Made up of five picturesque fishing villages along the Italian Riviera, Cinque Terre is no stranger to visitors.
However, if you’re planning to head there in the future, you may want to pack some decent walking shoes.
The Cinque Terre National Park authority has introduced a hefty fine for tourists caught wearing flip-flops or sandals while hiking the steep, hilly terrain connecting the villages, and those who fail to comply could face fines of up to $4,000.
Much to the growing dismay of mountain rescue units, tourists often embark on the paths in beach attire, not realising just how rugged the 120-kilometre stretch between the villages is.
Inappropriate footwear can often result in accidents and injuries and SOS calls to mountain rescue teams in the area.
“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 [an] information campaign, then we’ll start issuing fines.”
The information campaign will include posters and flyers warning against improper footwear, plus a pre-emptive warning when you purchase a Cinque Terre card (which grants access to park buses and paths) online.
Local law enforcement group Comandi Regione Carabinieri Forestale will help park officials monitor the trails and inform visitors of the ban.
The ban will come into play on April 1, 2019.
Fines start at €50 ($80) and can rise to €2500 ($4,000), depending on how much of an “inconvenience and expense they inflict on the authorities”.
The move comes as Cinque Terre prepares for a particularly busy tourist season.
This year, 750,000 cruise ship passengers are expected to visit the area, compared to 450,000 last year.