The cliché of parmigiana on the beach on the southern coasts could soon become a distant memory: at least this is the picture that emerges from the Apulian chronicles, where free spaces are increasingly giving way to shores with luxurious pretensions. Many establishments, he writes Republiccategorically forbid entering armed with provisions. A severity justified by the hope of inducing patrons to buy the meals they prepare, at not exactly cheap prices. Just as the other services made available by the lidos are not cheap: the rates range from a minimum of 30 euros in the Mar Village of Giovinazzo to 100 euros in the front row at Lido Santo Stefano in Monopoli, from 418 euros for a fortnightly pass at Lido Calarena in Mola to the 180 euros per month of Lido Nettuno in Molfetta.
«In the end, however – explains Dario Durso, lawyer and Codacons activist in Bari – a simple Sunday at the beach for a Bari family costs around 250-300 euros. And this is because no limits have been set for private individuals, who charge you up to 25 euros for a salad and leave less and less space for free beaches, despite paying meager concession fees. If they also start to forbid bringing food to the bathers, they really go beyond all limits ». Durso is also furious against the limits on food on the beach: «They simply cannot do it. They don’t have the authority. And if it’s too late for this season, because the times of the bureaucracy would not allow us to intervene in good time, from next year we will warn anyone who dares to forbid bathers to access the state property with their own food ».
The version of the shores
But there are those who try to defend themselves: «We don’t allow rigid refrigerators for group meetings – explains Michele Colella, director of Lido Calarena – if someone happens to have one, please leave it in the management. Picnics and tables are not possible here. But if one brings portioned food, a small cooler or a drink, we turn a blind eye». Echoes Resi Tassiello, from the refined Maredentro in Bari: «Glass and cans don’t fit here, and neither do trays. But this seems obvious to me and we’re not even pointing it out or even less doing the checks. We count on the educated public who frequent our structure».
But there are those who are stricter, such as the Lido Ottagono di Savelletri, where it is “strictly forbidden to bring food and drink from outside”. As well as at the Lido Spiaggia Verde in Barletta (where an umbrella with four sunbeds and parking included costs 70 euros), which clearly explains that «inside the establishment it is not allowed to bring food, drinks and cooler bags of any kind». In this regard, it is useful to recall what was specified by the Department of State Property of the Puglia Region in the seaside ordinance 2023: «on beaches and state-owned areas, it is always permitted to introduce specific foods and/or emergency medical devices in the appropriate containers (e.g. thermal bags) as well as consume food/drinks, even if not purchased on site”. On the other hand, what is prohibited is “lighting fires or making use of stoves and setting up picnics with tables and chairs in areas not reserved for this purpose”.