Concierge.com's insider take:
Few of the visitors who trek dutifully between the Cinque Terre villages bother to head much inlandbut there's another world above the coast, an agricultural hinterland of chestnut groves and terraced vineyards so steep that farmers reach them on little monorail tractors. This charming guest house, perched above the hamlet of Chiesanuova (around 15 minutes' drive from Levanto), is a good introduction to this less touristy side of the region. Four spacious suites, sleeping up to four people, are done up in a contemporary country style in pastel and earth colors, and each room has a computer with free Internet access. The generously sized bathrooms mix modern Italian fittings with more grandmotherly details. Breakfast ($15 extra) is served on the terrace under an apricot tree, and much of what you eat here, like the delicious chocolate cake, is homemade, using local organic ingredients. Owner Fabio is a wine buff, and if you have dinner here (book at least a day in advance), you can sample some of the gems from his cellar. The pretty stone house has ancient origins: The name of the inn derives from a visit the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III is supposed to have made here in the year 996 A.D. Fabio and his Canadian wife, Angela, are authorities on the many footpaths and mountain-bike trails in the area.
Closed November until Easter.