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Italy: Capri mayor blocks tourists amid water shortage

June 22, 2024

An aqueduct supplying water to the popular tourist destination has failed, sparking an acute emergency. Residents and tourists with hotel reservations are allowed to be on the island, all others have been turned away.

Tourists stand in line hoping to get information about when ferries will be able to dock on Capri again
On average, Capri hosts more tourists each day than the island has residents Image: Napolipress/ipa-agency/picture alliance

The popular Italian travel destination of Capri is currently inaccessible to non-residents and tourists without hotel reservations.

The situation was prompted by a technical issue on the Italian mainland that caused the island's water supply to break down.

On Saturday, Capri Mayor Paolo Falco issued an order barring all non-residents and day tourists from docking until further notice. The order forced several ferries on route to Capri from Naples and Sorrento to return to port.

A view of the Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) on the island of Capri, Italy
Capri's famous Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) leaves those who have seen it talking about it for a lifetimeImage: Antonio Gravante/CHROMORANGE/picture alliance

"We've been working through the night to secure water shipments and tankers carrying water, which have been arriving. I apologize to everyone but there was nothing I could do my priority had to be to prevent a healthcare emergency," said Mayor Falco.

"The health and hygiene situation is explosive, we have taken our countermeasures and activated the crisis unit and issued a restrictive order," the mayor continued.

Capri is currently dependent upon its own reservoirs for water. Water tankers are expected to maintain a minimum supply until the aqueduct issue can be resolved.

Situated in the Gulf of Naples, Capri was Italy's most popular destination for foreign travelers in May and June. These spend an average of four days on the island of 13,000 permanent residents.

Island idyll Capri

js/lo (AFP, AP, Reuters)