Give kids extra month off ‘to boost tourism’: plea

The mayor of a seaside town in northern Tuscany has called on Italy’s government to extend the summer break by one month to save the town’s flagging tourism industry after the region was hit by the worst rain in a century.

Give kids extra month off 'to boost tourism': plea
The town of Forte dei Marmi in northern Tuscany. Photo: Roman Königshofer/Flickr

As Tuscany experiences the wettest weather in living memory, it’s no surprise that many of the region's beaches have been a lot emptier this summer.

One of the places which have felt the worst effects of the bad weather is the seaside town of Forte dei Marmi in Versilia, where tourism is town's main industry.  

Concerned by decrease in tourists this summer, the town’s mayor Umberto Burratti has written to Education Minister Stefania Giannini, requesting permission to postpone the start of the school term to October.

“Dear minister, it’s been a summer blighted by bad weather and tourism operators have suffered serious damages. So I ask you to postpone the opening of schools by a month. It would be a great relief for all tourism operators which have been seriously damaged,” read the letter, according to Corriere della Sera.

“When we were kids we went to school on October 1st and September was a month devoted to the holidays, often at the beach, reading a book set by the teacher. I think we should go back to those times, perhaps by trying the effects of it this year.”

It’s not the first time Buratti has called for the tourist season to be extended, according to the newspaper. Two years ago the mayor successfully pushed for seaside resorts to stay open until November.

Buratti isn’t the only mayor to push for the tourist season to be extended. In Lido di Camaiore, also in Versilia, Mayor Alessandro Del Dotto has opened an outdoor cinema on the beach, with the aim of keeping the beaches open in the evenings, Corriere said. 

And in Rimini, Mayor Andrea Gnassi has announced a series of festivals, shows and cultural initiative to attract more tourists to the area.  

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