Italian clifftop village sparks controversy by charging tourists to enter its historic centre

Nov 28, 2018 216

BY: Nick Squires

As Italy wrestles with how to manage the effects of mass tourism on places like Venice and Florence, a clifftop village in the south of the country has caused controversy by charging visitors to enter its historic centre. Tourists have to pay €5 (£4.40) to enter the cobbled heart of Polignano a Mare, a spectacularly sited village of whitewashed houses and churches perched on top of vertical cliffs in the southern region of Puglia.

Critics say the new scheme represents the unacceptable commercialisation of a public space that should be open to everyone. Turnstiles have been installed at the entrances to the village, a maze of piazzas, winding streets and panoramic terraces which dates its origins back to a Greek settlement of the fourth century BC.

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