By Stacey Leasca
March 05, 2019
Diego Mariottini/EyeEm/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Italy’s Cinque Terre coastline is one of the most celebrated and trafficked tourism destinations on Earth. However, authorities will now not only be restricting how many people can visit, but they will also be restricting what kind of shoes visitors can wear.

For those of you not in the know, Cinque Terre is a collection of five coastal towns in the Italian region of Liguria, situated between Genova and Livorno, joined together by gorgeous seaside hiking trails. The popular hillside trails were named a UNESCO site in 1997 and designated a national park in 1999.

The number of visitors to the community has already been restricted to ensure the landscape is protected, but now, officials are taking it one step further by imposing strict fines on anyone hiking the area in flip-flops, pumps, or other sandals.

Yes, your choice in footwear during your Italian vacation really could cost you. According to The Telegraph, local mountain rescue units are “fed up” with having to rescue tourists who hiked up the rugged terrain only to find themselves trapped thanks to their footwear. So, the national park authority decided it will now impose fines on any day-trippers who ignore the advice and wear inappropriate footwear. The fines, The Telegraph reported, run between €50 and €2,500 ($56 to $2,824). The fine difference depends on just how much of an “inconvenience and expense they inflict on the authorities,” The Telegraph reported.

“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, the head of the Cinque Terre National Park, told The Telegraph. “First we will introduce the information campaign, then we’ll start issuing fines.”

Though this restriction may sound funny, it couldn’t be more serious. “The paths are like Alpine trails,” Maurizio Cattani, president of Italian Alpine Club, told The Telegraph. “Tourists should not be tackling them in flip-flops and without adequate water.”

So, if you go, make sure to respect the land, the residents, and wear the appropriate footwear. Otherwise, your visit could turn into a costly nightmare for everyone.