Warning to Visitors

Some of the information below may be out of date as a result of changing timetables and services. Please double check the accuracy of all information before travelling.

The booking forms should be up to date however, so if tickets for a particular service are available, then the service should be operational.

Genoa

Genoa or Genova is a city situated on the coast in Northern Italy. It is an important port for the country, with services from the city travelling to destinations including Barcelona, Tangier and Palermo. The city is also easily reached by train from cities including Nice and Venice.

Genoa is well connected by train and ferry. Direct rail services are available to other Italian cities such as Milan and Florence, and neighbouring France.

How to get to Genoa from
Route 1:

There are a couple of different options for travel between Pisa and Genoa; you can either travel via the Cinque Terre on a Regionale train, or take a faster InterCity route which travels along the same route but stops less frequently. The Regionale train described here runs less frequently direct to Pisa, although there are plenty of services travelling to La Spezia (around 8mins from Riomaggiore) which has plenty of onward services to Pisa. In fact, there is only one direct service between Genoa and Pisa each day, and only travelling to Pisa. If you want to travel at any other time, or in the opposite direction, you will need to catch an InterCity service, or travel indirectly, via La Spezia.

This route is operated by single decker trains (as opposed to the double decker services found on other Regionale routes). Between La Spezia and Genoa, the journey passes along the coast, stopping at the Cinque Terre (Riomaggiore).

Route 2:

An epic train journey has recently been re-created by Russian Railways in an attempt to link the Russian capital, Moscow, wih the South of France at Nice. The route is designed (perhaps unsurprisingly) for Russians wanting to catch a bit of sun, and hopes to revive some of the glamour of long distance train journeys.

The two day journey doesn't come cheap, with prices starting at over €300, and going as high as €1200. It isn't your average journey however, with comfortable rooms and furnishings. Each compartment has two berths, which can be shared or sole occupancy. Breakfast is included in ticket prices, and is served in the dining car. There are a number of different (tasty) options to choose from.

The rooms, while comfortable, can be a bit on the warm side, and unfortunately the windows don't open, preventing passengers from making the most of air conditioning au naturale! They also lack power sockets, so you will need to bring plenty of old fashioned reading material, or be prepared to make the most of the wide range of views on offer.

Passports and visas are checked at the Poland/Belarus border. At the border, the wheel gauge is changed, but passengers stay onboard for this process. Passengers who aren't Russian will require a transit visa to travel through Belarus. This can be obtained from the Belarussian Embassy. You will be removed from the train if you do not have an appropriate visa.

Want more information? Shaun Walker has written a good in-depth account of his journey on the Nice to Moscow train for the Independent.

Route 3:

If you are travelling to the Cinque Terre, the five picturesque towns perched on Italy's coast, there is no better way to travel than by train. The five towns, Monterosso, Corniglia, Vernazza, Manarola and Riomaggiore, are each linked by the train route that runs between Genoa and La Spezia.

Ferries also link four of the towns (Corniglia isn't served by the ferries as it is high on a mountain top). Ferry passes are available each day, but be aware that boats often do not run due to adverse weather conditions.

The train line linking the towns runs very frequently, providing an almost hop-on hop-off service for visitors to the towns. If you are planning on visiting the Cinque Terre over one, two or three days, it is best to buy a pass from one of the five stations' ticket offices. The pass entitles the bearer to unlimited use of the trains between the towns, as well as free use of the various trails in the area. If you buy a pass, be sure to validate it using the yellow ticket validation machines at the station on the day you wish the ticket validity to start.