Venice's Lido Not So Elite?

Luxury travelers and locals alike are mourning a different kind of death in Venice: The iconic Lido, which for years has been an exclusive beach costing thousands to use, will be opened up to everyday visitors, including tourists.

The Telegraph is reporting that a new law just signed into effect by Giorgio Orsoni, Venice's new mayor, promises "a greater spirit of democracy on the strand." The owners of private beaches will have to set up six-foot-high blue poles to clearly delineate the exact limits of their concessions, in effect squeezing the size of the areas they control.

Historic hotels such as the Des Bains, the Quattro Fontane and the Excelsior have also been told that their private beaches can extend to within no more than 15 feet of the sea, allowing "generous access" to the water for day-trippers, the article continues. Everything else will be open to the general public.

There is no word yet on how—or if—this will affect the annual Venice Film Festival, which takes place on the Lido every year.

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Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

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