|Italian Beach, forget about putting down a towel. You have to pay!!|
Be very thankful for your beaches here in Florida. Praise the Lord!
This was the only fight I had in Italy (not saying I didn't annoy everyone) -- it was over public access to a beach (a decent beach is very hard to find on the West Coast of Italy). Here are the sordid details of my run-in:
I went to Italy on a tour and we stopped in a resort town called Viareggio on the Ligurian Sea (like the Biscayne Bay of the Tyrrhenian Sea). Great place. It was hot, we arrived there about 5 pm and we just wanted to jump in the water, swim and jump out.
All the beaches around our hotel were privately managed. The management of the slivers of the beach are handed down from father to son in some sort of 'crappy deal' (like we always have here in Miami to give away public spaces). Each time an umbrella color changes, it is a new beach manager. You have to pay to rent a chair and umbrella from them. I didn't ask the price. (I looked online and it said the cost was $18 to $25 euros per day in 2006). Sorry I didn't find out the price. Anyone know?
|The Umbrellas looking down the coast (each color denotes a different concession). I scanned at a high resolution so you could see these umbrellas better if you hit on the photo.|
|The Umbrellas....looking up the coast...|
Anyway, the hotel gave us an hour pass at one of the beach concessions where they had a deal, but they were unclear on which one it was. We walked down to the water's edge and this guy chased us from his concession. He wouldn't let us put our two towels down. We asked him where our hotel had rights, he said "If you ask me that I am going to tell you a lie. Why should I help you, I lose money." He was going to lie to me on purpose?? I said the only thing I could think of besides fongul, since I didn't want violence: "You're Stupid." He said in return: "You're Stupid".
The next beach concession owner said, when we asked him the same question: "Be my guest at my concession" It was after 5 pm after all. So we swam for about 20 minutes and thanked the nice Italian guy making a fortune on what SHOULD BE A PUBLIC BEACH. No riparian rights in Italy.
Thankfully, here in Miami Dade County and elsewhere in Florida, we might pay a nominal admission fee (about $5) at some beaches but we don't have to rent umbrellas and chairs for our entire family. Most of our beaches are free if you just walk in (not drive). The fact that our politicians have not gotten their dirty, grubby hands all over our beaches is a miracle. Yes, they do pollute them as often as they can but they haven't imposed high fees for swimming. Watch out for privatization, it is a BAD THING (remember Donald Trump wanted to manage Crandon's Golf Course and the County Commission nixed it? That was a very good move on their part).
So I am back readers, to mess with your heads.