Alternative to Cinque Terre?

Looking for "less touristy" version of Cinque Terre. Very sad to read that is has become that way. Anyone been to Portovenere or Lerici or Campogli or Tellaro? Want authentic feel with great food! Afraid of being disappointed after Cinque Terre's beauty.

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1199 posts

Lena, we just visited Camogli and Portovenere a few weeks ago (in addition to Portofino & the CT). Unfortunately Portovenere was just as crowded as the CT but Camogli was refreshingly less crowded. Camogli was just as beautiful as the CT towns and we really enjoyed walking around there. What time of year will you be visiting? We were there the first week in September so it was still very crowded in the CT. We got to the CT on a Friday and that weekend was considered the last weekend of summer so it was wall-to-wall people in the CT that weekend but then we noticed come Monday that the crowds had significantly thinned out and the CT towns weren't nearly as crowded.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3344 posts

First of all I want to say that the Cinque Terre are wonderful and should visit them at least once, if you've never been. I say this in spite of the fact that the CT are no longer what they used to be 30+ years ago when I used to go there every summer during my youth. Unfortunately in the past couple of decades a travel guru from Seattle (no names mentioned) has convinced various tribes from North America to invade the place and now it is indeed very "touristy". There aren't really too many places left in Italy, which are untouched by tourists. In addition to the 60 million Italians, there are now nearly 40 million foreigners who visit the place every year. Good luck finding an unspoiled corner. But here are some great "Cinque Terre substitutes" (I will limit my list to coastal villages "on the water"): CAMPANIA/BASILICATA: Procida (Flegrean Islands, Gulf of Naples) Positano (Amalfi Coast), not exactly undiscovered though Furore (Amalfi Coast) Atrani (Amalfi Coast) Cetara (Amalfi Coast) Maratea (Basilicata) LATIUM: Ponza (Ponziane Islands, Latium) APULIA: Vieste (Gargano Peninsula) Peschici (Gargano Peninsula) TUSCANY: Giglio (Giglio Island) Porto Santo Stefano (Argentario) Porto Ercole (Argentario) LIGURIA (besides Cinque Terre): Tellaro
Portovenere I'll stop here for now.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

Levanto or Bonossola (sp) to the north of the CT are nice seaside towns.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Lena, I agree with Roberto that it's definitely worthwhile to visit the Cinque Terre at least once if you haven't been there. Despite the crowds, the C.T. is still very beautiful and unique (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and a place that I return to as often as possible. I also agree that most places in Italy are going to be inundated with tourists in varying degrees. They will all be trying to find that little "authentic" corner of Italy that you may be searching for. As Sheron mentioned, Porto Venere also tends to be very touristy. I find it a bit more "posh" than the towns of the C.T., and it doesn't feel as "casual and comfortable" as the C.T. There will probably be a yacht or two parked in the harbour. @Roberto, "a travel guru from Seattle (no names mentioned) has convinced various tribes from North America to invade the place and now it is indeed very "touristy"." The travel guru from Seattle isn't completely responsible for the crowds. One of my relatives was living in the U.K. a number of years ago, and the area was well known to people there. Also, a lot of visitors to the C.T. these days seem to be from the Orient, India or other parts of the world, places which have never heard of the Seattle travel guru. Cheers!

Posted by Sheron
Alta Loma, CA, USA
1199 posts

To build on what Ken said, my understanding is that the CT was very popular with the Germans way before the un-named travel guru from Washington ever made it popular with us Americans. And, judging by the amount of German we heard while we were there this year, I think it's still extremely popular! And yes, we saw a lot of Asians there as well. I still love the CT & it holds a very special place in my heart regardless of the crowds but I must admit the day I visited Camogli, I didn't miss the crowds one bit.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

try checking out Ponza island,a RS member recommend it to me not to touristy yet, he said to me go before Rick steves goes and makes a show episode there and ruin's it lol. l looked into it not to far from rome,about an hour south by train to the town of Anzio need to take a fairy boat to get to it tho... there are a few towns that you can take the fairy boat,Anzio is the closes one

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
3344 posts

Yes Ken. Europeans have always been there at the CT, especially the Germans. I still haven't found a foxhole on Earth where there isn't at least one German tourist. But now the CT is like Disney in summer.
There is some other travel guru (his name is Rickishaan Stevesinghal) in India who is writing about the place.

Posted by Lena
San Antonio, USA
7 posts

Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Anyone else have information about Ponza? It looks beautiful.

Posted by Michael
Seattle, WA, USA
5766 posts

Type Ponza into the search window here to see helpful info previously posted, mostly by Roberto.

Posted by juan
whittier, ca, usa
69 posts

Lena when are you planning on going to Ialyo?