American in Italy, culture, italy, travel, tuscany, Uncategorized

An Ode To The Italian summer

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Summer in Italy means so many things to me, the first time I ever sat on a Tuscan beach, the fresh taste of a lemon granita or better yet, the first gulp of my favorite chilled lemoncello. Even the guy selling fresh coconut on the beach yelling ‘cocco bello‘ every five seconds holds a certain nostalgia. There’s something quite appealing about the concept of an Italian summer, spending lazy days at the beach, riding my bike and tucking into some freshly fried calamari and spaghetti alle vongole veraci

This is by far the Italian flavor of summer (for me)

I should mention that for a time I got sucked into watching cheesy Italian films like Sapore di mare’ (Time for Loving is the title in English) about a group of friends in the 1960’s experiencing an eventful summer at Forte dei Marmi which made me think two things: does no-one work during the summer? And how did these guys get such knockout girls like in the film ;-).

Just a group of Italians (and una inglese) having the best summer of their lives

Any chance we get to escape to the coast makes me a happy girl, especially when Florence swelters as one of the hottest zones in Italy, meaning for at least two showers a day and good friends proposing homemade air-conditioning like the one below with a straight face. Seriously you have to shutter your house, turn on all of your fans on full-blast and essentially ‘hide out’ when the temperatures creep up into the late 90’s (farenheight)

desperation breeds innovation

This past weekend we joined my friend Alexandra Korey of Arttrav in the beautiful area of Maremma, which if you haven’t yet been there, make it part of your ‘must-see’ destinations in Tuscany.  We were meant to visit the Italian island of Ponza which I would have loved, but a last-minute cancellation meant heading to the Tuscan seaside instead which was fine by me. On the upside I was introduced to Italian beach luxury at the Skipper Beach Club in Castiglione della Pescaia where the pretty people go to tan.

One thing to know before heading to una bella spiaggia, at Italian beaches you basically have two options, you can find either seek out a public beach to camp out with your towel/umbrella or you can rent a few chairs and in our case, a ‘tent’ for a fixed-daily fee (anywhere from 15 euros to 40+ depending on how many chairs, time of year etc).

Via Around Tuscany. you can find a list of this year’s blue-flag beaches ( a prestigious eco label for cleanliness and sustainability that ensures water and environmental quality of coastal resorts certified by FEE, the international Foundation for Environmental Education.)

While I don’t normally indulge in this luxury, this beach club was awesome! The sun beds were padded, there was a cute couch and even a pleasant mister – a far cry from my beach towel and broken umbrella. Also they happened to have a really cute restaurant serving up delicious Italian seafood and one of the best caffe shakeratos I have had in awhile. I could get used to this.. 

foodskipperNow it’s your turn, what does an Italian summer mean to you. Where do you escape in Tuscany? I am always on the hunt for a new, amazing beach! 

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16 Comment

  1. Lesya Mikhaylenko
    28.06.2014 at 11:13

    I`m going to Forte dei Marmi in 2 days! Already visited Castiglione della pescaia – really nice place and pleasant beach…

    1. GirlinFlorence
      28.06.2014 at 11:15

      Ciao Lesya, I’ve never been so you have to let me know how it is, Castiglione della pescaia is a dream, I definitely want to go back this year..

  2. bobblesse
    28.06.2014 at 16:17

    Thanks, Georgette, I enjoyed your thoughts about summer in Italy. Seems like a magic time, though brutal heat in Florence. Our new apartment will have air conditioning, but like others, I imagine we’ll flee to cooler climes. Maybe a good time to go to Scotland(?) Because we’ve been coming to Tuscany in May and leaving in early June, we’ve really only had one real summer in Italy. That was in 2004, when we stayed in Montalcino into August. We visited Castiglione della Pescaia and thoroughly enjoyed the beach along with a lovely lunch. Look forward to returning.

  3. Sharon, Ticket to Travel
    28.06.2014 at 18:17

    Just loved this! I was in Terracina in early June and enjoyed a few hot days on their terrific beach. Just love Italian summers…if there is air conditioning somewhere! (as our hotel replied when we asked why the air conditioner didn’t cool the room, he said, but it conditions, yes?

    1. GirlinFlorence
      28.06.2014 at 19:27

      Thanks Sharon, Terracina is awesome – great find! ‘but it conditions’ made me cough up my spritz, menomale that this summer hasn’t been too brutal so far..

  4. neonanomaly
    29.06.2014 at 10:16

    My favorite summer activities in Rome are having beers in Circo Massimo at night, complaining about the humidity, and daydreaming of the moment when I’ll be able to afford a real A/C…

    1. GirlinFlorence
      29.06.2014 at 14:51

      That sounds exactly like my life, we all complain about the humidity with a fervent passion. But at the same time, those al fresco dinners and drinks.. can’t beat that!

  5. missteaque1
    30.06.2014 at 12:55

    That looks like a place to visit. We’ll be in Italy in a couple of weeks and I was kind of looking for a beach guide for Tuscany, because, though we can move around in Florence, we are totally clueless when it comes to the sea – and we’re Greeks, I mean, we neeeeeed our beach-time!
    I’ll totally check this Skipper Beach Club out, AND the prices of course…
    Thank you!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      30.06.2014 at 13:54

      Hello! I know exactly how you feel, we actually NEED our seaside time. The skipper club is really affordable for what it is, we were in four people and we had this amazing space for around 30 euros, hopefully they don’t raise their prices!

  6. D
    01.07.2014 at 10:48

    In Tuscany I really liked Castigloncello (finding a sandy spot, since I don’t like rocks as many seem to) and for a ‘chic-er’ place, Punta Ala all the way–same zone as Castiglione.

    1. GirlinFlorence
      01.07.2014 at 12:44

      Castiglioncello is beautiful, it used to be THE getaway for the Italian elite 🙂

  7. Michelle
    01.07.2014 at 11:22

    This was lovely!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      01.07.2014 at 12:43

      Thank you Michelle, how I love lazy beach days 🙂

  8. Cindy
    03.07.2014 at 5:37

    Summertime in Italy means to me…isola d’elba. First time I ever went to the huge open air nightclubs playing the best music-and guys asking, di dov’e sei?
    Anyway, if you get the chance to go to the Greek isles, I’d recommend Crete(my husband’s family is there) and ofcourse….santorini!!!

    1. GirlinFlorence
      03.07.2014 at 9:25

      I absolutely adore the isola d’elba and hope to make it back next year, we are heading to Corfu for a wedding this August, have you been?

      1. cindy
        07.07.2014 at 1:19

        Although I’ve never been, Corfu sounds amazing! I’m sure you will love the island, it’s history, and all it’s Italianate architecture. We’ve only been to Athens, Crete, and Santorini but I hope to return once our girls are a little older. Just like visiting Italian family, Greek family expects you to stay with them the entire time, but I would LOVE to really get out and island hop in Greece! Hydra is supposed to be fun, and there is a tiny island I know about that most Greeks have never heard of….

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