by Laurie Baratti
on April 20, 2023 Last updated: 4:15 PM ET, Thu April 20, 2023
Even eons ago, in the analog era, many global travel destinations contended with the ageless annoyance caused by continuous streams of tourists blocking both street and foot traffic, as they stop to snap photos at any and every local point of interest.Fast forward to today’s digital media-scape, characterized by the global public’s insatiable urge to display bragging rights on social media, and the problem has now escalated to the point at which picture-taking tourists constitute an actual hazard, including to themselves.
Well, one of the Italian Riviera’s picturesque coastal villages, perennially popular among visitors, is instituting a new rule to discourage the endless selfie-taking and (hopefully) help with crowd control in in-demand local spots.Portofino, situated on the Mediterranean coast, just southeast of the port city of Genoa, has recently designated two of the town’s most congested spots as “red zones—no waiting” areas—along with two “yellow zones.” New official regulations dictate that no one is allowed to stop in these areas to take selfies or photos (or for any other reason) and must keep moving or pay a penalty.
Now, “lingering” in those spots can cost violators anywhere between €68 and €275 (currently about $75 to $300) in fines. According to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, the rules prohibit, “the parking of people in points of aggregation and meeting places for groups and cruise passengers waiting to be boarded on boats or other things.” According to The Independent, Portofino’s Mayor Matteo Viacava has explained that loitering tourists were causing “anarchic chaos,” including constant jams in road traffic and packed pavements.
Viacava told reporters that the new provision aims to, “allow all tourists who reach Portofino to be able to make the most of the village but also manage security in the square”. He said the new measures have been implemented to address, “serious obstacles and potential danger deriving from the excessive density of people.“The small fishing village has a resident population of only around 500, but thousands of visitors flood in during the tourist season to see (and photograph) its enchanting harbor and vibrant architecture.Unsurprisingly, increased social media notoriety is among the factors that have aggravated the problem in recent years, as the seaside hamlet has garnered 1.2 million hashtags on Instagram posts to date. Publicized visits made by celebrities like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, Cher and the Kardashians also serve to further increase its desirability as a destination.
The new regulations took effect over Easter weekend, applicable between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily, and are set to remain in force until at least October 15, 2023. Portofino joins the growing list of Italian destinations that have recently created new local restrictions in an effort to curb overtourism.For the latest travel news, updates and deals, be sure to subscribe to the daily TravelPulse newsletter here.
Topics From This Article to Explore
Appeared first on: Travelpulse.com