This is a suggestion. We recently spent 5 days in Cinque Terre, using Levanto as our home base (specifically at La Dolce Vita, a wonderful B & B). The town was perfect as a hub for hiking, boat and train travel, restaurants (Acqua Dolce - excellent) and shopping. Rather than staying in one of the 5 towns, Levanto gave us much more flexibility. We took a car to Carrara and found it a unique experience to see all that marble.