Lake Garda
Lake Garda attracts thousands of visitors annually every summer: Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Tourists heading to Italy must be aware of the latest rules as even seemingly innocent activities could slap them with a penalty of over £500.

Italy's Grandi Laghi or group of five lakes that are on the south side of the Alps are some of the most visited spots in the country, especially during the summer. With the severe heatwave ongoing across Europe, including Italy, tourists will be looking to flock to these lakes to cool off.

Football banned at Lake Garda

One of the lakes in Northern Italy, Lake Garda, attracts thousands of holidaymakers annually for its laid back lakeside lifestyle, cool water and gorgeous colourful towns.

In order to curb over-tourism and maintain sanity around, the authorities at Lake Garda have introduced strict rules and regulations. They have been ruthlessly fining tourists for their disrespectful behaviours, including wearing swimming costumes across the towns and playing ball games on the pristine beaches.

Tourists heading to Lake Garda have been prohibited from swimming naked and playing football or other games that involve running or throwing objects along the shores of the lake. If a traveller is caught breaking these rules, they can be fined anywhere between £86 and £515 (€100-€600), reported Forbes.

Playing music or musical instruments loudly in a way that may disturb other beach users is also forbidden. Wild camping is banned anywhere along the shore of Lake Garda. Tourists should also avoid having barbecues, lighting bonfires, or having picnics.

"The beaches of Lake Garda must be places where all residents and tourists can enjoy the beauty of nature and enjoy rest and relaxation," said Filippo Paoli, a local police commander.

Sirmione is one of the most visited places on the lake, thanks to its floral-themed town centre and thermal water. But one needs to be careful while exploring its historic centre. Lake Garda has banned both cars and bicycles from the area. The only exception is for residents and hotel guests.

More rules for tourists at Lake Garda

Meanwhile, Limone, a town that sits on the west of Lake Garda, has been so angered by tourists hanging their wet clothes across balconies that they've enforced some rules. The old town of Limone has banned the stringing of laundry outside windows, on balconies or on terraces. People who break the rules will face penalties of up to £429 (€500).

Authorities have also banned dogs and other animals from the lake's beaches. The locality of Torri del Benaco is believed to have taken this rule one step further by prohibiting dogs in the water if other bathers are nearby.

If people are planning to organise their bachelor or bachelorette or graduation parties near Lake Garda, this summer, they will be forced to change their plans. Between Malcesine and Peschiera del Garda, these parties have been banned by the authorities.

If tourists do get caught partying near Lake Garda, they are due to be slapped with fines between £43 (€50) and £429 (€500), and any party-related "objects" are likely to be confiscated.

UK Foreign Office's Italy travel advisory

The UK Foreign Office, meanwhile, is keeping its people informed about the situation in Italy, considering the temperatures have been soaring in the country, affecting many holiday hotspots as well.

With wildfires currently affecting areas of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria, the UK Foreign Office has urged travellers to check the latest alerts and weather forecast and follow the advice of local authorities if they are considering travelling to affected areas.

Earlier this week, the Palermo Airport in Sicily was forced to shut down due to the wildfires.

One of the things that the Foreign Office keeps reminding travellers from the UK is to get "appropriate travel insurance" before taking any trip, especially during the peak summer travel season.