Tourists Could Be Fined up to 2,500 Euro for Wearing Sandals in Cinque Terre

Mar 7, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Planning a trip to Italy’s Cinque Terre? Make sure to pack appropriate footwear.

Starting this summer, local authorities will start handing out fines ranging from €50 to €2,500 (that’s about $57 to $2,830 at the current exchange rate) to people caught wearing flip-flops, sandals or pumps within the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage site on the Ligurian coast. The five picturesque towns — Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore — are famous for their colorful houses built atop rocky cliffs overlooking the sea.

So what’s all the fuss about flip-flops?

The Cinque Terre have become increasingly over-run by tourists ill equipped to hike the rocky, mountainous trails that connect the five villages, leading to some precarious situations. There are 48 hiking trails with various levels of difficulty and durations ranging from 15 minutes to more than three hours. Historically, these were the only roads connecting the towns, whose residents had no choice but to walk.

According to the Telegraph, volunteers from the Italian Alpine Club are tasked with rescuing hapless tourists who get stuck on the trails, but La Repubblica reported that, over the last few years, there has been an increase in the number of helicopter rescue missions conducted by firefighters who come to the aid of people who aren’t adequately equipped with the proper shoes — and Italians, whose tax money is put toward such public services, are tired of paying for tourists’ stupid mistakes.

Vernazza, one of the towns that make up the Cinque Terre. Photo by Maksim Shutov on Unsplash.
Vernazza, one of the towns that make up the Cinque Terre. Photo by Maksim Shutov on Unsplash.

“The fundamental problem is that too many people think they’re at the seaside and so they can go around in flip-flops as if they’re in Riccione, but this — even if it’s facing the sea — is a real mountain with all of its hidden dangers,” Patrizio Scarpellini, the park’s director, told La Repubblica.

Scarpellini and his colleagues are bracing for a massive influx of tourists this year, as cruise ship passengers disembarking at the nearby port of La Spezia are expected to number 750,000, up from 450,000 passengers last year.

The Cinque Terre already restricts the number of people who can visit the national park each day and anyone who wants access must purchase a Cinque Terre Card, which costs €7.50 ($8.50) for one day or €14.50 ($16.40) for two days.

The park plans to begin with an informational campaign through the use of brochures and posters, but also might require tourists who purchase admission to the park online to confirm that they understand that they’ll be denied entry to the park without adequate shoes. From there, they’ll start issuing fines.

“Along with those who control the trails, forest rangers, under the guidance of Lt. Col. Silvia Olivari, will be tasked with informing visitors in a first phase,” Luca Natale, a spokesperson for the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre, told TPG. “Then the fines will be levied.”

Featured photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.