I just returned to the US from a stay in Italy. I stopped in Monterosso overnight and while I was awestruck with the village, the people and the environ–I was greatly disturbed to find it has been discovered by the college crowd. All of the regular accommodations were filled (in all the towns) and I was lucky enough to secure a room in a private residence.
Also in the same residence were a couple of (and I hate to admit it) American college boys–they stayed up quite late (1-2 AM) playing the radio, drinking and being extremely loud and quite RUDE to the local people when they were asked to quiet down. To say the least — I was embarrassed !! So my advice to anyone wanting to travel here to experience the people and their lovely town is to do it in the “shoulder” season (i.e.. Sept/Oct or Apr/May) before the crowds (and that’s not to say all of them are this obnoxious) are there.