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!