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.
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.
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.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
|Italia rail||from €15.90|
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.
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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This is one of more than 100 train travel 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.