We (three friends 40+) spent a few days in Cinque Terre in the end of June and here is a short review.
Transport and accomodation:
We chose to stay in Monterosso, which was the correct choice for us since we arrived from Milano. The train from Milano to Monterosso took about three hours. Monterosso is also the biggest village of the five and has the best service (restaurants and small shops) and is the only village with a beach. The boats between the villages is a perfect and easy way of transport. A day card costs 15 € and then you can hop between the villages as much as you like. It was lovely to sit on the deck enjoying the sun and the gorgeous views! Very easy access in very village, on/off takes a couple of minutes and the harbours/bridges are in the absolut center of the villages. The boats don´t stop in Corniglia since this village is situated very high up and doesn't have a shore or harbour. The first boat leaves at 10.30 from Monterosso and the last return was sometimes around 5 or 6 p.m. If you want to include Porto Venere the day card costs 25 €. There are also train stations in all of the villages and the train ticket costs a couple of euros. The distance between every village is only a few kilometers (totally 12 km from Monterosso in the north to Riomaggiore in the south) and takes a few minutes. Since all the buildings are small (and high), the hotels are also small, We chose a hotel (Stella Della Marina with 10 rooms) in the old town, which also felt like the correct choice. The hotel had a small restaurang, mainly for breakfast, on the roof.
Food and shoppning:
Cinque Terre is a paradise for sea food and pasta lovers! The food is fresh and delicious, the atmosphere cosy and prices reasonable. The restaurants are mostly small, some at the beach and some in the old town, some indoors and some outdoors. The ice cream is also great as well as the wine. If you like meat the alternatives are not many. There are small shops in the old town selling mainly locally produced goods. Also in the other villages there are similar restaurants and shops, but of course fewer. There are no shopping malls or bigger shops in Cinque Terre - they are not needed!
Weather and clothing:
During our three days we had sunshine always from the mornings. In the afternoons there were some clouds and in one evening we even had rain. One day we spent a few lovely hours in the beach. The temperature was around 22 C. In daytime a t-shirt and shorts are quite enough, but in the evening long sleeves felt good.
Because of a bad back I didn't use the trails between the villages, so I cannot comment much on them. The easiest one of them (Via Dell Amore, 30 minutes) between Riomaggiore and Manarola was however closed at this time. My friends walked from Monterosso to Vernazza (medium level, 4 km, 2 hours) and were absolutely amazed with the landscapes and views! I can strongly recommend a trip to Cinque Terre and want to go again!