Milano / Milan / Mailand to San Remo / Sanremo by train

How to take a train journey from Milano to San Remo/Sanremo and the Italian Riviera

The railway which follows the coast of the Italian Riviera has been improved in recent years, but it's remote from the Italian high speed network, hence it being served by fewer trains than you might expect.

If the timings of these direct trains don't suit, then an option is to take Regionale trains and make a connection in Genoa/Genova.

Though if you make the journey by daylight, your efforts will be rewarded by one of Europe's most lovely coastal rail journeys.



From Milano Centrale to Sanremo

Journey Summary

Travel Time
3hr 44 min - 3hr 53min
Travel Information

Final Destination: Ventimiglia

Now that the Thello service of daytime trains between northern Italy and south-eastern France has been discontinued, connections are now required at Ventimiglia station, into local trains heading to Grasse or Cannes via Menton, Mote-Carlo, Nice and Antibes.

All trains also call at: Albenga and Savona

6 x trains per day


Book early and save: Yes

Online bookings open: 3 months ahead of the travel date

The cheapest tickets for the Intercity trains tend to be €5 cheaper than the Frecciabianca trains.
The Intercity (IC) trains are usually scheduled to depart daily at 09:10; 17:10 and 20:05; while the Frecciabianca trains typically depart daily at 07:10 and 15:10

Rail Pass Users:

If you will be travelling with a valid Eurail or InterRail pass, take care when choosing which train to travel by on this route.

You can save €10 by taking the IC trains, as Eurail and InterRail users don't have to make reservations to travel on the Intercity trains, but paying the €3 optional reservation fee is virtually essential, because if you don't, you'll be lucky not to have to constantly find different seats during the journey.

You will need to reserve prior to boarding the Frecciabianca trains, either at the station (using a Trenitalia ticket machine or ticket desk) OR by booking them online.

How to book the rail pass reservations online is included on our guide to using rail passes in Italy.

Where to book
Ticket Provider Approximate Cost
Italia rail from €15.90

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.

Trenitalia from €15.90

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.

On this journey

Journey Features

Scenic - YesCoastal viewsNot High Speed

Good to Know

Sanremo station is located within a tunnel, therefore the station will appear suddenly, so keep an eye on the arrival time and listen out for the announcement that the train is about to arrive in Sanremo, to avoid having to scramble for the exit doors.

Travelling by the sea at sunset through the Italian Riviera Travelling by the sea at sunset through the Italian Riviera
East of Albenga the railway runs along the shore East of Albenga the railway runs along the shore

For most of the journey after Genova the railway line hugs the Mediterranean coastline, but the sea views will be on the left of the train (when facing the direction of travel).
The train will reverse direction on departure from Genova.

This is one of Europe' most delightful railway journeys by the sea.
After departure from Piazza Principe station the train will pass by the port of Genova with views of the cruise ships, then until Finale Ligure, the coast can be glimpsed between the tunnels, but it is a prelude of what awaits the patient traveller.

Though as can be seen from the images and video, SMTJ travelled this route at dusk, but you can get an idea of how fabulous it would be on a sunny day.

For the majority of the passage between Finale Ligure and Albenga, the railway is right beside the shore, but in recent years a new railway has been tunneled through the hills west of Albenga, so the scenery isn't as epic as used to be.

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