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Italy: bases for tourists – 20 minutes

Italy: bases for tourists – 20 minutes


Banning bath towels, seizing beaches – Italy is taking action against mass tourism

The loungers are all occupied and towel after towel is laid out: you know the picture from Italian holidays, the beaches are crowded. Certain regions now want to change that.


The number of visitors to Cala Goloritz in Sardinia is limited to 250 per day.

images by imago/UIG

  • Sardinia is cracking down on mass tourism.

  • There is talk of caps on beach visits, a reservation requirement and a ban on bath towels.

  • You also have to do without a bath towel on certain beaches in Sardinia.

Azure waters, wonderful beaches, possibly the best cuisine in the world and hordes of summer tourists: Italy is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe, if not the world. But more and more regions of our southern neighbors are having to deal with this huge number influx of tourists to fight. Some destinations now want to put an end to this and issue strict rules. There is talk of caps on beach visits, a reservation requirement and a ban on bath towels.

In Sardinia the problem seems to be particularly big. Dirty beaches are also a problem for the locals there. A small village in eastern Sardinia, Baunei, was also affected. “Our island is mostly rugged cliffs, with only a dozen beaches, so everyone congregates there and crams in,” the mayor told CNN.

Reservation system for a beach visit

Four beaches in Sardinia are affected by the visitor limit. Only 300 people per day are now allowed in Cala dei Gabbiani and Cala Biriala bays. Fewer tourists are allowed to visit Goloritze Bay, only 250 per day. The largest beach in the area is Cala Mariolu. A maximum of 700 people can enjoy the Mediterranean there daily.

Anyone who now thinks they go early in the morning and get a place like this is wrong. Because: Tourists have to reserve their spot on the beach at least 72 hours in advance using an app called “Cuore di Sardegna”. About 300,000 tourists visit the respective coastal area each year.

Bath towels are not allowed

One beach that has been particularly damaged by the crowds of tourists is La Pellusa on Sardinia’s northern coast. Beach towels and air mattresses are lined up there in high season. “We have limited the number of tourists at 1,500 per day, and the ticket costs 3.50 euros,” Stintino’s mayor, Rita Vallibella, told CNN. Again, payments and reservations must be made through the website.

In addition, bath towels are prohibited there, only mats are allowed. Unlike towels that get wet, sand does not stick to mats. “We lost a lot of sand because of the beach towels,” Vallebella explains. In addition, there is an admission fee that is paid at some beaches. The money will be used for the maintenance of toilets and paths on the beaches.

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