Sorrento has some creative bathing sites due to its rocky coast

Sorrento: latest beach town to undertake ‘anti-bikini’ crusade

Sorrento: latest beach town to undertake ‘anti-bikini’ crusade

The term 'beachwear' indicates where it should be worn, after all

The coastal commune of Sorrento, in Italy, has become the latest to issue an ordinance that bans the wearing of beachwear, such as bikini, on its streets. The dress code also extends to those people walking shirtless (or topless presumably) with the idea to draw clearly defined lines between beach and town.

Sorrento is located on the Bay of Naples and its historic architecture and picturesque location make it a drawing magnet for throngs of tourists every summer. In fact, in 2019, the town welcomed about three million visitors, and now that tourism is experiencing a resurgence we can expect that this trend will keep.

Local police will be tasked with enforcing the new ‘anti-bikini’ ordinance, as it has become known, with fines of up to 500 euros for those flouting the rules.

Civilizing tourism and tourists

The mayor of Sorrento, Massimo Coppola, quoted by TGCOM24, defended the passing of the restrictive measure: “We found that the persistence of such a situation, as well as constituting an element of discomfort for the resident population and for visiting tourists, could constitute a negative evaluation of the qualitative level of good living in our Municipality, with consequent repercussions on the image and on the tourist offer.”

In other words, the mayor has observed that local residents require that a certain level of decorum be kept in public spaces.

Sorrento is not the first Italian, nor European, beach municipality to put words to action and to reign in the libertine spirit of tourists who feel like taking the beach vibes to the streets.

Barcelona instituted ‘anti-beachwear’ ban back in 2011. As for Italy itself, Lipari, the largest of Sicily’s Aeolian Islands, introduced a similar rule back in 2013, after residents kicked up a fuss about tourists wearing skimpy swimwear in the city centre. Tropea, in Calabria, followed suit in 2019, also prohibiting walking barefoot in the town centre.



Growing City


Smart City


Green City


Social City


New European Bauhaus




ECP 2021 Winner TheMayorEU