Do you know the swimming pool rules in Italy?
March, 31 2021
The sun is high in the Italian sky. You have just got back from that lovely village at the foot of the hills and a delicious Italian pizza is on the menu for later. But first it’s time to cool down. Smeared in suntan lotion, towel in hand, you walk to the swimming pool ready for a nice swim. Then suddenly, the lifeguard gives you a questioning look: where is your swim cap?
The swim cap in Italy
A swim cap is compulsory in many Italian (campsite) swimming pools. While the French don’t allow long and loose-fitting swimming trunks in many swimming pools, Italian campsites prefer you to wear a swim cap in the pool. If it didn’t occur to you when packing your holiday things, you can usually buy a swim cap at the campsite shop or reception.
Why is a swim cap compulsory in Italy?
The Italians actually have the same reason for swim caps as the French have for making tight swimming trunks compulsory: hygiene. The idea is that by wearing a swim cap you keep flakes of skin, hairs and other dirt from your head out of the pool.
Not all tourists are equally happy with this rule. It can be a lot of hassle with children, for example. They have to put on the swim cap as soon as they want to go in the water and then take it off when they get out. And that can happen dozens of times each afternoon. Campsites are aware of this and they want their guests to have a good time, of course. Campsites can therefore request an exemption to this rule so that their guests are not required to wear a swim cap. And there are of course campsites where it is an official rule, but they don’t or rarely enforce it.
Other rules that apply at Italian swimming pools are that you must first wash your feet or shower at the entrance to the pool and topless sunbathing or swimming is generally forbidden.
Campsites without a swim cap requirement
How do you feel about swimming with a swim cap on? You may not have a problem with it, and it might even give you that genuine holiday feeling. Or you are not really keen on the idea and would rather go to a campsite where you are not required to wear a swim cap. If that is the case, I have selected some Italian campsites where you can take a dip in the pool without a swim cap. See below.