Italy's
Cinque Terre
Five Lands
In Medieval Italy   
You seldom see cars in  the villages because there are few roads.
Driving to Cinque Terre is an option but Cinque Terre's main railway which weaves in and out of tunnels along the coast.  Boats railway which weaves in and out villages.
There are few roads in Cinque Terre so you therefore seldom need a vehicle.

Each village has its own character because they were once isolated by the steep cliffs. Now, however, the villages are only a few minutes apart by train or the passenger ferry that makes frequent trips during the day.
Trails also connect the villages. The hills are  terraced intensively and  make a perfect vacation venue for hikers.  
Train, Rome To Cinque Terre Via La Spezia
Terre from Rome, Train Transportation Via La Option.

Train    
Train  from Rome, high speed to Monterosso or La Spezia, is the easiest way  to reach Cinque Terre.  The magic land on the coast of Italy made for the hiker was isolated for centuries but now there are a few options for your visit.   The best two are to drive from Rome (Airport FCO) or to go by train.  Bus service is not a good option and because you will not need a car in Cinque Terre, the train delivers the best option.

Trains and Prices
The trains to Cinque Terre will offer choices.  There is fast train that will leave Roma Termini Station in Rome and take 3 hours to reach La Spezia, a transportation hub just south of Cinque Terre,  This train costs $73  USD.  Once in La Spezia,  you connect to a regional train to your village in Cinque Terre.  
There is also a slower and less expensive train from Rome that will reach La Spezia in 5-6 hours.  Some trains stop in Pisa and you make a connection to another train. The economy fare currently runs at about $60. USD   (2010 price)
From La Spezia you hope to find a regional train that stops in your village in the Cinque Terre.
If the train does not stop at your village, go to Monterosso al Mar and get a train back, or take the boat that shuttles between villages to reach your destination.  Cinque Terre also has bus service between villages as part of the park and preserve that encompasses Cinque Terre.
network of walking trails gives the visitor a glimpse into life of Medieval times.  The five villages still practice the simple farm life and they harvest of the sea in small boats.    
nature park.  The Park preserves the environment and the air quality by operating a The villages built into rocky enclaves on the mountainside  are surrounded by a nature park.  The Park preserves the environment and the air quality by operating a Walking is the ideal way to get around, however, the view  while walking in the terraced vineyards of the coast is a stunner.
At around $60 USD, the train out of Rome's  Roma Termini is an ideal way to visit Cinque Terre.  You wont have the expense driving the 300 or so miles, paying tolls on the highways, and paying to park a vehicle once you arrive.  The train also puts other cities like Pisa and Genoa within reach.
Train Travel to Italy's   Five Villages of the Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre's tour boats connect the five villages
Riomaggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, and Monterosso al Mar are of the best preserved natural areas of the Mediterranean.  Cinque Terre has  defied development due in part to its steep cliffs.
The villages celebrate fishing and intensive viticulture which has created a unique landscape with stone walls so extensive that guidebooks make comparison to the Great Wall of China.  
No Passing for commercial vehicles
No Passing zone ends
Highway or Expressway
Intersection with right of way to right
Road showing right of way
Rotary
with yield to traffic in
Speed limits in Italy will be clearly marked and the Rotary will be a welcome site with its directions to various towns.  Gassing up is similar to US with credit card and automatic shut-off at modern pumps. Car rental are available in all large cities. Italian law states that you should have n International Driving Permit although the rental car companies will ask only for your home State drivers license and passport
Flying into Rome for a trip to Cinque Terre.  Rome is warm year round so you can keep your wardrobe simple.   Rome is a sophisticated city and could require formal dress in some restaurants (Necktie suit jacket, dress) Cinque Terre will be casual dress throughout.
Rome has a climate similar to the mid USA at sea level, cool Dec. Jan. 40s but no ice or snow, warm summers, June July August, 80s  possible light rain in Spring.
Cinque Terre is north of Rome on the Mediterranean Coast south of Genoa. Best months May June,
Information for those Renting a vehicle in Rome
Use these websites to buy Train tickets in England and France. http://www.sncf.com/en/passengers en.voyages-sncf.com/en/ www.tgv-Europe.com
(Note: Vehicle rentals at Rome's airport include an airport tax}
Nonstop trains run to Rome's Termini Train Station  from 7:30 am to 10  Pm
If you will cab into the city of Rome, the licensed Taxis with a meter are the best option.
Spezia will go through La Spezia to Monterosso. Regional trains from Moterosso reach each village in Cinque Terre.
Trains are available at Rome's Termini Station
(Monterosso) the northern most village of the Cinque Terre,  and then catch the regional train, or the shuttle boat if you are not carrying excess luggage,  back to your village.    The fast train to Monterosso makes one connection at Massa Centro and takes 4 hours 20 minutes at a cost of  $57 USD.

Each town has a train station for the slow regional trains that go through tunnels carved out of the cliffs.  Four of the towns have shuttle boat service during the day.  
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