Italy has had enough with ill-prepared hikers. Cinque Terre, famous for its colorful village and coastal views, is imposing a fine on tourists caught hiking the rugged paths that connect the five villages that make the region up in flip-flops.
Patrizio Scarpellini, head of the Cinque Terre National Park, told The Telegraph, “The problem is that people come here thinking they are at the seaside, but the paths above the villages are like mountain trails.”
Poorly equipped hikers lead to injury and mountain rescue units (often volunteers) being called to the scene. So really, the fine — from $56 up to $2,806 — is for tourists’ own good.
But tourists won’t be slapped with the ban right away. “First we will introduce [an] information campaign, then we’ll start issuing fines,” explained Scarpellini. Law enforcement will help park officials educate hikers about the new policy, and posters and flyers will be issued regarding improper footwear.
With the region expecting a huge influx of tourists in advance of the summer season, the park authority is hoping visitors will come more prepared this year.
H/T: Condé Nast Traveler