Tourists fined $4000 for wearing thongs
TOURISTS looking to enjoy the scenic trails in Italy's Cinque Terre beware: you could face fines of more than $4000 for wearing flimsy summer footwear, such as thongs, sandals or heels.
The new rule was created by exhausted mountain rescue units who were tired of rescuing improperly attired travellers who found themselves trapped on the narrow trails that link the five picturesque seaside villages in northern Italy, the New York Post reports.
Cinque Terre's national park authority will launch a campaign to inform visitors this year that they need to be better equipped when hiking the trails. And tourists who ignore the guidelines could face fines between €50 ($AU80) and €2500 ($AU4023).
"The problem is that people come here thinking they are at the seaside, but the paths above the villages are like mountain trails," Patrizio Scarpellini, head of the Cinque Terre national park, told The Telegraph.
"First we will introduce the information campaign, then we'll start issuing fines."
The rescue team is made up of volunteers from the Italian Alpine Club, a hiking organisations that helps maintain the trail.
"The paths are like Alpine trails. Tourists should not be tackling them in flip-flops and without adequate water," club representative Maurizio Cattani said.
The popular destination attracts more than 2.8 million visitors yearly, and is bracing itself for another high-trafficking tourists season, especially with the influx of new cruise ships docking at nearby port La Spezia.
According to The Telegraph, Cinque Terre expects to see 750,000 cruise ship passengers this year, up from 450,000 in 2018.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.