Flip-Flop Wearers Face Fines In Italy’s Cinque Terre

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Italian tourism hotspot Cinque Terre is fuming about flip-flops. 

But it’s not that this flimsy plastic toe-dividing footwear is too tacky for the picturesque coastline; it’s a safety issue.

Italy’s Cinque Terre National Park authority has announced that it will begin fining ill-prepared tourists climbing the coastline’s rugged cliffs in flip-flops or sandals, with fines between €50 (CAD$75) and €2,500 (CAD$3,770).

It's all because mountain rescue teams are getting sick and tired of rescuing visitors on the mountainous walkways. 

The national park authority is running a public information campaign warning tourists about the dangers of climbing the cliffs without appropriate footwear. 

Flyers and online warnings will advertise the fines, including when users purchase a Cinque Terre card which allows them use of all the connecting park buses and trains and access to the trekking paths. The Comandi Regione Carabinieri Forestale -- a law enforcement group – will also work together with those who monitor the trails to inform visitors of the ban.

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.

As the UNESCO World Heritage Site receives more and more visitors each summer, the move to ban flip-flops actually has a larger purpose. Ultimately, Cinque Terre is just another Italian destination trying to deal with the increasingly omnipresent problem of overtourism.

A local media outlet is reporting that this year, visitors between April and October are expected to be up to 750,000 from last year's 450,000, with day-trippers from cruise liners accounting for much of the rise.

 As CNN reports, there has been discussion of Cinque Terre taking the lead from Venice and introducing a tourism tax.

In the past few months, Rome passed laws banning street drinking, organized pub crawls and taking a dip in the city's fountains while over in Venice, the city’s mayor proposed fines for anyone sitting down in an undesignated spot.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.

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