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Sardinia’s Battle Against Beach Sand Theft and Tourism Impact

① An island beloved by locals in Italy

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A holiday destination in Italy is gathering attention from internet users worldwide. With its emerald-colored beach and crystal-clear underwater view, this destination stands out in the beauty of the Maldives. This place gives a feeling as if you’ve arrived in the Maldives.

This enchanting place is Sardinia, located in the western Mediterranean off the coast of Italy. Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean, with a population of 1.66 million, and is neighbored by the island of Corsica to the north.


Sardinia may not be a well-known destination among tourists, but it’s one of Italy’s most cherished holiday destinations among locals. It has earned the title of the number one summer holiday spot by Italians and has also been known as a favorite vacation spot for international celebrities.


Thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate, travelers can enjoy a vacation there anytime they visit.
To get to Sardinia, travelers have to go through Rome. Travelers from Korea typically fly into Rome before catching a domestic flight to the island. It takes about 40 minutes by plane from Rome to reach the island.

There are a total of three airports in Sardinia. Cagliari Elmas Airport in the southern capital city has the largest and most flights. There are also Alghero Fertilia Airport in Sassari and Olbia Costa Smeralda Airport in Olbia.

② The perfect place for a relaxing vacation


Sardinia is quite a large island. With its pristine nature, Roman ruins, various traditional festivals, and marine sports, Sardinia offers many attractions. You can experience the charm of Sardinia by visiting each unique destination.

The primary tourist hubs are Cagliari, Olbia, and Alghero. Cagliari, positioned strategically in the Mediterranean, is the island’s pivotal port city, boasting a rich historical tapestry and an array of attractions. It’s a city that tourists visiting Sardinia must visit.

Olbia is the central tourist destination in the northern part of Sardinia. It’s a place where tourists can enjoy the clear and transparent sea anytime. The northwestern coastal city of Alghero offers a glimpse into Sardinia’s medieval past with its ancient fortifications and captivating stalactite caves.


The island’s sought-after tourist destination is Spiaggia Rosa, known for its pink beach. It’s also known as a vacation spot visited by Cristiano Ronaldo and Bill Gates, among others. Spiaggia Rosa is located on the northern island of Budelli, and thanks to the red coral fragments, visitors can see a pink sandy beach.
However, the color faded as the number of tourists began to surge.

In the north, La Pelosa Beach is also a popular place. Cala Mariolu Beach is the largest and most famous beach in Sardinia, where visitors can spend a leisurely time.

Sardinia is a paradise for aquatic sports enthusiasts. With its unpolluted waters teeming with diverse marine life, the island is celebrated as a premier vacation destination, rivaling the allure of the Maldives.

③ Some steal Sardinia’s beach sand


Meanwhile, an unfortunate incident continues to occur due to Sardinia’s pristine beaches. The pink sand of the Spiaggia Rosa beach is so famous among collectors that it’s worth its weight in gold. As the number of foreign tourists increased, there have been incidents of theft of sand from Spiaggia Rosa, with stolen sand being traded at inflated rates online.

Some have been caught by customs trying to smuggle sand, pebbles, and shells.

In response, Sardinian authorities have enacted strict laws prohibiting the removal of sand, pebbles, shells, and other natural artifacts from the beaches since 2017. They impose fines of up to approximately $3,400 and can even sentence offenders to prison.

The authorities are implementing visitor quotas to mitigate environmental degradation caused by excessive tourism. As the influx of tourists causes the loss of the natural state, the mayor said, “We can no longer tolerate sand erosion, littering, and habitat destruction.”

To protect the island’s environment, they are implementing various policies, such as requiring reservations and prohibiting entry with beach towels.

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