Holiday season is fast approaching - but if you're headed to Sardinia this year you should be extra careful about what you try to take back in your suitcase with you when the holiday's over. One tourist learnt that the hard way when he tried to bring back a little part of the beautiful island with him...
Bringing a souvenir from holiday can sometimes cost you a lot. But this tourist certainly didn’t expect a bill quite so nasty. At the beginning of August last year, a 40-year-old Italian living in the UK went to Sardinia to enjoy its paradisiacal landscapes. Before his departure, the man decided to bring back a sample of sand from Gallura, one of the most popular beaches on the island, the Guardian reported on 8th August. This small gesture cost him a fine of 1000 Euros (£930).
The reason is simple: for several years now, tourists have taken up the habit of slipping this symbolic souvenir into their suitcase, and often for free. Only last year, over a tonne of sand has been discovered in the luggage of tourists at the Cagliari airport. This widespread “theft” has obliged the authorities to take drastic measures: from now on, officers patrol the beaches to catch tourists who are tempted to take a sample. And the fines can go from €300 to €5000!
As Sardinia is a holiday destination which is very popular among German tourists, the embassy of Germany in Rome decided to place a warning on its social media: ‘Sardinia has some of the most beautiful beaches in Italy, for example Cala Goloritzè, but the taking of sand, stones and molluscs is a serious problem.’
There, you’ve been warned!