I love Cinque Terre — my favourite spot on my recent European vacation and you have lots of great information on your site. However, since there are so many backpackers through Europe (including myself) I think that Mama Rosa’s hostel can’t go w/o mentioning. As soon as travelers get off the train in Riomaggiore, mama and her son are there leading backpackers to her hostel down the street. They and it are classic!
I do understand some folks’ issues w/cleanliness at Mama Rosa’s — it certainly could have benefited with a little help from Mr. Clean. 😉 Nonetheless, it was such a FUN place — very sociable. TRUE backpackers looking for an authentic Italian experience will probably be able to stand a little dirt and grime!