Yes, it’s still possible. Despite the fact that millions of Americans have added Cinque Terre to their bucket lists, you can still visit and enjoy the Five Lands without being sucked into a tourist vortex. The key is to travel in the low season. In late March, crowds were sparse, and temperatures were very mild, hovering around 70° F.
A good base for exploring Cinque Terre is the naval town of La Spezia. While it might lack glamour, it makes up for it with plenty of great espresso, incredible gelato, and avenues lined with orange trees. It also provides an easy rail link to the Cinque Terre. Buy a one-day pass at the station for €13 and you’ll have plenty of time to spend at least an hour exploring each village. For those who want to hike the entire length between the villages, get a 2-day pass, and you can conquer it without feeling rushed.
Cinque Terre is beautiful and well-worth visiting. Go there in the low season and you’ll pay less for lodging, avoid the crowds, and experience it more like a local.