Summertime, and the Livin’s Tough in Italy
ROME (AP) _ Summertime, and the living is easy in Italy, unless you’re an unshapely bather in the little beach town of Diano Marina.
In what appears to be a recurring hot weather tradition, this summer again finds mayors of resorts seeking their place in the sun by forbidding this thing or that.
Their timing couldn’t be better _ summer in Italy is when newspapers are starving on their standard diet of politics and itching for any excuse to run photos of near-naked vacationers.
Scoring the most attention this summer is Diano Marina, a village of 6,000 people that lives off its beach business 60 miles up the Ligurian coast from Genoa.
``You’re ugly,″ La Stampa reported in jest last week in a headline next to a photo of a blonde, perfectly tanned model in a tight-fitting bikini.
``If the breast doesn’t remind you of Claudia Schiffer, the buttocks are light years from the backside of Naomi Campbell and the waist doesn’t remind you that someone was on a cruel diet, Diano Marina isn’t for you,″ the paper said.
Only the next day did readers discover that Mayor Andrea Guglieri was joking when she said the city had asked an honorary citizen to judge who would be allowed to wear a bikini and who wouldn’t.
Undaunted, newspapers dug up these other bans:
_Dogs aren’t allowed to sit with their owners in the celebrity-packed cafes of Capri.
_Horses can’t be ridden on the hills overlooking the yacht-mooring village of Portofino; bicycles can’t be used in the crowded town itself.
_Women can’t walk around in bathing suits and men can’t go shirtless in the streets of Alassio, another Ligurian resort whose streets should be quieter because clogs are also a no-no.
_No eating on the beach at Sant’Antioco, Sardinia.
The bans don’t seem to be hurting business. RAI state TV reported Tuesday on Ferragosto, Italy’s summer holiday, that resorts were widely reporting sold-out hotels.
Recent summers saw similar strings of edicts on dress and snacking by resort towns.