Free Access to European Beaches? - The ECC-Net Provides InformationWho owns the sea and its coastline, whose are the lakes and their banks? Are we bound to pay any fees or gate-money to enjoy the sun on European beaches? And what about taking one's pet to the beach in Europe? Is the family dog allowed to treat himself to a cooling bath in the sea or, from a different point of view, do beach frequenters really need to put up with other bathers and their four-legged companions?
The European Consumer Centre (ECC) Italy, Bolzano office, started a little survey among the other ECCs, members of the network of European Consumer Centres (ECC-Net). The interesting results are summarized country by country for all consumers to read on the website of the ECC.
The bottom line: On the whole those who are willing to spend a day at the beach and swim in the sea somewhere in Europe can trust that they will be able to do so at no cost and that they can expect to pay only for the use of beach facilities and for the lending of deck chairs and umbrellas. Dog owners, however, are well advised to do a more thorough research beforehand, since the rules differ not only from country to country, but also from location to location and even from beach section to beach
In Italy, most beaches are - on the basis of licences granted by public authorities - in the hands of private individuals or firms, that demand a very often exceedingly high fee for the use of their facilities and for the lending of deck chairs and umbrellas. In addition to that, several beach operators are still charging steep admission fees just for entering the facilities and getting to the water or refer protesting beachgoers to public beaches even if they are miles away, although this is not legally permitted.
Those who take their dogs with them when travelling to an Italian seaside resort are well advised to get information about the local regulations with the municipality or the respective tourist board in advance. As a general rule in fact, dogs are not allowed on Italian beaches. However, local regulations sometimes permit the access with dogs to the beach in certain limited areas and under observance of specific conditions.
IFor further information on this topic you can turn to the European Consumers Centre (CEC) in Bolzano. You can contact us by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (0471/980939) from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.
via Brennero 3
I - 39100 Bolzano
tel.: ++39 0471 980939
fax: ++39 0471 980239