Visiting Italy in the summer months can get hot, and one popular way to cool down is to spend the day at the beach. Refreshing waves, beautiful views, a chance to work on that tan – what could be better? Before you pack up your beach stuff, however, there are a few aspects of beach life in Italy that you should be aware of. Here are 3 things you must know about Italian beaches.
1. Public Beaches vs. Private Beaches
For just about every beach in Italy, there are two options to choose from: public and private. Public beaches or spaggia libera are free of charge, and people are allowed to move about as they please with their own beach supplies. They are typically located at the beginning or end of the private beach areas and indicated with a sign. Because they are free, they often do not provide bathrooms or changing rooms, and the beach area can be a bit trashy. Private beaches or spaggia attrezzata, on the other hand, require an entrance fee that covers a number of services such as bathrooms, changing rooms, showers, etc. These beaches are structured and well taken care of, but they can be quite crowded.
2. Renting Chairs and Umbrellas at the Beach
Guests at private beaches will be expected to rent a chair set and umbrella for their stay. Sometimes chair rentals will be included in the entrance fee, but usually guests will pay an additional fee for these rentals. In most cases, a beach attendant will approach guests to determine their chair preferences and then assign them to a specific spot on the beach. Daily and weekly rentals can be arranged, and many Italians will even reserve their spots on the beach for the entire summer season. Once the spot is reserved, guests can feel free to leave all of their belongings there for the entirety of their stay.
3. When to go to the Beach
The best time to go to the beach will depend on your preference of atmosphere. If you prefer to stay away from the crowds, going to the beach in the early morning will be a good option, as families and older people are typically the only ones present at that time. Mid-afternoon is another time the beach will be less crowded because most Italians will be taking their afternoon rest after their big meal. However, if you enjoy the energy of crowds and the chance to do some people watching, late morning to early afternoon and again in the early evening will be the best times to go.
With this knowledge of Italian beach life, you can be prepared for your day at the beach. So sit back, relax, and catch some rays and waves! ~ Kalina Davis
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