Rick Steves mentions in his guidebook that part of the fun of the Cinque Terre is finding a place to stay when we arrive. But, everything I'm reading says that Oct. is high season, which suprised me. Should we make reservations in advance?
Yes, I definitely would. I know many if not all the popular places are full now for this October in Vernazza. We were there in May and made reservations 10 months in advance. You may find a place if you just show up, but you will waste valuable time you could spend seeing other fun places etc.
That may be what RS says in his book but it's odd that you see lines of people in the daily rental agent shops - most with blue books with yellow lettering. In high season, the place is packed. Read down the current threads on "The Boot" and see all of the people looking for CT reservations. We stayed in La Spezia this past May and there were people staying in out hotel that thought that they could just show up in the CT and get a room.
OK, my family (and a friend's) is going to europe in summer 08 and things are already getting booked. we can''t find anywhere in siena! So I suggest you step on it!
If you know the dates you will be in 5T book in advance. No sense wasting time that could be spent sightseeing searching for a room.
We went two years ago with 8 people. We arrived on October 1 in Monterosso with no reservations at 6:30 pm. We went to the TI and they told us which hotels had rooms. We went and checked out three of the hotels and chose the one we liked the best. We had no trouble getting rooms without reservations.