We arrived in La Speza and found a hotel near the train station with bike storage very easily. It is only an 8 minute train ride to the first of the five towns (Montorosso) and the bikes and gear would have been a colossal pain had we attempted to stay in one of the five towns.. As it turned out, the hotel was ideal except that the Wi-Fi did not connect. We had alternatives.
The 5 towns that make up Cinque Terra plus another couple close by that do not make the list are all quaint. The permanent population in the 5 towns is 5,000 with less in the non-tourist season. The towns all climb up the very steep mountains, are very colorful and picturesque. Many years ago the steep mountainsides were excavated to create terraces for planting mostly grapes for wine and some other fruits. The terraces average about 20 feet wide and require much work to keep the weeds down. The grape harvest is done on the knees or back since the vines are kept low and are not accessible any other way. Wine produced here is much less plentiful than other wines in Italy, is way more labor intensive to produce and is more expensive. The one we tried was very smooth and good.
In our 2 days of exploring we hiked 3 trails, (town to town) two of which were very steep. Great views of the towns and the sea. The only way to walk out of Cinque Terra is up.
Cinque Terra is a feast for the eyes so dig in: