The bay of Giardini Naxos is situated in the Northern sector of the Ionian coast of Sicily (Italy), between the towns of Messina and Catania. The town of Giardini Naxos has about 10,000 inhabitants and it is characterized by a strong tourism with plus than 1 million tourists per year. Over recent years several stretches of the coast of Giardini have been victims of an intense erosive activity, caused and aggravated by a series of man-made constructions: within the hydrographic basin (check dams); along the coast (subparallel breakwater barriers); or directly at sea (harbour quays).
In the 1970s and 1980s and until the early 1990s, the only projects for erosion prevention were for a rigid type of barrier, consisting of structures oriented in various directions with respect to the shoreline. These structures were always emergent and were rarely placed at a sufficient distance from the shore to b#337199e effective, in consequence of that they had a limited efficacy causing further erosion problems downdrift. On the basis of these observations the Regional Department of the Environment (ARTA) under the pressing of the EU, published a public announcement, within the project for public works from 2000 to 2006, which contained the guidelines for the definition of priority areas to be protected and the type of projects to be adopted, as well as the various stages, of which this study is a part.
The aim of the announcement was “removal of the causes of deterioration and/or erosion in the coastal areas, by means of the restoration of the natural conditions which led originally to the formation of the shoreline, with particular reference also to building activities inland, to the recovery and restitution to their natural state of the wet and dry river courses and the restoration of the solid littoral transport; particular attention is to be paid also to the effects on an increase in tourist potential, the recovery of state property and the protection of private and public goods from sea storms”.