I remember years ago taking a school party to Lido di Jeselo - as part of the trip we visited Venice for the day. Many of the girls turned up for the visit wearing shorts and bikini tops and could not understand why I thought that was inappropriate. I believed then and still believe now that there are standards for dress that people should observe instinctively. If you don’t see local men wandering around bare chested and local women in bikinis in places like Venice – that should be a clear clue to how you should dress.
It seems that they feel the same way in Barcelona because last year they put up signs to try and encourage visitors to dress appropriately anywhere but on the beach or the surrounding streets. This year they have gone one step further by passing a by law prohibiting women from going round in bikinis and bare chested men in the city streets. Local police are to issue on the spot fines of between 120 and 300 Euros for semi nudity and 300 to 500 Euros for those that bare all anywhere but on designated nudist beaches. The rule is simple - when your on the beach take your clothes off, otherwise keep them on!