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Help! Need alternative to PORTOVENERE in late-September!

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Hi Everybody,

Our original plan was to drive from Bologna to Parma to PORTOVENERE in late September, and stay 2 nights in Portovenere because we love Liguria so much. Unfortunately, we're finding both parking and accommodations in Portovenere during this time to be very limited. The only options that are currently available are very pricey... unless we want to stay in a hostel with bunk beds!

So now I'm thinking that maybe I should change our strategy... and consider another Ligurian town (maybe one that is not as quite as Portovenere is in September).

Both FINALE LIGURE and NOLI look awesome. They would add another hour to our drive... but maybe it's worth it? We just love atmospheric towns by the sea... hopefully ones not inundated with cruise ships. (We've already been to Camogli, Cinque Terre and Levanto... loved them, but would prefer somewhere else.)

Also we love hiking nature trails and exploring castles.

People say that LERICI is a possibility...but not as charming as Portovenere.

Many thanks / grazie for any advice you can give!

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