Visitors will soon have to pay to enjoy one of Sardinia’s most beautiful beaches as local authorities try to mitigate the damage done by overcrowding.
La Pelosa, a white sandy beach in Stintino, north-west Sardinia, has been described as a slice of heaven, attracting thousands of visitors each summer. However, environmental studies have warned that excessive numbers of beachgoers are threatening the beach’s ecosystem, prompting Antonio Diana, the mayor of Stintino, to introduce entry tickets and set a cap on visitor numbers to 1,500 a day from next summer.
Diana told a council meeting on Monday that the measures would initially be implemented as a trial.
“The money collected from the fee would help to pay for the beach’s supervision and maintenance,” he added.
Francesca Demontis, the local tourism councillor, said she was convinced that the measures would deliver “a good result”.
Smoking on La Pelosa has already been banned, as have beach traders. Beach towels and beach bags are also forbidden in order to stop bathers either unwittingly or intentionally removing the precious sand. The theft of sand and shells from Sardinia’s beaches is a big problem, with offenders facing fines of up to €3,000 if caught.
Other popular areas of Italy are introducing entry tolls as a way to manage overcrowding, such as Venice, which is planning to charge day-trippers from next July. Civita di Bagnoregio, a medieval village bordering Lazio and Umbria, introduced a fee in 2013 which it said has been extremely successful.