This thread must have been in the back of my memory, because after a lot of discussion my wife and I are thinking about heading back to Cinque Terre. Our reasoning is that we will be in Livorno on May 1, which most of you know is a very major national holiday (Labor Day) in Italy. We have previously been in Italy on May 1 and this is a day when most stores and many museums are closed. We decided to rent a car (we are used to driving in Italy) and probably drive up to Cinque Terre. The total cost of a car rental will be about $100 and there really is no need for a guide to do the 5 villages (you can use your feet, ferry, and/or trains). We might consider taking another couple with us (this cuts the transportation cost to about $25 per person) but keep in mind that we would be renting a very small car and its a windy road from La Spezia to Riomaggiore. If we have enough time we might even stop at Viareggio which is a nice Italian beach resort city.