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No towels, no cars: these are the rules you should be aware of for your next Italy holiday

Italy is bracing itself for a massive influx of tourists this summer. Here you can read about the important regulations and bans you should know before your next holiday in Italy.

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For years, Bella Italia has been struggling with the problem of over-tourism. This year, some regions fear being overrun by holidaymakers. In summer alone, 68 million visitors are expected this year.

In order to control the influx of tourists in summer, popular islands and resorts have, for example, tightened their rules for car traffic and beach access.

These islands have introduced a ban on cars:

  • Island of Giglio in Tuscany: In August, you can only enter the island by car or motorbike if you stay on the island for at least five days (four nights). You must fill in a self-disclosure form before travelling. Camping is only allowed in campsites. Giglio also charges an entrance fee for tourists, 3 euros in summer, 2 in winter, as the mayor Sergio Ortelli recently announced to the daily newspaper "Corriere della Sera".

  • Island of Procida in the Gulf of Naples: On the tiny but very popular island, especially in summer, there has been a strict ban on embarkation for several years. Between 6 April and 31 October, no cars or motorbikes from outside the island are allowed on Procida.

Car bans are also being discussed or planned on Sicily, Lampedusa and Linosa. There, tourist vehicles are to be banned between the end of July and the beginning of September, on Linosa possibly even all year round.

Rules and bans for beaches

  • No car ban is planned on Sardinia so far. But: The island restricts access to certain beaches. These include the famous sandy beach Spiaggia La Pelosa in the north and other beaches in the east of the island in the Baunei region. Access and space reservation (72h in advance at the earliest) is to be organised via an app. The cost of a beach entrance is 6 euros. (Visitor limits: Cala Mariolu 700 people; Cala Biriala 300 people; Cala die Gabbiani 300 people; La Pelosa 1,500 people; Cala Goloritzè 250 people; Cala Sisine 1,600 people; Santa Maria Navarrese 1,300 people).

  • In Stintino, also on Sardinia, you have to pay a fine of 100 euros at the famous La Pelosa beach if you simply put your towel on the beach. This is because too much sand sticks to it (especially when wet) and the beach loses it. Instead, you have to put a straw mat under your towel. High fines have also been imposed for throwing away cigarette butts.

  • Since 2017, sand and shells are generally not allowed to be taken from Sardinia. The fine for this ranges between 500 and 3,000 euros, depending on the quantity.

Entrance fee for Italy's most popular cities

  • Venice: Time and again an entrance fee has been discussed in the lagoon city - this summer it should be the case. To reduce the rush of 100,000 visitors a day, Venice wants to charge between 3 and 10 euros per guest, depending on the season. It was supposed to start on 16 January 2023, but for logistical reasons the start was postponed again. Now the plans are to be implemented in 2024.

  • Florence is also struggling with masses of visitors. In order to protect the city centre and the residents, stricter laws have already been established here for the rental of holiday flats. However, an entrance fee is not planned for the time being.

  • In Portofino, tourists are no longer allowed to stop in certain zones to avoid congested roads. Even fines are possible.

These restrictions exist in northern Italy

  • At Braies Lake (Pragser Wildsee), car traffic is restricted during the summer months to protect nature and make it easier for visitors to reach the lake. From 10 July to 10 September from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can only reach the lake on foot, by bike, with a valid parking reservation or transit permit. There are limited spaces for access by bus during this period. You also have to reserve a ticket in advance.

  • At Lago di Tenno in Trentino, the number of tourists around the lake is limited.

  • At Lake Como there is a restriction of coaches and trucks in summer.

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