towel wars




You’ve risen with the sun, made your way down to the pool of your smart resort with an early morning swim followed by poolside coffee on the agenda – and you’ve been gazumped.

Every sun lounger is already draped with a towel or a book conveying ownership. The prime possies, the cabanas, all taken and yet there is nobody else to be seen.  It’s unfair, deeply annoying and enough to make your blood boil.

Some European nationalities are known for their proclivity for towel trumping. They rise in the small hours, stake a claim with their outspread towels and after a leisurely breakfast saunter down to take up their rightful positions. It’s not only the lounges around the resort pools of the world that are hotly contested.

In Europe some try it on at those bikini-sized stretches of feet-murdering stones known as beaches. In 2016 the Italian Coastguard, responsible for policing the country’s beaches, enacted operation Safe Sea, with fines of up to €200 for those who deploy their beach paraphernalia and leave it unoccupied for hours.

In Livorno last year the coastguard seized beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and even bathers. The same has happened in Tortoreto in Abruzzo and on the beach of Roseto Capo Spulico in Cosenza and Salerno while the city of Cecina in Tuscany has made it an offence to leave any unattended equipment on the beach before 8:30am.

On the pebbled shores of Torrox on the Costa del Sol, a special beach patrol hands out £21 fines for towel infractions, and no prizes for guessing which nationality is the prime offender.


There are 2 comments

Add yours
  1. Diane Smith

    Just how do you overcome the “towel war” on cruise ships? The staff are too polite to move belongings ‘minding’ the lounge?

  2. Michael Gebicki

    “If an enemy lays claim to a favourable position but declines to occupy it, they are weak. Why would you not take it yourself?” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Post a new comment