In an article entitled ‘Capri beachwear’ published on August 8th in Le Monde, French journalist Marc Beaugé launches into a written attack on the dress sense of tourists visiting the southern Italian island of Capri.
“Nothing should sway you as you debark on the island in the Neapolitan bay when you discover a crowd of tourists ordinarily decked out in vests, bumbags, flip flops, clip-on sunglasses, faded jeans, fluorescent flowered swimsuits, Maori tattoos and accessorized with a large-lens camera on their stomach,” begins the offending column.
The journalist then goes on to bemoan the loss of a bygone era when visitors wore pastel colours, white trousers, tight-fitting polo shirts and loafers.
The piece ends with a suggestion that everyone “replaces his t-shirt with a polo shirt, his swimming trunks with swimming shorts and swaps his flip flops for a pair of espadrilles. It’s the least you could do.”
Unsurprisingly, this advice didn’t go down too well with the island’s tourism board.
Speaking to the regional daily Positano News, Fernanda Speranza, the island’s Commissioner for Hospitality and Tourism said: “The positive data about foreign tourists in Capri contradict what the journalist from Le Monde wrote.
“Maybe it [the positive data] has succeeded in exciting [the interest of] French tourist operators,” she said, adding that it was a “typical case of foul play”.
“But here in Capri everyone is welcome,” she continued. “In fact, the island is beautiful and its natural arches, its rocks, its alleyways and its breathtaking views. No florescent t-shirt can take that away.”