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..