Anyone headed to the Italian Mediterranean for a day of surf and sun, take note: Staking a spot with a beach towel or umbrella could cost you more than your trans-Atlantic flight.
In an effort to guarantee a peaceful sea-going experience for all holidaymakers, Italian officials are now sticking so-called "beach hogs" with a 1,000 fine for illegally (and allegedly) occupying public space.
Beach hog is the Italian phrase for scouts who "bag space" on the beaches in the wee hours of the morning by implanting umbrellas and spreading towels so their parties may later stretch out along the water.
Actual humans, who come to the beach in the godly morning hours, are aced out by rainbow-colored terrycloth and nylon that beach hogs planted and abandoned.
A 1,000 fine seems a bit outlandish, but then again we likely wouldn't have this problem to begin with if we stopped building hotels and swanky developments on top of the sand.
Sea turtles need the sand to lay eggs; sea people need the sand to lay out. Hey urban developers, a little foresight and a touch of consideration would be nice.