Italian beach to charge entry fee to combat overtourism

6,000 visitors a day too much, officials said

Stintino, La Pelosa beach
Stintino, La Pelosa beach (goldpicasa Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Its perfect white sand, turquoise waters, and eminently photographable surroundings, with an ancient stone tower on a tiny island just offshore, have made La Pelosa on Sardinia one of the most famous beaches in the world.

But this week, in a bid to preserve the beach, authorities have announced a cap on visitor numbers and a ticketing system.

The council of Stintino, the nearest town, on the far northwest tip of the island, has agreed to limit numbers during the summer season to 1,500 adults every day. Children will not be counted.

Mayor Antonio Diana, who announced the move, told CNN that recently during the summer, there can be as many as 6,000 people on the beach per day.

"We're limiting numbers because the burden is too much," he said. "We need to safeguard it so that we can guarantee its life for the next 500 years.

“This is the most popular beach on Sardinia -- everyone wants to come here. But it’s a very precarious geological equilibrium, so we’re doing this work to guarantee its future. Six thousand people is not sustainable anymore."

$4.40 to save the beach

Before taking the decision, the council commissioned studies to determine how many visitors the beach could take without being damaged.