80. Teen Beach

My normal experience of Italian beaches, judging from Serapo beach in Gaeta, is that they are organized by beach clubs, each with its distinctive color. Each club’s section contains rows and rows of precisely arranged chairs and umbrellas, anchored by a stablimento providing changing rooms and showers, refreshments, and sometimes even full restaurants. Families, with members ranging from birth to very old age, stay within a stablimento for generations, moving their assigned spot closer and closer to the water as those in front of them move away, or more likely, die. My family has belonged to the same stablimento for more than 90 years, and has finally made it to the water’s edge.

The other day, we found ourselves for one day in Cagliari, the provincial capital of the island of Sardinia, and decided to apply ourselves to figuring out the public bus system and make our way to the beach. It was well worth the effort; the quartz sand beaches surrounded by mountains were spectacular and the water was clear and warm. But most striking was that because these were public beaches, they were at a distance beyond the stablimento section, and filled with teenagers. Mobs and mobs of them. More than I’ve seen in one spot since my kids graduated from high school.

As in America, the boys spread out and dominated the physical space, forcing everyone else to navigate around them or risk getting splashed or smashed into. There were several groups on the sand shooting soccer balls to a goalie in the water. Most striking were the groups out deep making pyramids on each other’s shoulders, or hoisting someone up and flipping him through the air. All in all, it was a very wholesome and joy-filled scene.

The other beauty part of Italian beaches? An Aperol spritz when the day is done.

2 thoughts on “80. Teen Beach

  1. Great action shots of the teenaged boys, and the guy you picked up on the beach looks very dapper in that cool fedora.


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