The Cinque Terre coastline of Italy has an almost mythic status among travelers — who hasn’t seen photographs of the pastel-colored houses built into rugged cliffs, surrounded by bright blue sea, and fallen instantly in love?
In person, the region’s even more spectacular — these five picturesque fishing villages are a UNESCO World Heritage Site for a reason.
But if you travel there this summer with only your flimsy sandals and rubber thongs in tow, you might have a bit of a shock.
The Cinque Terre National Park authority is running a public information campaign warning tourists about climbing the cliffs without appropriate footwear.
And if you choose to ignore the advice, you could face fines of between €50 ($80) and €2500 ($4000).
It’s all because mountain rescue teams are becoming increasingly exasperated with rescuing ill-prepared visitors on the mountainous walkways.
They’ll be posters and flyers advertising the fines — and warnings issued online when you purchase a Cinque Terre card, which allows you use of all the connecting park buses and trains and access to the trekking paths.
Currently, the English-language version of the Park’s website advises hikers to only go on trails which suit their skills — and to bring sun cream, a hat, hiking boots, food and other supplies.
The thong ban is one of a series of moves to accommodate the thousands of visitors who disembark in Cinque Terre in summer.
The Cinque Terre National Park Authority shared La Republicca’s report on the fines on their official Twitter account. CNN Travel has reached out to the park for further comment.
La Genova Republicca also reports that visitors this year between April and October are expected to be up to 750,000 from last year’s 450,000.
A lot of these visitors are day-trippers coming from cruise liners.
There’s also been discussion about introducing a tourism tax, following on from Venice’s decision last month.
It’s just another Italian destination trying to deal with the increasingly omnipresent problem of overtourism.
In the past few months, Rome passed laws banning street drinking, organised pub crawls and taking a dip in the city’s fountains. Meanwhile over in Venice the city’s mayor, Luigi Brugnaro, proposed a fine of up to €500 (about $800) for anyone sitting down in an undesignated spot.