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Vernazza, Cinque Terre
Photograph: Shutterstock

Italy has implemented a one-way system for some hiking trails

Ahead of Italy’s Liberation Day, measures are being taken to manage the huge crowds expected in this picturesque region

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

Cinque Terre (which translates to ‘five lands’) has to be one of Italy’s most gorgeous and most famous regions, and hiking along the area’s coastal trails is a must-do activity for those visiting.

But anyone planning that picturesque walk in the next few days should listen up – there are plans to restrict the direction of travel, meaning one of the paths between the five former fishing villages will only be accessible one way. 

It’s ahead of the huge numbers Italy is expecting for Liberation Day weekend, which revolves around April 25 (commemorating when the country was freed from Fascist rule). The restrictions will apply on that day, as well as April 26, 27, 28 and May 1, when millions of Italians will be on holiday alongside international tourists. 

A notice on Cinque Terre National Park’s website reads: ‘Attention, mandatory one way on the path from Monterosso to Vernazza,’ which is along the famed ‘sentiero azzurro’ or blue footpath. The rules will be enforced by park officials and police between 9am and 2pm, so no trying to walk from Vernazza to Monterosso, please. 

Donatella Bianchi, the head of the national park authority, told the Telegraph: ‘We are trying to manage the influx of people on the paths so as to protect the environment of the area and also the safety of the visitors.’ 

And it’s not just a one-way system that’s being implemented to control the crowds – every person who wants to embark on the route will have to pay €15 (£12.90, $16) entry. These rules might also apply for the weekend of May 4 and 5, but that is yet to be confirmed. 

While this news might come as a bit of a surprise, Italy has been buckling under the weight of overtourism for quite some time. Florence has capped the number of Airbnbs allowed to operate in the city, and on Saturday, Venice will begin charging day-trippers an entry fee. You’ll also soon need to pay a tourist fee to visit Lake Como

What’s more, other spots in the Cinque Terre area have needed major restoration – you can read about the $25 million restoration project on Via dell’Amore (aka ‘Lover’s Lane’) here

Cinque Terre doesn’t want tourists to stay away completely, but a coastline as beautiful as this could do with a helping hand to stay in good condition. 

Here are some tips on how to be a more sustainable tourist

Did you see that Italy has finally launched a digital nomad visa?

Plus: This Spanish town has been named Europe’s most beautiful secret destination

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