There are few souvenirs that are more popular from beautiful beach areas than a bottle filled with sand from that beach. Not only is it a nice trinket to have to remember the trip, but some beaches have unique sand colors that look really beautiful.
Couple Arrest for Taking Bottles of Italian Sand from the Beach
However, some beaches have been hit so hard by tourists wanting that little granular memory of a vacation that laws have been put into place to protect those beaches and fine those that try to depart with a portion of them. Such is the case with the beaches of Sardinia, Italy.
Leave the Sand!
Back in 2017, Italy put laws in place to protect these beaches from being destroyed by travelers taking sand, shells, and other items from them. The fines can be over $3,000 and can even include jail time. Italy said they have put signs up everywhere to warn of those laws and their enforcement.
But, a couple from France claims they did not see them or know that was the law when they tried to remove 90 pounds of sand in bottles from Italy (14 bottles in all). It was discovered in their car before they boarded a ferry to return to France. That attempt to leave with that sand has a punishment that can include jail time up to 6 years.
Now, that is the maximum so I am sure that will not happen but this will likely turn into a very costly action for the couple. While I know many people that take a side bottle or two of sand home after vacation, 14 bottles seem quite excessive. Also, it would have been time consuming as well and should have attracted some attention on the beaches that it is illegal to take sand from. Again, the couple claims they did not know it was illegal.
At any rate, let this serve as a reminder that Italy is serious about keeping those beaches looking beautiful for both you on your next trip and the citizens that call those areas home. Leave the sand and take memories and photos!
Does this seem like an awful lot of sand to take or am I off with that? Is there a market for selling the sand?