Milano / Milan / Mailand to Pisa by train

How to make the rail journey from Milan to Pisa

If you want to take a direct train from Milano to Pisa there is a choice between taking the daily Frecciabianca train, or the more frequent, slower and usually cheaper Intercity trains.

Though when looking up this journey, most of the journey options will involve taking a high speed train from Milano to Firenze and then connecting there for a train on to Pisa.

Though another tick in the box for taking these direct trains, is that south of Genoa, they travel along one of Europe's most beautiful coastal railways.

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Routes

Option 1: taking the Frecciabianca train

Travel Information

Final Destination: Roma

This train also calls at: La Spezia, Viareggio and Livorno

This daily Frecciabianca service usually departs from Milano at around 13:10 and arrives in Pisa at 17:06.

The tilting type of Frecciabianca trains are used on this journey.

1 x train per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel dat

If the departure time doesn't suit, or if you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, it's worth looking at the journey options and comparing this train with the alternative Intercity trains.

Rail pass users can save €10 by avoiding this train and targeting those Intercity trains; the guide to using rail passes in Italy has all the info you'll need.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €25.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Italia rail from €25.90

Italia rail Guide

Italiarail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.
Though Italiarail will charge a booking fee, typically of around €3.

The Early Bird service

Italiarail has launched an 'early bird' pre-booking service for journeys by Frecce trains.
Tickets can be booked up to a year ahead of travel at a flat-rate price per route, before the tickets have been released for sale by Trenitalia.
If when they are placed on sale, the price is cheaper than what you have already paid to Italiarail, it will automatically refund the price difference.
Conversely, if the price is more expensive, you won't be charged the price difference.
You can also have the peace of mind of securing your seat(s) on the Frecce train(s) when you are first planning a trip.
If before the tickets are placed on sale, you decide to change your plans, you can request a refund; but once the tickets are released for sale, you will then be bound by the terms and conditions of the ticket(s) you have booked.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesCoastal viewsNot High Speed

Good to Know

If you have a rail pass and will be travelling from Milan to Rome, then in the summer this train is a much more scenic (but slower) alternative to taking the high speed line - though you won't save any money.

Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
A brief glimpse of the Cinque Terre coast A brief glimpse of the Cinque Terre coast

South of Genova the railway line frequently runs close to the coastline - but you need to hope that your reserved seat is on the right (when facing the direction of travel) to see the best of the views.
All of the images were taken from the right of the train.

The highlight of the journey is the stretch between Genova and Sestri Levante.

The railway line also passes through the Cinque Terre towns after Monterroso, where there are fleeting glimpses of the coast between the frequent tunnels.

Those tunnels made it tricky to film this journey when ShowMeTheJourney spent an afternoon travelling back and forth by train between Genova and La Spezia, hence the attempt at a video montage.

Also as can be seen the weather wasn't the best either, but the video does showcase that it can be worth taking in these sea views, even on a grey day!

.

Option 2: taking the Intercity trains

Travel Information

Final Destination: Livorno or (or Grosetto)

All trains also call at: Monterosso (for Cinque Terre), La Spezia and Viareggio.

6 x trains per day

Tickets

Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

Trains departing at different times can be cheaper than others leaving on the same day, so you may need to look through the day's departures to find the cheapest fares.

Check that you are booking the direct train(s); on Trenitalia look for the journeys that only have a time in the Duration column.
Seats on these Intercity trains can sell out days in advance, particularly in the summer months.

If they are, the alternatives are:

(1) taking the Frecciabianca train
(2) travelling this route on Regionale trains, connecting between trains in Genova AND La Spezia
(3) taking a Frecce train from Milano to Firenze and then connecting there for a train on to Pisa - most of the journey options you will see on the ticket booking websites, involve taking this route.

Rail pass users:

Target these IC trains if you want to save €10 on rail pass reservation fees.

Though if you'll want the peace of mind of remaining in the same seat for the entire journey, paying the optional €3 fee is virtually essential, though if you wait until you are in Italy to book reservations for these trains, they may be sold out.

So this is an instance when making reservations before you arrive in Italy is the best option.
How to book these rail pass reservations online is included on our guide to using rail passes in Italy.

Or if the train you want to take is sold out, you can take a combination of Regionale trains; making the connections at Genova Brignole station AND in La Spezia.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Trenitalia from €14.90

Trenitalia Guide

Trenitlalia is the national rail operator in Italy and in addition to its cheaper types of ticket; it also typically offers other discounts available to non-Italians, which include:

  • Group Offers, provides for a discount of up to 50% when 3-5 Adults travel together.
  • Family Offer for when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 11 and under.
  • The Children Free Offer is available for journeys by Frecce trains, when groups of 2 - 5 people are travelling together and at least one of the party is a aged 15 and under.
    Those aged 15 and under travel for free, but the Adults will need to purchase full price 'Base' tickets.
Italia rail from €14.90

Italia rail Guide

Italiarail lives up to its name by selling tickets for rail journeys within Italy and the core feature of its service is that it is primarily designed to be used by international visitors to Italy.
So the English translations of place names are used when looking up journeys and the terms and conditions for using each type of ticket are clearly explained.
It also clearly points out the additional costs of upgrading to other classes and types of tickets while spelling out the additional benefits of doing so.
Though Italiarail will charge a booking fee, typically of around €3.

The Early Bird service

Italiarail has launched an 'early bird' pre-booking service for journeys by Frecce trains.
Tickets can be booked up to a year ahead of travel at a flat-rate price per route, before the tickets have been released for sale by Trenitalia.
If when they are placed on sale, the price is cheaper than what you have already paid to Italiarail, it will automatically refund the price difference.
Conversely, if the price is more expensive, you won't be charged the price difference.
You can also have the peace of mind of securing your seat(s) on the Frecce train(s) when you are first planning a trip.
If before the tickets are placed on sale, you decide to change your plans, you can request a refund; but once the tickets are released for sale, you will then be bound by the terms and conditions of the ticket(s) you have booked.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesCoastal viewsNot High Speed

Good to Know

There is usually eight hour gap between the departure of the first and second direct IC train of the day from Milano to Pisa.

A gap that is plugged by the faster Frecciabianca train, which departs from Milano at around 13:10.

Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
Between Genova and Sestri Levante Between Genova and Sestri Levante
A brief glimpse of the Cinque Terre coast A brief glimpse of the Cinque Terre coast

South of Genova the railway line frequently runs close to the coastline - but you need to hope that your reserved seat is on the right (when facing the direction of travel) to see the best of the views.

Though you'll need to take the morning train, which departs from Milano at around 08:10, or the alternative Frecciabianca train at 13:10. in order to experience this journey at its best.
The other 3 x trains of the day don't depart from Milano until after 16:00, so will be travelling along this part of the route at dusk or in darkness.

The highlight of the journey is the stretch between Genova and Sestri Levante.
The railway line also passes through the Cinque Terre towns after Monterroso, where there are fleeting glimpses of the coast between the frequent tunnels.

Those tunnels made it tricky to film this journey when ShowMeTheJourney spent an afternoon travelling back and forth by train between Genova and La Spezia, hence the attempt at a video montage.

Also as can be seen the weather wasn't the best either, but the video does showcase that it can be worth taking in these sea views, even on a grey day!

All of the images were taken from the right of the train.

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