An 8km stretch of prime beach north of Venice will become Italy's first no-smoking beach when new rules take effect at the end of May, after eight years of trial bans.
The beach at Bibione, about 80km northeast of Venice is Italy's fourth most popular beach and gets over 5 million visits a year. The plan, part of a project called Breathe the Sea Air, started with a ban on smoking between the water and the first row of umbrellas. Under the new rules, the ban will be complete except for a few designated areas between 300 and 400 metres from the sea.
Surveys ahead of the rules indicated that over three-quarters of beach users approve the smoking ban, although a third of those gave approval conditional on the provision of smoking areas.