Friday, September 26, 2008

Privately owned beaches in Italy, costs are soaring

From the "I can't believe this" file.

Almost all beaches in Italy are privately owned. I am just shocked!

I live in Australia. Anyone can go to the beach in Australia. It doesn't cost beachgoers - well, it does in some holiday areas, there are additional tarriffs paid by tourists, but they are collected in motels and so on and are quite small. Maintenance and cleanliness of the beach is maintained by the local council.

Australian beaches are for the most part public places. You can put your towel down pretty much anywhere on a beach for free. The only problem you might have is that if it is a patrolled beach (by lifesavers, who are volunteers), you must swim between the flags as this is the safe area with no rips* or other dangers to swimmers. If it's an unpatrolled beach you may drown, but that's another story.

So, as an Aussie with beaches free for all comers (just please swim safe and keep the beach clean!), I found this piece on ABC PM last night unbelievable.

MARK COLVIN: In Australia, even when times are tough, people can still enjoy a day at the beach, it's one of the few places left that provides free entertainment for the family.

Not so in Italy where in some regions there's no such thing as a free beach.Beaches were privatised in the 50s and putting a towel down on the sand can now cost up to $250 a day.

This summer, the economic downturn has savaged the European tourist market, nowhere more than Italy where visitor numbers are down by one million.

A nationwide advertising campaign is calling on local councils to reclaim their beaches.

Europe correspondent Emma Alberici.
Read more.

*rip 2
1. A stretch of water in a river, estuary, or tidal channel made rough by waves meeting an opposing current.
2. A rip current.


Anonymous said...

Yup I can vouch for that kae,

When we lived in Switzerland in the sixties, we used to go to Italy for holidays, the charge for use of the the beach was included in the package.

In those days it was barely noticeable.

Who would pay $250.00 for a bit of sand$$

We live in a lucky country indeed!! (just barely lucky, but still is)


kae said...

Hello Orion
I heard it on the radio last night and was shocked. The beach should be free, like it is here.

No wonder foreign tourists are so easily ripped off by the unscrupulous.
Japanese tourists are deserting the Gold Coast now, I wonder if it's because of all the cons they are subjected to by some tourist operators, you know, the shopping rip-offs and so on.

You're right, there are some Aussies who just don't know how lucky we are to live here, and because of that they don't value what we have here in Australia.

Skeeter said...

There was a news item tonight about a convoy of 4WDs protesting against Captain Bligh's latest tax — a tax on users of the beaches in the Cooloola NP.

Back in the 1990s we stayed with friends in NZ after the Maoris had been granted title to much of the coastal lands. Our host friends' local beach became part of the area granted. The new owners erected a gate across the road leading down to the beach and a toll of $4 was extracted from anyone wanting to use the beach. A hand-printed notice declared that the "Bloody gate would be locked at 4 pm". Cars still down at the beach would be locked in until the next day.

Nilk said...

Skeets, I've got friends in NZ who have the same problem. Not only the beach, but also the seabeds have been granted to the maoris, and if you want to go fishing or collect some shellfish, it's all strictly controlled.

And no, you're not allowed on the beach after certain times, or else.