The Cinque Terre Park is preparing itself for the 2019 season. This year the number of tourists that will visit those famous villages will double! It means that the expected number of visitors will pass from 450 000 people to 750 000 people (!!!). If the situation will not be governed well we risk that the villages of Cinque Terre become even more chaotic than in the previous years.
It is all “fault” of the numerous passengers of cruise ships that arrive at the port of La Spezia. Once arrived all of them, inexorably, want to take part in the unmissable excursion in that vertical paradise of hamlets and paths.
In fact, the impervious paths, or rather, visitors who improvise themselves hikers in shorts and slippers, representing one of the main emergencies. The Park has decided to introduce (gradually), the fines for those who will walk in the paths in flip-flops or ballet flats or (even worse) heel shoes.
“The problem is that too many people think they are at sea and so they can walk in flip flops – explains Patrizio Scarpellini director of the Park – But even if the sea is very close they are the real mountains. In last years we saw an increasing number of helicopter operation due to injuries largely due to an underestimation of the route and the absence of equipment, especially shoes that weren’t suitable “.
This is why in this new season, real penalties will be introduced for those who do not respect minimum safety criteria.
The fines will be those provided by the law of the Park and will range between 50 and 2500 euros (!!!). However, before the repressive phase, the tourists will be informed. Through brochures and posters. For those, who will purchase Cinque Terre Card online will be asked to validate a note in which will be informed of the ban on access without proper shoes.
In the beginning, there will be activated the kind of the checkpoints to access Sentiero Azzurro and police and Park officers will check the type of footwear and will dissuade the tourists to undertake the walk with slippers or other unsuitable shoes.
After this “collaborative” phase it will be time for the fines.
Closed number access
This anti-flip-flop campaign is flanked by a series of countermeasures that the Park is preparing to adapt to reduce the impact of the mass of the passengers of the cruise ships that this year is even more worrying.
Last year, the invasion of thousands of tourists had provoked the criticism of many residents and also of those tourists who chose to spend more days in the Cinque Terre. It was started a debate about the possibility of setting up closed number access to the villages but faced with a business that enriches many, everything ended up in oblivion…
So if this year you are going to visit Cinque Terre and especially if you are going to go through Sentiero Azzurro, remember to bring with you the right pair of shoes 😉
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