March 6 (UPI) -- Officials at an Italian national park are warning tourists they could face steep fines if they are caught hiking in flip-flops.
Cinque Terre national park announced fines of $56 to $2,286 could be levied against park visitors found hiking the narrow trails in flip-flops or other unsuitable footwear.
"The problem is that people come here thinking they are at the seaside, but the paths above the villages are like mountain trails," Patrizio Scarpellini, the head of the Cinque Terre national park, told La Republica.
Officials said rescue teams have become overwhelmed with calls for help from visitors who attempted the difficult paths without adequate footwear.
"We use the helicopter to rescue a lot of holidaymakers. Usually they've fallen down along the road of the Cinque Terre or they've injured themselves because of a lack of experience or equipment," a rescue helicopter pilot told The Local.