Swimming pool rules in Italy and France

September, 18 2017

You may have already experienced this: you’re walking to the campsite swimming pool in your swimming trunks, and just before you wanted to dive into the water, the lifeguard stopped you. Why? Probably because you were wearing a loose-fitting pair of swimming shorts, something that isn’t allowed in many French swimming pools. Italy, too, has swimming pool rules, for example that bathing caps are compulsory in many pools. That’s why we’ve put this list together for you.

Swimming trunks in France

Before you go on holiday to France, it’s worth knowing that there are various rules about swimwear at French campsites. For example, men and boys are not allowed to wear loose or long swimming shorts, as this is considered unhygienic. A tight-fitting pair of swimming trunks or shorts is required.

Swimming pool rules at campsites in France

At some campsites, wearing long swimming shorts is permitted, but you are not allowed to wear boxing shorts underneath them. Do be aware that these rules don’t apply to all campsites. If you’re going to France, it’s worth checking out the campsite’s website before you leave, to check what their rules are.

As well as the rules regarding swimwear, many campsite swimming pools have some additional rules. For example, in some pools, you are not allowed to dive bomb, or play with inflatable animals or airbeds, or swim in t-shirts or other clothing.

The bathing cap in Italy

While the French don’t allow long or loose-fitting swimming shorts for hygiene reasons, Italian campsites prefer you to wear a bathing cap in the pool. They think this is a way to keep the pool clean. If this didn’t occur to you when packing, you can usually buy a bathing cap at the campsite shop or at the campsite reception.

Bathing caps are compulsory at Italian campsites

It’s also true in Italy that not all campsites follow these rules. There are a few campsites we know of where you can definitely have a splash in the pool without a bathing cap.

Campsites that don’t require you to wear a bathing cap

Other rules that are common at Italian pools include washing your feet or showering at the entrance to the campsite, and the prohibition on topless sunbathing and swimming.

Esther Schaap
  • Auteur: Esther Schaap
  • Esther is a huge travel enthusiast, whether it's a city trip or a camping holiday. She has just one requirement – the area must have enough museums and ancient architecture for her to get her 'dose' of culture. She loves to go to France, Spain and Italy.

    9 Reacties

  1. Avatar

    We’re planning a trip to Italy with 2 kids, swimming will make up a large part of our days. Please can I ask, as a completely bald man, would a swimming cap still be required of me? Only I don’t want to end up with a two tone head…!

    • Esther Schaap

      Hi Andy,

      Good question! Unfortunately even bald men have to wear a swimming cap in Italy 😉
      Have a good trip.


      • Avatar

        Funny, since this has absolutely nothing to do with corona. I just left my caps at home and have to buy new ones on the way to holidays. Strange rule, what is the logic ?

        • Marieke Krämer

          Hi Lorenz,

          No this has nothing to do with corona. These are simply the hygiene regulations in Iltay. However, they are not mandatory on all campsites. So maybe you can inform at your plannend accommodation.

          Kind regards,

  2. Avatar

    We are going to campsite Bella Italia in lake Garda ..are the children & babies aloud floats in the pools ?
    Thanks in advance

    • Avatar

      Hello Hayley,

      It is allowed to use floats in the pools for children & Babies 🙂
      Have a great holiday!


  3. Avatar

    Great blog. Swimming is a favorite hobby. I am reading your blog and I am happy with your info. Great info you share on this blog. Thanks!

  4. Avatar

    Do you have a list of campsites where you don’t have to wear trunks?
    When i was in france last year the swimming pool that we went to made it mandatory for men to wear speedos.

    • Marieke Krämer

      Hi Liam,

      We don’t have a complete list, but if you are considering staying on a Suncamp campsite, you can contact our Customer Service in advance. Our colleagues can inform you.

      Kind regards,


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