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Italy's Sicily and Sardinia are among the tourist hotspots in the country | Representational Image | Photo: AFP / Erika SANTELICES

A stunning pink beach in Italy is in danger of disappearing and to protect it from the onslaught of tourists, the government has come up with a strict rule.

Located off the west coast of Italy, Sardinia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. One of the islands that fall under northern Sardinia is Budelli in the Maddalena archipelago. Budelli is where Spiaggia Rosa, a stretch of pink sand beach, is located. It has been protected by the Italian government since 1992.

Italy attempts to protect disappearing pink sand

In order to help guard the fine shoreline, the Italian government has banned tourists from actually visiting the beach. There are concerns that the pink sands are at "risk of disappearing" and unauthorised visitors can face fines from £430 (€500), reported The Sun.

In addition, tourists who are caught taking Sardinia's pink sand away as a souvenir can up fined up to £3,007 (€3,500).

Spiaggia Rosa has been closed off to visitors since the mid-1990s after its popular sand began to disappear. The local government reportedly took action after tourists were found to be smuggling kilos of sand away as souvenirs. In 2001, a couple was fined £854 (€1,000) after they were caught filling a plastic bottle with sand. That act can now cost travellers over £3,000.

At present, one can see the pink beach in Sardinia only from the sea, through an organised boat tour, as it is strictly forbidden to step on the beach. And only one person is allowed to permanently live on the island and that's Spiaggia Rosa's guardian. However, many tourists have been disrespectful and they continue to harm Italy's preserved gem.

"The beach is again in danger as people arrive by boat, clamber up the beach, then post photos," Fabrizio Fonnesu, director of the Maddalena archipelago national park, told The Times.

Spiaggia Rosa is one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world and is rich with tiny fragments of coral, granite and shells. Its splendid pink colour is acquired from a pink microorganism that inhabits the Posidonia meadows and lives inside the shells.

New rules at Maddalena archipelago

The archipelago of Maddalena itself is a national park and from here on it will only be accessible with a guide, which will cost £21 (€25) for five hours. And any tourist caught visiting the archipelago without a guide could face strict action.

In the said archipelago, only 60 people will be permitted on each beach per day. Travellers must make their booking in advance by contacting a local guide but it is also understood that an app will be launched soon.

In the summer time especially, Italy's two popular islands: Sicily and Sardinia receive thousands of tourists and over the years, it has begun to have an adverse effect on the country's natural environment. In order to avoid any more damage, local authorities are taking extra steps to preserve Sardinia and Sicily by enforcing strict rules and capped day visitor numbers.

"We can no longer afford thousands of daily sunbathers all squeezed in one spot as in the past, it's unsustainable," Stefano Monni, the mayor of Baunei, said.

Meanwhile, being inspired by the pink beach, other beaches of Sardinia have also taken steps to combat over-tourism to protect their natural beauty. Only 1,600 people can visit Cala Sisine while Santa Maria Navarrese only allows 1,300.

The famous beach in the town of Baunei, Cala Mariolu, will only permit 550 people per day, with each having to pay a fee of €1.

It was earlier reported that Trentino-Alto Adige, a beautiful Italian province, had announced travel restrictions for tourists for the summer. It had put a strict cap on tourist numbers and banned any new hotels and Airbnbs from opening up.

The new rules included a restricted number of overnight visitors in Trentino-Alto Adige and unless another hotel or holiday rental flat closed, no new ones could be opened up.