Don't listen to your Santa Magherita hotel concierge, do not read the tour guides and spend all of your time in Cinque Terre, Santa Margherita and Portofino. Go to Porto Venere for a day! Check the boat and train schedule and go for it (we did boat on the way down from Monte Rosso or Levanto, and the train back all the way to SML).
We found less tourists, great vistas, a castle, a charming old town and a church on the top of the point. Plus for the Trekkers at heart there is an island with a 3 hour trek around (we didn't do it but we heard it was very nice, and with the other Cinque Terra treks closed now due to the landslides this could be a good option).
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