I have been in Europe the past week or so–traveling through Italy. These photos are from our trip to the seaside in Savona, Italy. We arrived on an overcast Sunday afternoon to a private beach that you can see above. Each lounge chair was accompanied by a matching umbrella to shield us from the sun that finally shone later in the day. It was a picture-perfect scene every time I closed my book for a second to turn around. Vacationing Italians sauntered around the rocky beach: men in speedos or short swim trunks, women all in simple bikinis.
The beaches back in California drastically differ just within the people. Despite an obvious language difference, people carry themselves differently here. There is a different standard of beauty that is characterized by confidence and a genuine happiness that goes beyond a plastered smile. I listened to the laughs that interrupted the romance of the Italian language–less of an interruption and more of an interlude. My Italian classes paid off as I desperately tried to throw myself into the culture inviting myself into conversations with our Italian friends whom we were staying with. Speaking the language allowed me to feel less like an outsider in the country that forms half of my identity. I yearned for the moments at a gelato shop where I ordered in Italian and the continuing conversation took place in a language that was previously foreign to me. The independence of each individual was countered by a simultaneous dependence on family, friends, and dialogue–a concept I will be bringing back to the States.
I took note of the simplicity and effortlessness of Italian style in my beach attire, wearing my (mother’s) bathing suit of which I removed the straps to reveal a simple black strapless one-piece. It was received well by our Italian friends, which I took as a success.
The seaside of Italy is both a world outside all the cities and town in its location and feeling of “holiday”, but also an extension of Italian culture in its realization of human interaction as its inhabitants lacked books and enjoyed conversation with those around them.
- Black and white bathing suits are the most prominent here–wear one and be cool (or don’t)
- Wear a bikini because a bikini body here is literally any body stuffed into a bikini (I did not but I thought mine was still cool)
- Put down your book every couple minutes and engage. Start mindless–or deep–conversations with those around you. Try and speak the language if those around you also do, or speak your own language and engage with your family/friends.
- Wear sunscreen. Sorry for being a mom, but do it because moms are usually right.
Stay tuned for more travel posts coming soon! xoxo B