These popular paths, in fact, were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and were designated National Park in 1999.
This coast of the Eastern Riviera in Liguria, Italy, is one of the most well-known and busy tourist destinations on Earth, but local authorities have made the decision to limit the number of visitors to protect the landscape but also to determine the type of shoe which they will be allowed to wear.
In particular, local authorities now impose fines on anyone who is hiking in the area with flip flops, ballerinas or sandals.
According to a report in The Telegraph, local mountain rescue teams are “tired of rushing to help tourists climbing into the inaccessible area and trapping their shoes. So the National Park management authority has decided to impose a fine on travelers who ignore advice and wear inadequate footwear.
The financial penalty, according to The Telegraph, will range from € 50 to € 2,500, depending on “the inconvenience and the costs incurred by the authorities”, the report says.
“The problem is that people come here believing they are on the beach, but the paths over the villages are like mountain trails,” said Patricio Scarpelini, director of the Cinque Terre National Park. “First we will start an information campaign and then we will start fining.”
“It’s like the Alpine trails,” said Maurizio Cattany, president of the Italian Alpine Club. “Tourists should not wear flip flops and hiking without having enough water with them,” he said.
In recent years, accidents have grown with tourists trying to explore the former fishing villages of the area wearing flip flops or flat-bottomed shoes.