I know this may seem CRAZY - BUT is it possible to leave Florence by rail early in the AM and visit 2 towns in the Cinque Terre and then Portofino for an hour or two AND return back to Florence that same day??? How many changes in train are involved? We do not have a car, so I am completely dependent upon rail and bus lines. We plan to visit in late March.
I really appreciate any help you have to offer!
You could do it, but I think it's better choose between cinque terre and portofino.
About transportation, from Florence to cinque terre you have to change train in Pisa or in La Spezia, the trip duration is about 3 hours.
From cinque terre to portofino, you can take the same train you used to come and you'll take about 50 minutes to arrive in S. Margherita Ligure Train station, from there you can go to portofino by bus in 15 minutes.
For come back to Florence you'll take another train to La Spazia or Pisa and change!!
For check about train timetable look here http://www.trenitalia.com/en/index.html
For research from Firenze to Cinque terre, write the name of oun of 5 terre town.
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