Back in the 1970's and early 80's, the Cinque Terre was an undiscovered little slice of the Italian Riviera, visited mainly by middle-class Italians on summer holiday. Enter guidebook author Rick Steves. Thirty years and millions of guidebooks later, visitors to the Cinque Terre now encounter narrow streets full of Americans, elbow to elbow, and all with Rick's guidebook tucked under their arm, all in search of the "undiscovered Italy."
Just a bit south of the Cinque Terre is the Bay of Poets, once home to English expats like John Keats, Percy Shelley and DH Lawrence. This has been my own slice of the Italian Riviera for the last 15+ years. Unlike the Cinque Terre, it has no train station, meaning you'll need a car. But, like the Cinque Terre, narrow roads and a lack of large hotels keep most of the big tour groups away. It seems that the New York Times, too, has stumbled across this little gem. Get there before it is overrun.
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