The guide to La Spezia Centrale station explains how to connect there for trains heading to the Cinque Terre, and how to head to the city centre.
La Spezia Centrale train station occupies an elevated position above the city.
What looks the main exit from the station, leads on to a roadway that leads down towards the city, hence the taxi rank being located by this exit, which leads off of the main station hall.
However, when arriving by train at most of the binari (tracks/platforms), you need to descend into a passage way, which runs beneath the railway lines, in order to exit the station.
This passage way also runs beneath the station buildings and exits on to a street named 'Via Fume'.
Therfore to access the main exit, you need to ascend up into the main station buildings, but there is little point in doing so - the quickest route to the city centre is to exit on to Via Fume.
However, La Spezia Centrale is at the opposite end of the city centre to the port area - so on foot you need to allow 15-25 mins to make the journey.
An alternative to walking are the bus lines/routes 6 and 13 (and maybe others) that link the station with the port area.
When you exit on to Via Fume, from the station's passage way, the bus stop is to the left.
When heading to the station from the city, you don't have to walk up the steep station approach road.
Carry on along Via Fume and to the right will be a wall that separates the road from the station - the passage way to the station has been knocked through this wall.
If you use this Via Fume entrance, you can use the elevators to access the main station building if you want to buy a ticket.
Other elevators (if they're working) also link the binaro (platforms/tracks) to this passage way that runs beneath the tracks
La Spezia Centrale station functions as the gateway to the five Cinque Terrre villages from other locations in Italy, to the south and east.
Part of the Cinque Terre's charm is that it's five villages are car-free, they can only be reached on the train, or by sea.
There are tourist information staff and a dedicated ticket office at the La Spezia Centrale station for Cinque Terre visitors.
This dedicated ticket office sells 'Cinque Terre Treno Cards' that can be used to travel between La Spezia and the Cinque Terre towns by train - and then once you're in the Cinque Terre, you can use these passes to hop between the villages on the trains.
These passes are a cheaper option than buying separate tickets for each train journey - though on summer mornings you can expect to have to queue for more than 30 mins to purchase them - but they can now be booked online.
During the day two or three Regionale trains per hour run between La Spezia and the five Cinque Terre towns - Riomaggiore, Manorola, Corniglia, Vernazza and Monterosso.
The trains will usually be heading to Levanto or Sestri Levante.
We have listed these Cinque Terre towns in order of which is closest to La Spezia first, though Monterosso, the furthest north, is only around 20 mins from La Spezia by train.
Sit on the left of these trains when heading north, between the tunnels there are some fleeting, but incredible, sea views.
To the Cinque Terre from south of La Spezia:
Monterosso is the only one of the five Cinque Terre towns that is also served by long-distance trains, you can travel to it direct on Intercity trains from Pisa, Livorno and Roma.
However, the Regionale trains from La Spezia to Monterosso are much more frequent, so the best option for reaching Monterosso from the south, can be making the connection at La Spezia Centrale.
If you will be heading to the Cinque Terre towns of Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola and Riomaggiore from the south by train, you will need to change trains at La Spezia Centrale.
These four Cinque Terre towns are only served by local (Regionale) trains that head north from La Spezia towards Levanto or Sestri Levante.
This is one of more than 300 station guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.