Yes, great web site on the Cinque Terre! We also just returned from Italy and visited the Cinque Terre. I wanted to comment on one of the hotels recommended in here. We decided to book ahead and called a few hotels. We ended up getting in touch with La Spiaggia in Monterosso on the beach. Andrea is the owner and while he can be very charming when he wants to, he doesn’t run the hotel with the best of care. We showed up early afternoon and were informed he didn’t have any rooms, not only for us, but for 3 other couples as well. After talking to other people there later on, we realized this seems to be a very common occurrence. He booked us up the street, in a one star hotel (la Spiaggia is a 2 star). Nice people, but the indoor noise prevented me from sleeping. We went back to La Spiaggia the next day to complain and he ended up giving us one of the rooms in his hotel, I’m sure by bumping someone else.
I would not recommend a stay here – simply for the trouble you may run into. The food was ok and the room was fine (nothing fancy, but clean). In fact, I would recommend a stay in either Vernazza or Manarola as they are the most quaint and you don’t hear any cars or motor scooters here! Vernazza was a bit busier, but Manarola was very nice. If you do stay in Monterosso, I’d splurge on the 4 star there or pick the Villa Steno up on the hill.
In spite of this little snag, I loved Cinque Terre – the day of hiking we did was definitely one of the best days of our entire trip.
Karen and Mike Truitt