Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Steven Spielberg and Gwyneth Paltrow fall foul of Italian beach laws: The Rich continue to flaunt laws and rules

Steven Spielberg's summer cruise around the coast of Sardinia in the company of his god-daughter Gwyneth Paltrow and friends has entered choppy waters after he fell foul of watchful Italian beachgoers, a vigilant coastguard and Italy's strict rules on having fun.

The Oscar-winning director anchored his 85 metre (280ft) motor yacht off the Italian island this month before loading his guests on to a 10 metre dinghy and heading for Porto Liscia beach, a stunning stretch of sand north of the billionaires' hangout of Porto Cervo.

But sunbathers on the beach were quick to call the coastguard after noticing the glamorous landing party and accompanying bodyguards had ignored one of the many Italian beach rules that trip up the super rich each summer.

"We were called to the scene after being told that a dinghy had come within 300 metres of the shore with its engine on, which is a fineable offence," said Commander Vincenzo Petrella. "We have a special hotline and get a lot of calls like this every summer, particularly after a swimmer was killed by a propeller recently at Porto Cervo." Last month, the coastguard ejected a British TV crew who were setting up sofas for a shoot on a Sardinian beach in a nature reserve without a permit, an offence which prompted Italy's junior culture minister to complain to David Cameron.

Even rank and file beachgoers face an onslaught of bylaws every summer covering what to wear, where to kiss and even how to build their sand castles.

Petrella said that while Italians on Sardinia might like to see celebrities descending from huge yachts, they are quick to report infringements and can even take the law into their own hands. (more)