Instead of dishing out food stamps or extra child benefits, the town council of Camaiore near Lucca is offering two weeks' free rental of umbrellas at nearby beach.
Camaiore, in the foothills of the Apuan Alps, lies five miles from the coast, where 146 spots have been reserved at beach clubs. "The clubs rent the sand from us, and have agreed to offer the spots at no cost," said Andrea Giannecchini, the town's assessor for social politics.
Like most of Italy's coastline, the beach is largely taken over by the clubs, which cover the sand with lines of umbrellas, leaving little free space.
One club is offering a week's rental of a plot of sand, an umbrella, two deckchairs and a sun lounger this summer for €200.($270 Australian)
"The prices are increasing every year, so free umbrellas for the poor are becoming ever more important," said Giannecchini.