Sardinia fines sand thieves up to $3,480

The stunning Italian island of Sardinia has long bee...

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 3:04 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 3:04 PM

The stunning Italian island of Sardinia has long been a coveted tourist destination -- thanks to its miles of spotless sandy beaches.

If you visit Sardinia and fall under the island's spell, you might want to take a slice of the isle home with you -- but if you're thinking of pilfering a pocket of the shoreline's golden grains, you should think again.

Beaches

Continents and regions

Destinations and attractions

Europe

Italy

Points of interest

Sardinia

Southern Europe

Tourism

Travel and tourism

Crime, law enforcement and corrections

Criminal offenses

Fines and penalties

Larceny and theft

Law and legal system

Property crimes

Trial and procedure

This week a tourist, Naples-born but resident in the UK, was fined the equivalent of more than $1000 when authorities discovered that the visitor had stolen sand from a beach near the Northern city of Olbia, according to local paper L'Unione Sarda.

Sand thieves are now being warned that they could be fined anywhere from €500 (roughly $580) to €3,000 (roughly $3,482) if they are caught with sand, pebbles or shells taken from Sardinia's beaches.

'Robbed and plundered'

Tourists may not be aware of the severity of their crime when they fill a bottle or plastic bag with sand and take it home.

But in recent years, authorities in Sardinia have cracked down on sand theft and are stressing the consequences of this robbery.

The German Embassy in Rome posted a warning on Facebook to those potentially considering stealing sand, explaining it causes "significant damage."

Beaches have clear signs warning that these offenses will not be tolerated.

Sand thieves are usually spotted at airports, where customs officials can search bags or the sand might get picked up by airport scanners.

A local Facebook page, "Sardegna Rubata e Depredata" -- translated as "Sardinia, robbed and plundered" -- campaigns against the pilfering of Sardinia's beaches.

The page was created by a group of security inspectors from Sardinia's airports.

"The purpose of the page is to raise public awareness about this problem," one of the page administrators tells CNN Travel.

"During the last 20 years of activity we have seized tens and tens of tons of material [...] Every year we take care to bring everything back to the places of origin at the end of the summer season."

The administrator voices concerns about the effects of overtourism on the island.

"Sardinia could easily live only for tourism but unfortunately the regional politicians are not in the least able to protect and enhance the natural resources of Sardinia."

"Taking away even a single bottle of sand in memory of the holidays makes the patient and long work of nature in vain," adds the administrator.

"So if you come on holiday in Sardinia remember to take photos, observe the magnificent nature, listen to the sounds, smell the scents of nature, keep the memories in your mind but do not take away because it does not belong to you but belongs to everyone."

Locals and authorities are keen to find a balance between encouraging tourism and discouraging theft.

Respecting nature

On the Sardininan island of Budelli, La Spiaggia Rosa -- a beautiful beach colored pink thanks to the local microorganisms -- has been cordoned off since the 1990s to protect its blush-colored sand from erosion due to tourism.

Budelli's sole resident, Mauro Morandi -- a former recluse who has become an Internet sensation thanks to his Instagram account which showcases his photographs of the island -- spoke to CNN Travel earlier in 2018 about protecting the islands beaches.

According to Morandi, showing visitors the beauty of the beaches helps protect them.

"I am very satisfied with my visibility, because I think it can help to appreciate the beauty [and] therefore the respect and protection of nature," he said.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 147382

Reported Deaths: 3763
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto973199
Hinds9668197
Harrison6898109
Jackson6178119
Rankin5319100
Lee487695
Madison4666106
Forrest371386
Jones346788
Lauderdale3355144
Lafayette317549
Washington3122107
Lamar283449
Oktibbeha240861
Bolivar240184
Lowndes229763
Neshoba2177115
Panola215849
Marshall209650
Leflore201490
Pontotoc196128
Monroe191477
Sunflower190555
Lincoln186865
Warren172657
Tate165451
Union163925
Pike160658
Copiah159540
Yazoo152039
Scott150729
Coahoma148743
Itawamba148234
Pearl River146567
Alcorn146327
Simpson145153
Prentiss141230
Adams137949
Grenada137745
Leake131943
Holmes126561
Tippah123030
George122324
Covington119737
Winston119124
Wayne116223
Hancock115939
Marion111646
Attala109833
Tishomingo106542
Chickasaw104132
Newton103629
Tallahatchie96327
Clarke88853
Clay87127
Jasper81222
Walthall75328
Stone73114
Calhoun72913
Montgomery72125
Carroll70614
Lawrence70314
Yalobusha70027
Noxubee69717
Smith69616
Perry65426
Tunica59619
Greene58422
Claiborne57616
Jefferson Davis55017
Humphreys52918
Amite51814
Benton48717
Quitman4816
Webster42114
Kemper41918
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34211
Franklin3265
Choctaw3117
Sharkey30717
Issaquena1124
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 239318

Reported Deaths: 3532
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31391491
Mobile19562361
Tuscaloosa12813154
Madison12741146
Montgomery12198235
Shelby1000577
Baldwin847398
Lee764466
Morgan634348
Calhoun6112115
Marshall607954
Etowah606565
Houston517038
DeKalb474736
Cullman428038
Limestone413744
St. Clair409055
Elmore400762
Lauderdale393653
Walker3588108
Talladega343453
Jackson307624
Colbert301941
Blount285539
Autauga268641
Franklin247833
Coffee239715
Dale230354
Dallas224531
Russell22053
Chilton219638
Covington216833
Escambia197431
Chambers173749
Tallapoosa173391
Pike157514
Clarke156319
Marion136535
Winston129923
Lawrence124836
Geneva12028
Pickens119418
Marengo119124
Barbour117010
Bibb116217
Butler114441
Randolph100921
Cherokee100824
Hale94531
Clay90223
Washington90219
Fayette87316
Henry8496
Lowndes79129
Monroe78111
Cleburne75714
Macon72321
Crenshaw70730
Bullock69119
Conecuh68314
Perry6756
Lamar6508
Wilcox63118
Sumter57122
Choctaw41913
Greene41418
Coosa3374
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 55°
Columbus
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Oxford
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 57°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather