We stayed in Riomaggiore for three nights in mid-September 2001 (19/09 – 21/09) and wished we had booked for a week. The town was delightful and less touristy than Vernazza, while still with many conveniences. Everything was so beautiful! We particularly loved dining at La Lanterna (NOT La Lampara, which was too touristy).
Ivo at Bar Central was a lifesaving translator as we tried to determine where our lost luggage had been taken by Alitalia.
The Limone Granite at the bar on the hill overlooking the harbor was wonderful, as was the handmade Gelati from the shop on the main street, just up from Bar Central.
The Via della Amore from Riomaggiore to Manarola is a teaser – a paved sidewalk which totally mis-represents the trails between the remaining villages! Walking from Vernazza to Corniglia was beautiful and strenuous for two middle-aged, out of shape Americans. All the trail was winding switchbacks of stone steps. Luckily the views are tremendous and the bar at the top of the climb had cold beverages and excellent pastries (of course!).
I would recommend Affita Camere Edi to anyone – we loved our apartment and they were also wonderfully helpful in the matter of lost luggage.
We regret not taking the boat between villages, not seeing all the towns and not booking a longer stay. Weather was great – sunny and about 70 degrees F everyday (though I hear we had just missed some rain).