The Guardian: “Towel wars: Italy to fine tourists for saving a spot on the beach”


A reader sent me a link to an interesting piece that the Guardian published in the UK yesterday and is related to what I have covered here previously based on my personal observations at various hotels.

Guardian Towel Wars

The Guardian reports that the Italian coastguard are implementing a fine for tourists that are trying to secure their favorite spot by leaving their gear on the beach overnight.

You can access the Guardian piece here of which below is an excerpt:

It’s enough to take the shine off a summer holiday: arriving at the beach first thing in the morning to find the best spots already occupied by towels, deckchairs and umbrellas.

Now the Italian coastguard has decided enough is enough.

Authorities from the coasts of Tuscany to Sardinia are cracking down on holidaymakers who seek to reserve prime beach territory by leaving their gear out overnight, with those responsible facing fines of €200 (£170).

The forces behind operation Safe Sea say the use of deckchairs and umbrellas by tourists who want to stake optimal spots is widespread and unfair to others who follow the rules.

On Saturday, the Livorno coastguard seized 37 deck and beach chairs, 30 umbrellas, towels and even some bathing suits, according to a report in La Repubblica.


This is not a problem just in the beaches but at hotel pools as well. Some think that it is okay to go out early in the morning to reserve their spot by spreading their stuff around and reserve the chair(s) for the entire day.

Some hotels have instituted a policy that if the chair is not used for certain period of time the crap will be moved and the guest can claim it back.

It is just nuts that some holidaymakers think that by leaving their gear on the beach overnight is the appropriate way of securing their spot. I am glad that the Italian coastguard is battling this, although it shouldn’t be their job really.

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