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A crackdown is being made on early bird tourists in Italy, who head down to the beach/pool at the crack of dawn to bag the best sunbeds, by leaving their personal belongings on each lounger before heading back up to bed.
The Italian police force have taken action on the early birds, by creating an operation known as Operation Safe Sea. This action allows the officials to operate along the Italian coastlines, and provide bed-hogging tourists with fines of €220 (£170). Officials have also decided to take action upon those who let out sunbeds on public beaches.
Under the operation, the police have seized personal beach belongings in areas including Tortoreto, Salerno, and Cosenza.
La Republica, an Italian Newspaper, reported that a lifeguard in western Tuscany has seized 37 deck and beach chairs, along with umbrellas, swimwear, and towels.
Cecina, a town situated in Tuscany, has reportedly restricted holidaymakers from leaving their belongings on sunbeds at the beach before 8:30 in the morning.
La Republica went on to report that the fight for sunbeds has been active since the end of the Second World War, where Italy became a significant destination for holidaymakers. The paper described that hogging manner as an “ancient and ingrained habit.”
Italian officials have taken action on sunbed-hoggers in the past. 6 tourists were fined a few years ago after rushing down to the sunbeds before 6am, and placing down 10 towels in order to reserve their perfect spot.
A British coach driver was arrested in another case, after German tourists had placed down their towels to reserve beach spots, where the Brit later burned their beach towels. He was arrested but not charged.