy your tickets at the counter or at the vending machines on the day of departure, still check Trenitalia’s website beforehand and make sure to purchase tickets for the right train by checking its number.
In Italy, all trains have a number, it will appear on your ticket and you’ll be able to look for the corresponding number on the train station’s departure board.
This is very important as different trains often leave for the same destination within a few minutes of each other.
You will find many hotels for all budgets very close to the train station. All you’ll have to do is wake up early in the morning and hop on the right train! This brings me to my next point.
Travel tip: if you buy printed train tickets, always validate them using the dedicated machines inside the train station or near the tracks before boarding the train.
2. Pisa offers cheaper accommodation
Of course, if you dream about the full Cinque Terre experience with a hotel room overlooking its famous colorful houses, Pisa might not cut it for you.
However, if you travel on a budget, this is actually a great option that will potentially save you a lot of money!
There are many hotel options close to Pisa’s train station for all budgets. For example, during my last stay in Pisa, I spent €75 per night, including breakfast.
If you’d like to stay in one of the Cinque Terre villages, keep in mind that you will need to book your accommodation as early as possible. The Cinque Terre towns are part of Italy’s most popular destinations, but because of their size, the hotel, B&B and Airbnb offer is more limited than in major Italian cities.
Another practical aspect to bear in mind is that the villages are anything but flat. Chances are you will need to climb stairs for a while with your luggage before reaching your accommodation.
3. Pisa’s airport is the closest airport to the Cinque Terre
The city of Pisa is conveniently located nearby the airport. I found it very practical, and it saved me a lot of stress both on the day of my arrival and departure in Italy.
Pisa International Airport (Galileo Galilei) is about 1km away from Pisa Centrale train station. Right next to the airport terminal, you will find the high-speed ‘Pisamover’ shuttle which connects the airport to the city of Pisa. It is available every day from 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Depending on the departure time of your flight, it might be a good idea to spend the night before in Pisa anyway. If you have some spare time, the famous leaning tower of Pisa and the Piazza dei Miracoli are without a doubt worth checking out.
4. Other than the Cinque Terre, Pisa is close to many cities of interest in Italy
If you are planning a road trip in Italy, Pisa is a good starting point as it will allow you to visit many other cities of interest in and around Toscana.
On top of the Cinque Terre villages, Pisa is close to other beautiful Italian cities that you should definitely add to your Italy bucket list! Here are a few cities you’ll be able to reach from Pisa Centrale train station in less than 2 hours.
- Livorno: 15 minutes by train
- Lucca: half an hour by train
- Florence: 1 hour by train
- Pistoria: 1 and a half hour by train
- Siena: Less than 2 hours by train
I hope you found this post useful! If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram @rosesandpostcards
See you soon!