Jean Claude Castor via Flickr
This Italian tourist destination is so popular that locals have asked the government to turn tourists away.
The Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site on the coast of the Italian Riviera, is legendary for “The Five Lands” — five villages precariously built on the steep, rugged cliffs that overlook the Mediterranean. The towns, each of which is connected by narrow, cliffside trails, are exceptional in their beauty — both for the tall, brightly colored homes and for the superlative views they grant. (If you’re wondering, the homes were given distinct and bright colors so that fishermen returning home at the end of the day could distinguish one from another.)
And despite being relatively hard to access, some 2.5 million people visited the Cinque Terre in 2015. This is a problem, according to locals who say the giant influx of tourists poses a threat to the wellbeing of the delicately built, antique town and its surrounding area. It's common for hundreds of day-trippers to flock into the towns from cruise ships that dock nearby. And while the tourists definitely bring in money to the towns, they also are changing daily life for the residents who've lived here for generations. So what’s the solution? The Italian government has decided to limit the number of tourists to 1.5 million per year.
“We will certainly be criticised [sic] for this, but for us it is a question of survival,” Vittorio Alessandro, a local resident, told la Repubblica newspaper.
Authorities will enforce this by installing detectors on the roads in the surrounding area that measure the amount of people entering the area. Once that number hits 1.5 million, no more tourists will be admitted. If you're planning on visiting the Cinque Terre anytime soon, keep your eyes out for a website and an app that will let you reserve a spot to gain entry to the towns.