The Italian holiday resort of Sorrento, near Naples, has banned bikinis and bare torsos with fines of up to 500 euros ($507) handed out to those who fail to comply with the new rules.
The ban forbids people in bikinis and bare torsos from walking around in the streets of the town that overlooks the Bay of Naples.
Sorrento’s mayor, Massimo Coppola said the ban has been brought in because exposed skin was upsetting locals.
Walking around with bikinis is “contrary to decorum and decency”
Coppola said he has recently witnessed “behavior that is seen by the majority of people as contrary to decorum and to the decency that characterizes civilized cohabitation.”
He added that: “The continuation of this situation, as well as causing discomfort and unease in the resident population and among visitors, could lead to a negative judgment on the quality of life in our town, with consequences for its image and for tourism,” as quoted by The Times.
Local police officers will be out on the streets ensuring people stick to the new rules.
The act has sparked debate online with some describing it as “strange” while others favored the mayor’s policy.
“We live in a seaside town and this time of year it can be quite offensive…Not nice at all,” a Facebook user wrote.
“Italians promenade in style, sadly the majority of others let the side down…Good on them,” another wrote, while a third added that: “Those have always been the rules when on holiday. Bare flesh on the beach but the moment you are going into a hotel or café or town for lunch, pop on shorts and tees or a sarong. It’s just polite.”
Sorrento isn’t the only tourist hotspot that has enforced such bans. In the southern Italian town of Praia a Mare, the mayor extended the ban from inappropriate apparel to walking barefoot in town.
In Rapallo, northern Italy, the ban on skimpy dress is so consolidated that there are permanent street signs to remind visitors of the rules.
Furthermore, in some parts of Spain you could get yourself in big trouble for parading around in a bikini in the wrong place. In Barcelona, visitors can wear their swimwear at the beach or at a swimming pool, but popping into the town center in your swimwear could get you a fine.