If the stereotypes are to be believed, then Germans’ have been guilty of stealing sunloungers and places on the beach ever since the package holiday introduced UK sun-seekers to the behaviour of foreign holidaymakers in the 1970s.
Well now it is Italy’s turn as they have launched an offensive of tourists who nick their spot on the beach for the whole day, without being there, for all, or at least a large chunk of the day. Leaving other sun worshippers with nowhere to go.
The Italian coastguard has launched Operation Sea Safe, which will mean property will be taken off the beach if left for long periods and they will have to pay if they want to get their belongings back.
Any cheeky holidaymaker who leaves their towel, sun shade, or beach lounger on the sand overnight, to ensure the prime spot in the morning will be slapped with a 200 euro fine (£170). Quite a steep fee for making sure you can get the best tan the next day.
One Italian newspaper has said that in Livorno Tuscany, the militant coastguard actually seized almost 40 deckchairs and loungers, thirty umbrellas, some towels and even beachwear. They are sending out a strong signal to anyone else who thinks they can claim a piece of the beach, by not playing by the rules.
The Tuscan city of Cecina has recenty made it illegal to leave any unattended equipment on the beach before it opens at 8.30am, while beach property has also been seized in Tortoreto, an area in Abruzzo, and in Roseto Capo Spulico, Cosenza, and Salerno. A nationwide crackdown could be next on the cards and many might like to see the rules extend to other resorts in Spain and Greece and other resorts that the daily struggle for a good spot on your holiday, is a constant struggle. First world problems of course, but try saying that to someone sitting in the shade on the holiday of a lifetime.