Hi, I used your site to get travel and hotel info for my stay in Cinque Terre last week and wanted to give you my feedback on the hotel we stayed at:
We stayed at the Villa Argentina in Riomaggiore for 2 nights. They do not take credit cards, you have to pay in lire or traveler’s checks. We paid 204,000 lire a night (about $100) and the room was clean and simply decorated with some amateur artwork. The bathroom was extremely small but had an enclosed shower and was very clean and it served its purpose. We had a small terrace with a beautiful view of the town and the sea. Breakfast was provided every morning, with yummy pastries. I also read on a sign that they served dinner from 7-7:30 but the hotel staff never mentioned it to us.
The hotel is located up (and I mean up) the main road of the village. From the train station take a right through the tunnel, then you reach the main road on your left which is considered the town center, right there near the tunnel. If you hike straight up the road, past the gate where parking starts then past another gate, you dead end into a flat road. There’s another road on your left that has another gate that goes back towards the sea that is flat. take that road and villa Argentina is on your right after several houses. The 10 minute walk up the main road to the hotel is not too bad, if you take it slow, it is steep at times but it didn’t completely kill us.
If you have lots of luggage or are worn out, from the town center by the tunnel is an electric bus ‘button’, mounted on a brightly colored stand that you push that will come down to help you with your luggage or if you don’t want to make the trek up the village. The electric bus is free for the Riomaggiore community and runs from 8am to 8pm daily. But when we arrived it was out of service. So I asked around and happened to run into the mother of the owner of Villa Argentina, who didn’t speak English, but she saw our luggage and we conversed a bit and told her we were staying at villa Argentina and then I said ‘autobus’ and she called the bus for us. I’m sure other townsfolk would do the same if you ask around. The hotel called the bus for us when we left Cinque Terre, and the bus took us down another, very narrow road and dropped us right in front of the train station.
If you don’t want to pay that much for a room, there were tons of signs along the main road that had rooms and apartments for rent. one apartment with a kitchenette I saw rented for 25,000 lire a night ($12.00)! they posted pictures and it looked very clean and bright. we were also approached by several folks asking us if we needed a place to stay, so I think finding a room isn’t too much of a problem.
One advantage climbing up to villa Argentina is if you continue down past the flat road villa Argentina is on all the way to the end, you reach an old church, take the steps past the church on the left and there is a beautiful overlook of the sea and you can watch the sun set from there. then continue your way down the steps to the main road of the village and choose a restaurant for dinner.