Italy: Tourists block entire streets in Portofino to take photos - now the village is imposing fines

In Portofino, tourists who stay in certain places to take photos face fines.

Italy: Tourists block entire streets in Portofino to take photos - now the village is imposing fines

In Portofino, tourists who stay in certain places to take photos face fines. Since Easter, the Italian village on the Ligurian coast has marked two areas that are particularly popular among tourists as "no waiting zones", in which lingering and standing around for too long should be prohibited from the morning until 6 p.m. Violations should result in a fine of up to 275 euros. This is to prevent tourists from piling up too much in these places and blocking entire squares and streets. Portofino's Mayor Matteo Viacava even spoke of an "anarchic chaos" that tourists caused in some places during their photo sessions. The "red zones" are to apply until October, when the main season ends.

As early as the 1950s, Portofino was visited by stars such as Sophia Loren, Frank Sinatra and Liza Minnelli. Even today, many celebrities and rich people still flock to the village, which has meanwhile also made it known to a large number of people. However, the small fishing village only has around 500 inhabitants, which is why the crowds of visitors are quickly noticeable, especially in the high season. In addition, due to the location of the village, there are many day trippers who arrive by boat in large groups at once.

Some are horrified by the new measure on social media: "They love the money that tourists bring, but hate the tourists themselves" and "I hope this isn't done the same way in other places," two comments say under a BBC Instagram post about the measure. Others, on the other hand, understand and are annoyed by mass tourism themselves. Another comment reads: "Just respect the places you travel to. Others spend their everyday lives there!"

It is not the first time that stricter measures have been taken against the unpleasant side effects of mass tourism in Italy. In Rome, anyone who sits and eats on the Spanish Steps or the edge of the Trevi Fountain faces a fine. This also applies to some public spaces in Venice and Florence.

Sources: The Independent, BBC, Münchner Merkur, Instagram

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