For members


CALENDAR: When the beaches open in each Italian region this spring

Italy's many privately-run beaches have set opening dates which vary by region. Here's what you need to know if you're looking forward to an early summer beach trip in 2023.

When do Italy's private beach clubs open for business?
The majority of Italy's beaches are privately run - and their opening dates are restricted. Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP.

Italy has been experiencing some unseasonably wet weather, but when the clouds clear many Italians and holidaymakers will be heading to the beach to soak up the start of la bella stagione.

But you may not know that, as with many other aspects of life in Italy, there are rules and regulations governing when beach season can officially start, which differ by region.

While public beaches can be accessed at any time, much of Italy’s coastline – more than half of it overall, and up to 100 percent in some areas – is given over to private beach clubs managed on a concessions basis, and these are subject to state regulation.

READ ALSO: Why are so many of Italy’s beaches privatised?

Each region and sometimes even local municipality has the power to decide when beach season begins and ends on a year on year basis, based on local weather and beach conditions.

This comes along with the requirement for regional authorities to carry out water quality tests in each area prior to the start of the season, to ensure conditions are safe for bathers.

In areas where no regional or local regulation is stipulated, the default opening date is May 1st.

Here’s when private beaches in Italy are due to open and close this year, according to region.


Abruzzo’s bathing season started a while back, on March 6th, and will run through November 26th.


Basilicata is sticking to its usual schedule this year, opening its beach season on April 1st and continuing through October 31st.

READ ALSO: MAP: Which regions of Italy have the most Blue Flag beaches?


Calabria has yet to announce its opening and closing dates for this season: check local authority websites for updates.


Having carried out the necessary checks, Campania’s bathing season is confirmed for May 1st to September 30th this year.

Emilia Romagna

Emilia Romagna’s 2023 bathing season started on April 1st, and will continue until October 29th.

A private beach near Santa Margherita Ligure, southern Genova.

A private beach near Santa Margherita Ligure, southern Genova. Photo by OLIVIER MORIN / AFP.

Friuli Venezia Giulia

Friuli Venezia Giulia’s beach season opened on May 1st and will run until September 30th, with the exception of Lago di Sauris, whose shores will be open for a shorter period between June 27th and August 21st.


Lazio’s beach season officially starts on May 10th, but following protests from club managers, in practice establishments were allowed to open their doors from May 1st. The season will end on September 30th.


Beach season kicked off in Liguria on May 1st, and will run until September 30th.

REVEALED: The Italian beaches you might want to avoid this summer


Marche started its bathing season on April 29th and will end on September 17th.


Molise’s bathing season began on May 1st and will continue until the end of September.


As in previous years, Puglia’s beach season runs from the start of May to September 30th.


Like Basilicata, Sardinia’s bathing season opened on April 1st and will run to October 31st.


Sicily opened its beach clubs on May 1st and will keep them open until October 31st.


Tuscany’s beach season began on May 1st and will run to the end of September.


Beachgoers in Veneto will reportedly have to wait a few more days, until May 14th, to make use of the region’s private beach clubs. Based on last year’s calendar, the season is likely to run through mid-September.

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For members


EXPLAINED: How will Venice’s ‘tourist tax’ work?

Venice has confirmed it will trial a long-delayed ticketing system for visitors in spring 2024. But who will the fee apply to and how will it work?

EXPLAINED: How will Venice’s ‘tourist tax’ work?

Venice officials last week approved the trial of a long-delayed ‘tourist tax’ aimed at regulating crowds and lessening the impact of mass tourism on its city centre. 

But the announcement, which reportedly contributed to Venice dodging inclusion on the UNESCO list of endangered heritage sites for the second time, has left many confused as to who the entry fee will apply to, who will be exempt and how the system will be enforced.

Though future changes cannot be ruled out, especially given the project’s troubled history, this is what the city council has said so far about the incoming trial, which is presently scheduled to start next spring.

Who will the entry fee apply to?

The Venice city council has said that all day trippers over the age of 14 will have to pay the fee. But no small amount of confusion lingers over who exactly will qualify as a ‘day tripper’.

In particular, Venice officials describe turisti giornalieri as visitors who don’t “stay in one of the accommodation facilities located within the territory of the Venice municipality”.

READ ALSO: Five essential tips to escape the tourist crowds in Venice

Besides hotels, it remains unclear exactly which other types of accommodation (B&Bs, hostels, holiday rentals, guest houses, etc.) will fall under the ‘accommodation facilities’ umbrella.

Gondola, Venice

A traditional gondola crosses the Grand Canal in Venice. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

Who’s exempt?

Aside from guests staying at the city’s hotels, so far the city has said a number of other categories will be exempt from paying the fee. 

Exemptions will include: 

  • Venice residents
  • People working or studying in Venice
  • Veneto residents (though they may still be required to register their trip online)
  • Second-home owners and their households
  • Partners, parents or relatives up to the third degree of kinship of people residing in Venice 

There are currently no details on how people will be asked to prove they’re entitled to the exemption.

How much is the fee?

Day trippers will be charged a flat five-euro fee to access the city’s historical centre during the 2024 trial stage.

However, it’s likely that this set-up will change once the trial’s over and the ticketing system becomes fully operative. 

As laid out in some of the earliest project plans, the council should ultimately opt for a variable-fee format, with the fee’s amount changing based on the time of the year and the number of visitors expected in the city. 

This means that the fee will be higher in peak tourist season and lower in low season.

How can I pay the fee?

According to the Venice comune, tourists will be required to pay the fee via a new online platform (also available via mobile app) that is expected to become operational next year. 

Venice, St Mark, tourists

Tourists walk across St Mark’s Square, one of Venice’s most popular attractions. Photo by ANDREA PATTARO / AFP

The platform will provide visitors with a QR code, which they will then have to show to ticket officers upon entering the city. 

READ ALSO: Five ‘secret’ places in Venice you need to visit

It remains unclear where and how controls will take place, though the city council previously advanced the idea of setting up gates at the city’s main entry points.

Fines for those flouting the rules will range from 50 to 300 euros.

When will the trial start?

The Venice city council has said that the trial will be spread out over up to 30 days during 2024, but officials haven’t yet agreed on exactly which days the entry fee will kick in.

That said, it is likely that the system will be tested on particularly crowded days such as long weekends and public holidays, according to the Venice comune website.