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5 Smarter Ways To Travel In Italy In 2020

The harbor and castle of Lerici. Not far from the Cinque Terre is the Lerici Coast, where you’ll find a cluster of lovely towns and villages offering unvarnished charm, far fewer crowds, a good selection of beaches and well-priced restaurants serving rustic Ligurian cuisine. Photo Catherine Sabino

By Catherine Sabino

In his groundbreaking and best-selling book, The Italians (published in 1964), Luigi Barzini wrote about the ever-growing flocks of travelers turning up in his homeland after World War II, even imagining a time when the number of tourists might equal or exceed the country’s population. That moment seems to have arrived, with more than 62 million visitors streaming into Italy in 2018, according to the UNWTO. (The population that year was about 60,360,000 according to Istat.)


Travelers will always want to go to Rome, Venice and Florence, but Italy has many other fascinating cities. Make it a point to visit them. Genoa, well positioned between Liguria’s two Rivieras, is a city with great museums, palazzi and one of the largest centri storiche (historic centers) in Europe. Photo Catherine Sabino.

With no signs of the influx abating any time soon—if ever—here’s how to help the country, parts of which are suffering from the effects of overtourism, as you make plans for visiting in 2020 … continue reading




Catherine Sabino has worked for magazines in Italy and the US, and was editor-in-chief of Forbes Special Interest Publications, Gotham Magazine and Four Seasons Magazine, a travel and lifestyle publication. In addition to living and going to school in Italy, she has written two books on Italian design, published by Crown/Clarkson Potter, and has produced features from many regions in Italy and countries in Europe. Her focus is on travel in Italy and Western Europe.

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