Swimming has been banned on a 20 km stretch of beach on the Rome coastline which runs from Focene, close the international airport at Fiumicino, north through Fregene and Maccarese. All are very famous and popular bathing establishments, particularly Fregene which is much frequented by the famous and would-be famous from Rome.

The ban has been imposed by the regional Lazio government whose laboratories have found that there is a dangerous algae growing in the sea on that part of the coast. Tests show that the levels of poison being emitted exceeds the levels permitted by the World Health Organisation.

The ban will be in place until Wednesday 26 July when new tests will reveal whether there has been any improvement, unlikely given the present record heat wave,

Outbursts of poisonous algae are a phenomenon that has plagued the Adriatic coast in recent years and the authorities are much concerned that this is now happening on the west coast, in more open sea at the height of the tourist season.