Rome - Getting the best space on the beach is the top priority for many sunseekers – meaning that competition is often heated.
But in Italy, the battle for a prime spot has become so fierce that coast guards are cracking down on tourists who are adopting increasingly extreme tactics.
In an effort to discourage sunbathers who get to the beach extremely early – or even the night before – they are confiscating beach chairs and loungers left overnight, as well as issuing fines of 200 euros (about R3 000).
Italian newspaper La Repubblica called the crackdown ‘Operation Safe Sea’ said it is already in effect across the country.
An official said it was “to protect the community from all forms of abuse which limits the right of use [of] the sea and the beaches.”