Spiaggia Rosa on Budelli Island, off the coast of Sardinia

Spiaggia Rosa on Budelli Island, off the coast of Sardinia

Tourists flouting Italian law at Sardinian pink beach face hefty fines

Travel News

Spiaggia Rosa’s unique sand is a draw for tourists, but walking on the beach is banned.

It has the appearance of an almost alien landscape, but its popularity with tourists is threatening its very existence, so much so that local officials are threatening visitors to Spiaggia Rosa with hefty fines.

The beach on Budelli Island, just off the north east coast of Sardinia, is renowned for its unique colouration, the pink of Spiaggia Rosa caused by the shells and skeletal fragments of microscopic organisms – Miniacina.

But the beauty of the beach has seen a fresh influx of visitors, with the location first coming under threat 40 years ago, tourists stealing quantities of the sand in the 1980s which led to the colour fading. A successful campaign to stop visitors clambering on to the beach and taking the sand home with them led to it replenishing, but now over-tourism is again threatening the future of the beautiful location.

While visitors are welcome to view the beach, they are not allowed to disembark from boats, a campaign led by the Maddalena archipelago national park has led to fines being imposed for those who flout the law.

“The beach is again in danger as people arrive by boat, clamber up the beach, then post photos, which allow us to fine them up to 500 euros (£427),” said Fabrizio Fonnesu, director of the national park.

And for those who do manage to escape with a bucketload of the beautiful sand, they’re likely to be caught out at Italy’s airports, scanners able to identify luggage containing souvenirs of Spiaggia Rosa. The trade in sand and shells from Sardinia was made illegal in 2017 and those caught can face fines of up to €3,000 (£2,565).

Adam Murray
Adam Murray
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