Monterosso is the only one of the Cinque Terre towns that is served by long distance (Intercity) trains.
So if you're heading to the area from the north (Milano, Torino or Albenga), you can take an IC train direct to Monterroso - and If need be, connect there for one of the local trains that provide the rail links to the other Cinque Terre towns - Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola and Riomaggiore.
Though if you're heading to Vernazza, Corniglia, Manorola and Riomaggiore from the south, the quickest option is to change trains in La Spezia.
Unlike those other Cinque Terre towns, Monterosso also has direct Intercity trains from Pisa, Livorno and Roma.
In addition to the fairly frequent (especially in the afternoons) Regionale train service that shuttles through the Cinque Terre between Levanto and La Spezia, there is also an hourly (during the day) Regionale train that service that runs between Sestri Levante (to the north of The Cinque Terre) and La Spezia.
These trains between Sestri Levante and La Spezia call at Monterosso.
So if you will be heading to Monterosso, (or the other Cinque Terre towns), from Genova/Genoa, the quickest option can often be taking a Regionale train from Genova* to Sestri Levante and connecting there for the Regionale train on towards Monterosso (that's heading to La Spezia).
(If you have a rail pass making the connection between Regionale trains in Sestri Levante, or La Spezia, saves the bother of having to reserve on the Intercity trains).
*If you will be heading to Monterosso, or the other Cinque Terre towns, from Genova city centre, the quickest option will be to catch a train from Genova Brignole station, but the Intercity trains to Monterosso and the Regionale trains to Sestri Levante (for connections to Monterosso) also depart from Genova Piazza Principe station.
Monterosso train station has a stunning location right by the beach, but the station itself won't be winning any beauty contests.
Aside from a café, with sea views, and a ticket office, the station has comparatively few facilities.
The narrow street between the station and the beach is linked to the main station building by stairs - there are no lifts or escalators.
So if you need to change platforms/tracks/binari when changing trains at Monterosso, you also have to use the stairs.
The street between the station and the sea is too narrow for a taxi rank, so Monterosso station doesn't have one - after all the appeal of The Cinque Terre towns are that they're mostly free of cars.
So if you will be staying in Monterosso, the only option is for reaching your hotel is to walk - and the station is located between the two areas of town where the hotels are located.
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