Switzerland's Lavertezzo overrun with tourists after video goes viral

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Media caption,

The video (in Italian) showing the river next to Lavertezzo, in Switzerland, has gone viral

Most people would be delighted if their home town was compared to the Maldives, one of the world's top beauty spots.

But not, it seems, those living in the village of Lavertezzo, Switzerland.

Residents here are thoroughly fed up with a recent influx of tourists, who they accuse of turning their idyllic valley into "an open air toilet".

This latest stream of tourists were all apparently inspired by a minute-long video, which has been watched 2.6m times so far, dubbing the area "the Maldives of Milan".

In it, filmmaker Marco Capedri and his friend Federico Sambruni frolic in the crystal clear waters of the Verzasca river, in the shadow of an imposing double-arched stone bridge.

"A magnificent canyon crossed with emerald waters - one hour from Milan and 45 minutes from Varese," Mr Capedri's post proclaimed.

With that, Lavertezzo's residents - who are no strangers to tourists - found themselves overwhelmed by Italians crossing the border in search of a taste of paradise.

"I thought the valley had exploded," one resident told Ticino News [in Italian].

Another accused the tourists, who came from all over, of turning the valley into "an outdoor toilet" and "running semi-naked down the street". The reporter, meanwhile, noted the "socks, cigarettes and cans" left behind by the day-trippers.

The town's mayor, Roberto Bacciarini, was more circumspect in his response.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Repubblica [in Italian], he admitted the video had done "a good job" in attracting people to the area, but added: "[Mr Capedri] would do us a favour if he asked his compatriots to park their cars in an orderly manner, and respect the rules of the place."