Portofino surely is one hell of a picturesque place, Source: Depositphotos

This Italian touristy town will fine you if you hang out in one spot for too long

This Italian touristy town will fine you if you hang out in one spot for too long

The Italian Riviera’s Portofino has defined no-selfie zones

While most European tourist spots are busy dusting off their hotel rooms and setting up quaint dining tables in preparation for the upcoming summer season, the Italian town of Portofino has decided to fine tourists for lingering too long at picturesque spots. Yes, you’ve read that right, so let’s delve into it.

Portofino is an outlandishly charming coastal magnet for throngs of visitors from all over the world, so it can afford to be a bit more brunt and set quirky rules, given that its popularity isn’t likely to diminish.

In fact, the town might be forced to resort to this unusual measure in a bid to restore some semblance of normality during the peak season. As Matteo Viacava, the mayor of Portofino, a commune on the Italian Riviera, near Genoa, explains, the incessant crowds of tourists stopping at the usual spots to snap selfies and photos end up creating traffic jams and blocked streets.

Snapping the view now costs money

The ordinance provides that it is not possible to stop in the areas of the centre of Portofino most frequented by tourists. These are: the area between Piazza Martiri dell'Olivetta and the Calata Marconi quay, to the north, and between the square and the public toilets of the Umberto I pier, to the south.

The fishing town with pastel-coloured facades has introduced fines of between 68 and 275 euros (according to Il Post) for anyone who lingers too long there and ends up creating congestion. Come to think of it, they don’t even have to be taking photos then, although there is no specific info on how long a person can stop in one spot before it’s considered sanctionable loitering.

The measure applies to two popular spots, which grant the best vistas. Since the Easter holidays, they’ve been defined as red zones, and the restrictions will be in place until 15 October. The sanctions apply between 10:30 and 18:00 during the day, meaning that at least evening photos are permitted.

The residents and merchants of Portofino seem to be divided on the application of the ordinance: some argue that it is a useful measure, which will serve to avoid rude behaviour and guarantee public order. Others, though, believe that it is a somewhat clumsy measure, which limits people's freedom and turns Portofino into “a place for the elite”.



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