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last-minute Italy trip - please help!

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We're flying to Milan in early October and have a total of 5 nights in Italy. I figure we will spend the first and last nights in Milan, so that leaves us with 3 nights to schedule. The plan is to rent a car in Milan on our way out of the city. We'd like to go to Parma for at least one night. I was there very briefly several years ago and would like to go back.

Questions for you:

The husband wants to go to Cinque Terre (We've never been.) but it sounds like the weather is iffy in October, plus possibly a hassle to get to, plus possibly loaded with tourists. Is going to Parma for one night and CT for 2 a terrible idea? I suppose we'd drive to Santa Margharita or Rapello but haven't worked out any details yet. Any advice is most appreciated!

Where would you go if not CT? We have been to Bologna (which seems like the obvious choice) several times so would prefer to go elsewhere.

Thanks very much!

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