Italy is trying a new tactic in the war against people who hold places on the beach by leaving towels or chairs and then coming back hours later to use the beach. It's a two-pronged attack that includes fines and/or seizure of the left-behind equipment.
Calling the operation 'Safe Sea,' authorities all along the Italian coast have been acting, including seizures in a number of cities.
According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the practice is an "ancient and ingrained habit" that started after World War II with the first big waves of visitors. So not really so "ancient" by Italian standards!
A particular target, authorities say, are people who set up chairs and umbrellas on free public beaches and then charge visitors to use them, or to use the spaces.