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Many sites along the Apulian coast (SE Italy) are composed of weathered and fractured carbonate rocks, affected by intense erosion and frequent sliding. A detailed research of the University of Bari (Andriani and Walsh, 2007) highlighted that from 1997 through 2003, the cliff retreat rate varied from 0.01 to 0.1 myr-1, mostly as a consequence of wave action. In the case of Polignano a Mare, a small town 30 km far from Bari, the erosive process seems to be seriously affecting the stability of buildings. Here, because of the bathymetry, the traditional rubble mound breakwaters are not suited. As an alternative, a rigid horizontal submerged plate on piles is here considered. Since there is no universally accepted theory nor formula to calculate the hydraulic performance of such kind of structure physical models have been constructed at HR Wallingford and subjected to random wave attacks. This paper discusses results of those tests.