Published on Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Beach hoggers face fines in police crackdown

Italian police are cracking down on tourists who get up early to bag the best beach spots, or leave personal belongings on sunloungers overnight.

The initiative, called Operation Safe Sea, gives officials the right to issue fines of €220 (£170) along Italy's coastline to people who do not comply with requests.

Personal beach items have been seized in Tortoreto, Cosenza and Salerno and some beaches have banned chairs and umbrellas before 8.30am.

According to a report in Italian newspaper La Republica,  37 deck and beach chairs, 30 umbrellas, plus towels and bathing suits were confiscated by the Livorno coastguard in western Tuscany, while the Tuscan town of Cecina has banned anyone from leaving their belongings on the beach before 8.30am.

The newspaper said sunspot hogging has been a problem since Italy first became a popular tourist destination, after the Second World War.

Italy introduced a similar initiative almost 10 years ago. In 2007, coastguard officials fined six tourists about £700 for leaving 10 towels on the beach before 6am at a resort in Liguria, northwestern Italy.

Operation Safe Sea is also cracking down on people who charge for renting out loungers and umbrellas on public beaches.

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  • Only free public beaches

    This only applies to the free public beaches and not where clients pay for beds etc at a bagno.

    By Beverly Mayle, Tuesday, August 9, 2016

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