Authorities around Italy‘s Lake Garda are cracking down on “anti-social” behavior from tourists and imposing fines of up to €600 for those who break the rules. Official signs have been deployed in different parts around the lake to warn visitors against riding bikes, bringing pets, “smoking, skinny dipping, splashing bystanders, singing or shouting”, as reported by the New Zealand Herald.
Lake Garda is a popular destination with many vacationers traveling there from different parts of Europe. In the lake area, it is “forbidden to play football or other games involving running, throwing objects, pushing or pulling people outside the specially marked areas indicated by signposts”, according to rules indicated by the police. Those who shout or sing loudly, as well as those who play musical instruments, could also face penalties.
Last month, during random controls conducted by officers, about a hundred people were fined for violating the regulations. The fines ranged from 100 to 600 euros. “The beaches of Lake Garda must be a place where everyone, residents and tourists, can enjoy the beauty of nature and relax,” said local police chief Filippo Paoli, according to Italian newspaper L’Adige.
Excessive parties are also banned between the towns of Malcesine and Peschiera del Garda, as reported by The Independent. Fines range from €50 to €500. A strict dress code on the shore front between the two destinations is also in force. Women may not wear only a swimsuit and men must cover their upper bodies.
Lake Garda is not the only place in Italy where this kind of measure is being implemented. In May, the tranquil fishing village of Portofino introduced no-waiting zones to dissuade tourists from ‘lingering’ in popular areas to take pictures, as reported by the BBC. The main goal is to combat over tourism and make traffic flow more smoothly. Portofino, a small Italian village of 400 inhabitants about 30 kilometers from Genoa, sees hundreds of tourists flocking to the area every year. The large influx has pushed the local elected officials to take some actions.
The measure “is not for the tourist who arrives alone, but for those who get off the cruise ships with guides,” justified the city’s mayor, Matteo Viacava. The decree is expected to be in force at least until October 15, 2023. It is therefore forbidden to stop walking in the “red zones” between 10:30 and 18 hours. Visitors who stop to take selfies risk a fine of between 68 and 275 euros, although the measure is primarily intended to raise awareness among tourists rather than punish them.
Similar measures have been appearing in different parts of the world. In portions of the UK’s Tower of London, selfies are banned for security reasons near the crown jewels housed there, according to the BBC; the states of California and New York have also banned selfies in zoos and other places with wild animals. In terms of trying to control over tourism, there’s a quota on the number of visitors arriving on the island of Porquerolles, France; in certain creeks of Marseille visitors need to book a time slot in advance; Barcelona, Venice and Amsterdam have implemented measures to limit the number of cruises docking on their harbors.
In southern Italy, the mayor of Sorrento had issued a decree in 2022 prohibiting tourists from walking around shirtless once they left the beach. “This indecent behavior can cause discomfort and unease among the resident population and visitors. This can give a negative image of the quality of life of Sorrento, with significant repercussions on its reputation and tourism,” justified Massimo Coppola. Tourists who did not respect this rule were fined by the police and had to pay a penalty ranging from 25 to 500 euros.