Get special offers this month on vacations & cruises. Find new travel destinations.

Warning — Flip Flop Ban - Cinque Terre - Italy

Flip Flops and Flimsy Sandal Bans and Fines - Cinque Terre

Why The Ban On Certain Shoes Makes Sense

Living in Florida and being originally a native Californian, I’ve lived in flip-flops as far back as I can remember.  Even today, they are my choice pretty much every day if I am leaving the house. As kids, we were even allowed to wear them to school in Southern California as long as you had gym shoes in your locker.  Easy to slip on and off, cooler than a closed-toed shoe or even sandals in a hot and humid tropical climate — most everyone agrees we love them.  However, keep in mind our entire state is flat, very flat nearly at sea level terrain. 

Flip-flop Fines Introduced in Italy's Cinque Terre

So why would Americans in particular be asked to give up a standard item of clothing in Italy’s Cinque Terre?  The answer is complex and twofold, however, let's first talk about why would Americans insist on wearing them on vacation: 

  • First it's all about your safety.   Flip flops are great and they have their upsides: 
  • Cool and comfortable 
  • Protect the soles of your feet from hot pavement, sand at the beach, glass, and other sharp objects
  • Great defense against warts and other viruses and fungus in public places 

All valid reasons, until you look at the travel downside of wearing flip flops and flimsy sandles being encountered in Italy, especially the steep hilly mountain terrain areas.  In the popular Cinque Terre where just walking around towns and on trails is a steep climb, it  makes of wearing flip flops a tourism nightmare.  Rescue teams and medics are tired of having to rescue and give first aid to tourists who fail to understand the need for proper hiking and walking footwear on the mountainous trails and walkways - the very attractions that send 750,000 visitors each year to this part of Italy. 

Many of these Cinque Terre tourists are day trippers from cruise lines who anchor there.  With over-tourism becoming increasingly a huge problem for Italian vacation destinations, it's simply overwhelming for small towns with small populations to have to deal with the many medical issues of their visitors and an big expense. 

Learn More About - Odd things you can get fined for when traveling:

  • Sitting down in Venice, Italy. Fine: $588

  • Eating in the street in Florence, Italy. Fine: Up to $570

  • Collecting sand in Sardinia, Italy. Fine: Up to $3,482

  • Removing pebbles from beaches in Cornwall, England. Fine: Up to $1,283

  • Littering in Hong Kong. Fine: $1,500

  • Eating or drinking while driving in England. Fine: $128

  • Running out of gas on the Autobahn in Germany. Fine: $34

  • Swearing in public in Sydney, Australia. Fine: Up to $500

  • Selling chewing gum in Singapore. Fine: $100,000

  • Hiking in the nude in the Alps of Switzerland. Fine: $100

Women's Walking Shoes