Venice's Lido Beach, Once An Exclusive Haven, Now Open to the Public

Venice's Exclusive Lido Beach Now Open to the Public

mlsj1_99, flickr

For the tirelessly chic, summer on the Adriatic Coast might have meant a trip to Venice's exclusive Lido Beach. Once a playground for the fabulous, the beach will now be open to tourists.

The seven-mile stretch located on the Venice Lido island was established in the 1850s as one of Europe's first beach resorts. Historically, its beach was only accessed by some fee-paying visitors or guests of the island's pricey hotels. Those who can are known to rent private bungalows for almost $20,000 a season to protect their privacy.

But, a new law signed by Venice's Mayor Giorgio Orsoni will push out the high-roller crowd, and make way for the fanny-packers.

Per the new ordinance, the owners of private beaches must set up six-foot-high blue poles that will clearly demarcate their property, effectively shrinking their areas they control, reports The Daily Telegraph.

Even the private hotels will feel the pinch, as the law dictates their beaches may not extend within more than 15 feet of the sea. This will allow water access to day-trippers.

"It's an attempt to provide clear rules and regulations for our beaches, which in summer are very busy," Gianfranco Bettin, of Venice city council told the paper. "For the first time we are dealing with all these issues of bathing access."

Ticked-off locals have demanded a meeting with the mayor to argue that the amount of money they pay to use the beach each summer should afford them greater exclusivity.

We're guessing they're not going to be placated by the new beach regulations also adopted by the measure: No playing ball games, no diving off groynes, no using soap and shampoo in outdoor showers, no fishing, no mooring boats on the beach, no pets and no loud music between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.

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