Sunday, September 06, 2009


To the sea with Irma today. It was much quieter down there than it was a couple of weeks ago although it is still hot. [Sicilians, and Italians in general, like to do things during what they deem the proper "season".] The sea, which was completely blue through July and August, has now taken on tones of green [verde del mare] and violet:

Refreshing salads for lunch in a beach bar. Irma had tuna in hers

whilst I had a similar one minus the fish:

This nice replica of a carretto siciliano was displayed in the bar:

Now, don't get me wrong - I love the romantic old Med. But I don't know how Sicilians have the energy to visit it every day [sometimes twice a day] for two whole months! I mean, there is so much to do before you go and even more when you get back: before setting out, women have to check they don't have a single hair in a place where there shouldn't be any; they correct the situation if need be and then worry about it anyway. You have to find a suitable bag that doesn't look like a bag lady's or the one you carted the potatoes home in; find a decent-looking towel and pack it; if you have a fake tan, touch it up the night before; apply lots of high SPF sun cream [necessary for all in Sicily]; pack make-up remover lotions for the mess the waves will make of even the most "water-resistant" products ; pack reapplication make-up; remember to take a perfume spray. Unless you are going to the private part of the beach where you can hire a lettino [sunlounger] and parasol you also have to carry these or at least a little wooden chair [these are much beloved of Sicilian beach-goers and are surprisingly practical]. When you are finally there, you have to keep applying the suncream, repositioning your lettino or little wooden chair as the sun moves and, if using the former, keep rearranging yourself on it. I'm British enough to pretend I am nonchantly reading a book when really I am people-watching so I fret about maybe dripping suncream onto the pages. [I'm not houseproud but I am fussy about my books.] In Italy you have to stand up to greet every acquaintance who appears on the same stretch of beach and also stand up when they move on so you'll probably have done a fair bit of exercise before you so much as dip a toe in the sea! When you get home, it's time to wash your swimsuit and towel; rinse out beach sandals; wash your hair, bath or shower [again]; remove ruined make-up; apply loads of after-sun cream; reapply make-up, toenail varnish and [if you're as pale as me] fake tan on legs; wait for the latter to dry before you can get dressed, then worry if it still might come off on your clothes.... It all takes forever and I find it quite [though pleasantly] exhausting!

How is the beach for you?


Peter @ italyMONDO! said...

I'm with you! I don't know how they do it - twice a day for an entire month, and sometimes two!!!

I love Italy - I made my life about it - but that's not for me. lol. I guess that's the American in me talking?

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I'm so glad someone agrees with me, Peter! I don't really know if that's the American in you. It's not the Brit in me as most people I know there would love to spend the whole summer in the sun at the sea!

Trubes said...

I love the 'Med', swimming and sunbathing, but, it can be a bit tedious to do the same thing every day, when, there are so many other things to do, paticularly on holiday.
I like to go 'out and about', in the morning, have lunch in a favourite restaurant, then stroll down to beach, with a good book, for a couple of hours.
Oh, and DT in tow to carry the sun chairs etc.
Every girl needs a devoted manservant, to pander to her needs!

We often holiday in Antibes S.France, as there is so much to see and do, I'd feel that I'd wasted the day if I spent all the time on the beach, also it's often too hot.
We love to explore the lovely little French villages, that are dotted around, in the surrounding mountains.

J'adore les Alps Maritimes,
C'est magnifique!


CherryPie said...

That sky looks idyllic :-)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Trubes. I'm all for manservants! I feel I've wasred a day if I spend it all on the beach , too. Love to all of you.xx I agree, Cherie.

Lucia said...

When I was in Sicily come September you weren't suppose to go to the beach does that still stand? I only went to the beach in the mornings in Sicily and then around 12 or 1 we ate and then napped until 4 or 5 and then got up and made our selves beautiful to go to the Belevedere and meet friends, we stayed until 7 p.m. We then went home and ate around 8 or 8:30 and then went back out to the Belvedere and met up with friends to go to the disco or just walk around or have a beer at the local bar. Some of us took off to campagnia to have a fire and sing songs and then make spaghettini with oil and garlic...the good ol'days.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Lucia. Well, there were considerably less people at the beach on Sunday. They just decide the hols are over and that's it. Thanks for sharing your lovely memories here. x

Minnie said...

Very interesting post, Welshcakes (as ever). It could be a sociological study: the habits of beach-goers. Nice being an international 'station balneaire', the opportunities for seaside people-watching are a constant pleasure.
Loved the intro about the sea; living by the sea + observing the effects of the changing lunar cycle & seasons on its behaviour and colour is wonderful.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thank you, Phidelm. Yes, living by the sea certainly teaches you to appreciate change.


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