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Locked down but not out in Italy

Singing from the balconies! One nice thing about this crisis ... solidarity! “Guess you’re not living like a tourist anymore,” was the funny, truthful and somewhat gut-wrenching message of a friend the day the lockdown in Italy began. Today is day 6. My beloved Italia has been hit hard with the COVID19 epidemic. With the second largest elderly population in the world, the epidemic has meant a disproportionate amount of deaths in the country. So though I haven’t been worried about contracting it myself, this isn’t about me or someone like me who, if contracted it would probably have a sucky couple of weeks and then recover. It is about if someone like me contracted it and then spread it to a person with a complicated health history or an elderly person with a weakened immune system. Eerily orderly: Lines for the grocery store, each person one meter apart In a country with no concept (and no physical room really) for personal space, and in a city with reproachable hygie

Beach Trekking & Tracking

In the spirit of summer, especially of Agosto Italiano, I am sharing some snapshots of the favorite Italian past time in this sizzling month.

There is definitely a huge beach culture in Italy and each person has an opinion (often differing) on which beach is the best and why. The cleanliness of the water is usually the first of the reasons for which a beach is or is not raccomandata, but there are also thoughts on the type of beach: white/black sand or stone, private or public and stabilimento or bring-your-own.

Stabilimenti are privately run areas of the beach where you have to pay for the parasol (umbrellone) and the beach chairs (lettini). It also usually gives you access to showers and changing rooms. All matching colors and equally spaced areas, a stabilimento is proof that Italians can be organized when they want to be. It kind of makes sense that the setting for this is at a beach.

Here are some pictures of practically all of these different types of beaches. I visit them indiscriminately because growing up in the U.S. mid-Atlantic with the closest beach being 3.5 hours away and situated on the cold, brownish, murky Atlantic Ocean, I rarely see any of the Italian beaches as anything less than glorious.

Stone Beach: Guardia Piemontese, Calabria

Stabilimento Only: Santa Marinella

Stabilimento and Bring your Own: Anzio

Public Beach: Monte Argentario

Private Beach: Conca Azzurra, Sorrento area

Resident-Only Beach: Lido dei Gigli

If you are curious, like I was, about where these beaches are located in respect to one another, behold the map below. I have covered quite some ground in the last three months! 

Beach tracker
Do you have any beach recommendations, inside or outside of Italy?


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