Italy TravelCinque Terre: Don’t Hike in Flip Flops!

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Cinque Terre: Don’t Hike in Flip Flops!
Published on Friday, April 5, 2019 by

If you’re planning on hiking the clifftop trails that overlook the Cinque Terre coastline, you’ll need to bring sturdy shoes. Common sense, right? Not exactly, as many visitors attempt to hike in sandals, not realizing the terrain is more like a mountain trail than a beach boardwalk.

Cinque Terre National Park is rolling out a public information campaign advising visitors not to hike in flip-flops or other inappropriate shoes, but rather to bring sturdy footwear such as hiking boots or running shoes. Tourists will be alerted of the rule when buying a Cinque Terre card – a tourist card that includes access to buses, trains, and the hiking trails – as well as with flyers and signs posted on the trails. Violating the sturdy-shoes rule can result in fines from 50 to 2,500€.

The campaign is a result of an increase in hikers being stranded on the trails due to poor preparation. Volunteers from the Italian Alpine Club, a hiking organization that maintains trails across Italy, have to rescue tourists who get stuck on the trails, straining the volunteer organization’s resources.

On hand to educate the public and enforce the rule will be park staff and the Comandi Regione Carabinieri Forestale, a law enforcement group. Visitors are also advised to come prepared for hiking with supplies such as water, sunscreen, snacks and a hat.

“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, director of Cinque Terre National Park, told The Local.

An estimated 750,000 cruise-ship day-trippers are expected in Cinque Terre this summer, up from 450,000 last year; even more visitors will arrive by land.

By Kathy McCabe

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