I understand a bit better now. I, myself, have quite often hopped on a bus to an outlying village and ridden it roundtrip, just to see the scenery. It gives the bus drivers a giggle, I think, but it works for me.
I've take a few overnight ferries and slept perfectly well in a tiny cabin. My one recent experience on an overnight train, in southern Italy, was utterly miserable and sleepless because of the constant left-to-right jerking of the carriage. I hope and suspect that the rails are in better shape in other parts of Europe, but I wonder whether you're going to get much sleep on the overnight trains and hope that you never try them on back-to-back nights.
I believe the Cinque Terre is an unfortunate choice of destination for someone with limited mobility since there's a lot of uphill/downhill walking and--I suspect--a lack of taxis. This is worth some extra research (if you haven't already done it) before you commit to a stop there. The train line runs through a tunnel a good bit of the way, with just periodic window-like cut-outs giving a glimpse of the ocean. I'm not sure you'll be able to see much there.
If it would help to have suggestions for lovely smaller towns that are basically flat, I can offer Ravenna and Vicenza, though you'd probably want a taxi from the train station to the historic center of Vicenza.
Or perhaps a lake with flattish shore towns and opportunities for boat trips? I think Stresa might work, but I don't believe the Borromeans Isles are flat, and they are pretty much the reason to go to Stresa in might view.
Orvieto, despite being a hill town, might work if you cobbled together all the available forms of transportation: train from Rome (just over an hour) to the base of the town, funicular up to the historic area, and bus to the (basically flat) center of the historic district.