Picturesque Italian villages are suffering from overtourism. Portofino is taking a stand.
Portofino, a small seaside town on the Italian Riviera, has become a tourist hotspot - and locals are starting to feel the strain.
With colourful buildings surrounding the water, the town’s picturesque quay is prime Instagram material.
In summer, it means an influx of visitors posing for selfies, blocking paths and roads.
To combat this, Portofino’s mayor has introduced no-waiting zones. Anyone caught hanging around on the quay for too long between 10:30am and 6pm risks a fine of €270.
The town has just over 400 residents, but draws lots of tourists, with numbers sometimes exceeding 10,000. This results in overcrowded streets and traffic jams.
The ban aims to prevent large groups of tourists from congregating on the pier. It will be in place until the holiday season ends on 15 October.
How else is Italy combating overtourism?
Portofino isn’t the only Italian town battling overtourism.
Down on the Amalfi coast, turquoise coves and cliffside towns draw hoards of visitors in the summer months.
To reduce traffic on the famous 35 kilometre stretch between Vietri sul Mare and Positano, a number plate restriction system was introduced between June and September last year.
Car’s with number plates ending in an odd number were allowed to access the road on odd number days, while those ending in an even number gained access on even number days.
Venice, too, suffers from a surplus of tourists. In peak season, the city of just 50,000 residents can receive up to 150,000 tourists per day.
In 2021, large cruise ships were banned from docking in its port. The city is expected to introduce an entry fee for visitors in the next year. Overnight visitors already pay a tourism tax of €5 per night, which is included in their hotel bills.
Various other tourist hotspots have imposed limits on short-term rentals to combat depopulation and soaring rent prices.