Our Italian Beach Experience....

The Cilento coast south of Salerno.

On our recent trip to Italy we decided to go to the beach. I must admit, I don't associate Italy with a beach vacation, we normal focus on history, architecture, museums, food and wine, that's enough to keep us occupied for the next decade. But this time it was hot, really hot and we were staying in a place that had a private "beach club".  Here in California it's all fairly simple, there's a public beach and you bring your own stuff, chair, umbrella, towel, food, whatever you need, no service, no bill. But we were here for the Italian beach experience which was something quite different. 

When we pulled into the hotel (Il Melograno) we parked between a Maserati and a Porsche, which gives one a good sense of their predominantly Italian clientele. So the "beach club" promised to be the best we could find locally.   We got the directions from the front desk and headed towards the coast. It was a quick drive  to Le Tamerici billed as, "as oasis of privacy and tranquility". Well I guess everything is relative, at least we didn't have to pay the 35 euro fee!  

Le Tamerici, further from our neighbors but not as important as the people that didn't show up!

We parked our modest rental in the parking lot between two large suvs and made our way to the entrance where we were quickly given towels and ushered to two beach chaises right next to the water, great. But of course it was too good to be true and another attendant came over to let us know these seats were reserved and we needed to move further back. Of course it was immediately obvious that the seats were reserved for people far more important than us, predictably they never showed up!  

Ahh for the egalitarianism of California where you bring your own seat and no one can throw you out  of it. Remember this is the  private beach experience where you pay for the humiliation, though on the plus side is you can order a lemon soda or a sandwich while you wait to see if  anyone is going to show up and take the chaises you weren't good enough for!  

Apparently the difference between the private club experience and the public beach is merely the distance between yourself and the person next to you.

Relaxing on  the Cilento coast...
As you can see above, your neighbor is close enough to touch, whether you want to touch them or not! The sea was fabulous, warm and clear but the experience of crowding together could not be considered luxurious. Yes we're spoilt. We were on holiday with the Italians enjoying the local culture as they do, but now I know I'd rather see a museum!


lauracookson said…
It was interesting to read your post. I admit that I also visit Italy for its architecture and history rather than beaches. If you decide to come once again you might find that renting a villa in italy will suit you better. Laura
We did rent a villa on this trip, though I haven't blogged about it yet. However, we booked directly with the owners which I prefer and find is generally cheaper.