The Hotel Nazionale is a good place to explore the CT if you can't land a place in one of the 5 towns. We did find HN to be comfortable and well-kept. It is just a couple of blocks from the beach. The hike to the train station is uphill and several blocks away. Levanto is a nice town in its own right....nice beach and very scenic buildings. Make sure to hike up to the castle on the hill; it's privately owned so you can't go in. It's worth it just to see the view they have of the ocean!