Italian People's Beaches


August 2010

This photographic journal attempts to explore the very different ways in which we, as Italians, conduct ourselves on our beaches; what we do, how we eat, how we treat each other. It describes a space that manages to be both intimate and public at the same time.
This is a social space that exhibits strong contrasts; beaches that are places of quiet, of rest, of entertainment but also of solitude.
The average Italian holidaymaker can rarely afford the posh Riveras known internationally and instead we tend to congregate in an environment that is cheap, animated and open to all.
From south to north, from refined old ladies, athletic young men and a few resourceful foreigners, this is a journey across Italy that casts an ironic eye on the beaches and the characters that inhabit them. Those who are there to relax, escape, control or indeed gorge. There are those who are there to sell and those who cannot stop buying. Those there to meet old friends, to train, to dance, to work, to show off, to dress up or to sit by themselves. There are even those sunbathers who dose off thinking about their loans and those who are there to catch some rays as they while away the time waiting for their heart operations.
This is a side of humanity that makes me smile and laugh and though I can feel distant from it, I cannot deny I share something with it. There is after all something that is distinctly Italian within this cultural melting pot; something that rests somewhere between our traditional hospitality and our ignorant mistrust of the unknown.

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Photographer: Francesca Tosarelli