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Wednesday 18 September 2019

Riviera fines loutish tourists

Picturesque harbor and village of Portofino. Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
Picturesque harbor and village of Portofino. Photo: John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nick Squires in Rome

It once lured luminaries such as Winston Churchill, Princess Grace of Monaco and Ava Gardner, but times have changed in Portofino - and so has the behaviour of its visitors.

Faced with the invasion of hordes of day-trippers whose uncouth antics leave a lot to be desired, the chic resort town on the Italian Riviera has introduced a raft of regulations in an attempt to restore decorum.

Wandering around the harbour barefoot or without a shirt is now prohibited, as is snacking on the front doorsteps of the port's pastel-coloured houses.

Lounging around in the town's parks and piazzas, and playing loud music after midnight are also banned.

The regulations will also target tourists who heave their suitcases or other pieces of luggage on to public benches, denying space for others to sit down.

"It is forbidden to occupy benches, stairways, porticoes and public buildings or their steps," the regulations state.

Breaking the rules will mean a fine of up to €300.

Surrounded by olive groves and umbrella pine trees, and with its harbour filled with yachts, Portofino remains popular with stars to this day, from George Clooney and Robert De Niro to Madonna and Denzel Washington.

The neighbouring towns of Rapallo and Santa Margherita have introduced similar rules in an attempt to deter loutish behaviour by tourists. The mayors of the three towns said that "with the increase in the number of tourists arriving during the summer period" it was necessary to impose greater "discipline" on visitors.

"We were responding to the complaints of locals," said Paolo Donadoni, the mayor of Santa Margherita, which is located just a few miles along the coast from Portofino.

"There were people urinating in the streets and outside the theatre," he said.

Irish Independent

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