In Italy, fewer and fewer beaches are freely accessible. Here is a counterexample from Sardinia. © IMAGO / Jöran Steinsiek
The beaches in Italy are to a large extent privately owned. New data shows that free access is becoming increasingly difficult in many places.
Rome - Summer is slowly but surely arriving and thousands of Germans are already heading south to Italy to relax with a dolce vita and a warm sea breeze. Of course, the jump into the cool sea water, which is part of a holiday in Italy, like gelato and spaghetti, should not be missing. The most beautiful beaches in Italy have just been awarded. But free access to the Mediterranean is apparently becoming increasingly difficult in Italy.
This is now pointed out by the Italian Repubblica in a recent article. In any case, holidaymakers in Italy are familiar with this phenomenon: the beaches on Italy's coast are almost barricaded for miles. If you want to bathe, you have to rent an expensive lounger. Their prices have also risen significantly in 2023. Especially for families, these prices are often a problem. New data should now show that it is getting worse and worse.
Italy's beaches increasingly privatized – free access is becoming rarer
Every year, official bodies in Italy publish figures on how many beaches are privately owned and how many offer free access to the sea. The Repubblica has now merged the data of the Office for Maritime State Property and the environmental protection organization Legambiente.
According to this, one of two beaches in Italy is privately owned. So every second beach can be used free of charge? "Absolutely not," says the newspaper in its analysis. Because: On closer inspection, the public beaches are often located in places that are hardly accessible. They are either difficult to reach, are located near old industrial areas or at estuaries.
According to government property data, out of 3,346 kilometers of accessible beaches, 42 percent are allocated to private individuals. According to Legambiente, another eight percent will be added in other forms of privatization.
Italy beach only for a fee? Partly "the entire coast private"
"In some areas of the country, practically the entire coast is private," Repubblica warns. A particularly harsh example is Naples. Of 27 kilometers of coastline, only 200 meters of beach are freely accessible.
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Another example: Jesolo has privatized almost 68 percent of its beaches. Among the free parts, however, is also the section near a river mouth. Here, the sea is often murkier because of the churning mud and bathing is much less fun, according to the Legambiente to the newspaper. Also in Lignano Sabbiadoro 83 percent of the beaches are privatized. The free beach is located at the mouth of the Tagliavento River.
Record numbers of privatized booths:
- Emilia Romagna: More than 90 percent are privatized in Gaetto, San Mauro Pascoli and Rimini.
- Liguria: Over 80 percent of the beaches are privatized in Laigueglia, Alassio, Diano Marina.
- Tuscany: Pietrasanta, Camaiore, Montignoso. Here, almost 100 percent of the beaches have been privatized.
- Lazio: Sperlonga, where 63 percent of the beaches are licensed.
According to the Repubblica report, however, the concessions awarded in Italy are not the only factor why less and less beach is freely accessible. From 1970 to 2020, almost 40 million square meters of beach simply disappeared. This is therefore an area that corresponds to the beach area currently allocated to private individuals. (rjs)