My husband and I visited CT in July ’00 and I for one was very disappointed. As is usually the case, the “reality” didn’t live up to the reputation. Sure, it was beautiful, but the crowds negated that beauty. We hiked the five towns and encountered quite a number of “USA-college age backpackers” camping out right on the trail — a real turnoff.
If you’re going to do that, at least try and be inconspicuous about it! We’ve spent a total of two months in Italy and the CT was our least favorite area we visited. It might be better in the “off” season, but I have a feeling it’s still pretty crowded — it’s on the map and there’s no turning back now.
The reason, as you say, may very well be Steves’ books, but don’t kid yourself, the Internet is where a lot of people go for information about travel. Your site is just as much a factor for the all the crowds, especially the “after-college” crowd. I think a good rule of thumb for anyone researching (quiet) places to visit is if there’s lots of info out on it, it’s not where you want to be. My advice would be to do some exploring, find your own quite places, and DON’T ADVERTISE anywhere.
Guido & Suzanna