STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Sardinia fines sand thieves up to $3,480

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

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 4:04 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 4:04 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.

West Lafayette
Broken Clouds
76° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 76°
Kokomo
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Rensselaer
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 66°
Fowler
Scattered Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 66°
Williamsport
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 67°
Delphi
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 68°
Warm-up again with increasing humidity & risk of storms.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 75862

Reported Deaths: 3069
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion16088730
Lake7688278
Elkhart492685
Allen4002163
St. Joseph357883
Hamilton2829104
Vanderburgh202213
Hendricks1927108
Cass18029
Johnson1789119
Porter135539
Clark128749
Tippecanoe123811
Madison100665
LaPorte93130
Howard91365
Kosciusko86812
Bartholomew81747
Floyd80948
Marshall79323
Monroe76631
Delaware74552
Dubois70812
Vigo69911
Noble68829
Boone68746
Hancock68339
Jackson5965
Warrick58830
Shelby56527
LaGrange56310
Grant52930
Dearborn51228
Morgan49334
Clinton4444
Henry40620
Wayne38510
White37611
Montgomery35921
Lawrence35227
Harrison34823
Decatur34132
Putnam3128
Daviess27720
Miami2772
Scott27210
Jasper2552
Greene25434
Franklin24615
DeKalb2384
Gibson2314
Jennings22712
Steuben2133
Ripley2138
Carroll1962
Fayette1947
Perry18713
Posey1790
Starke1787
Wells1742
Orange17424
Fulton1722
Wabash1703
Jefferson1672
Knox1610
Whitley1556
Tipton14312
Washington1421
Sullivan1381
Spencer1373
Clay1245
Huntington1243
Randolph1244
Newton12010
Adams1092
Owen991
Jay920
Rush854
Pulaski811
Fountain742
Brown741
Blackford652
Ohio656
Benton640
Pike590
Vermillion580
Switzerland530
Parke511
Martin480
Crawford450
Union410
Warren241
Unassigned0206

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events