Stories From Italy: A Day at the Beach.

October 11, 2010

{monterosso, umbrellas}
I haven't quit with the Italy Posts. Hope you aren't sick of them. I'm not quite ready to forget about our trip, ya know?

Toward the very end of our stay, we had one especially glorious beach day. We took the train on a Sunday up to the Cinque Terre. Monterosso, to be exact. It has the best beach of the five little towns. Although B and I were a bit grumpy from the hot train ride and difficulties with the kids (hello, terrible twos!! and sibling rivalry!!), the weather truly could not have been more perfect and the crowd was all Italian. (Remember, in August, all Italians take the month to "holiday.")

A couple comments.  B and I like to play the game of "What does Italy do better?  What does the U.S. do better?"  (You can probably guess who wins that game... in our book anyway.)  We always wonder why a day at the beach is sooooooo much better in Italy than here.  We certainly have beautiful beaches.  So, we decided it is all about the people.  Going to the beach is a true family affair.  And not just families.  There are young couples in love, groups of teenagers, yes, but there is also la nonna and her friends lounging next to you gossiping and going in for dips in the water.  Everyone shares and enjoys it alike.  Nobody is getting wasted on Bud Light and Mike's Hard Lemonade disguised in paper bags.  It is a civilized affair.  Also, I happen to LOVE having the option to rent chairs and umbrellas.  And having a cafe and gelateria steps away doesn't hurt either.  Can I please go back?????

{picture perfect}

{everyone out on sunday}

{heading in}

{sweet slumber}

{crystal clear}

{coming out for a break}

{always with the thinking}


{toes + sand + water = happy mama}

{papa e bimbi}

{wave coming}

{happy face}


  1. I love this so much, it looks a lot like the place where we live in. It looks and sounds refreshing!
    Lovely photos!

  2. Oh my. I'd be pining to go back too.


  3. Italy is a big favourite of mine too. The whole lifestyle is wonderful. Food, wine, family, sun - perfect.

  4. Please don't stop the Italy posts. I enjoy them so. As an American who has been living in Brussels for the past 8 (!) years, I would be interested in knowing what you think the US does better.

  5. OK, first, sleepy little E on the beach... too much. Too cute!

    Second, oh my gosh! One of the best days of my life was spent relaxing on that exact beach, oh 11 years ago? Magical. It's one of "my happy places" -- seriously! I want to go back, too.

  6. Love these photos! We were in the Cinque Terre for three days this summer (but in Vernazza) and I dream about it every day. Yeah the train ride was long and hot, but I will never forgot the first glimpse of the blue sea coming out of that tunnel. Heaven.

  7. That looks amazing. I studied in Italy but never made it to the coast, regrettably. I love all the umbrellas lined up...picture perfect is right.

  8. i knew those umbrellas were monterroso! so glad you went. and yes, i agree with you on the italy beaches vs america beaches. and is it wrong that i kind of love that some people go nekkid even if im not necessarily one of them? theres something so freeing and lovely about the freedom italians feel with their bodies. at least i think so.

  9. I love your italy posts! Such a magical place :)

  10. It's so fun to see Monterosso in full swing! We were there in October and the beach was completely empty. Any chance you went into a pottery shop just near the entrance of the city? The lady that ran it was so sweet. She let Ava paint a bowl and we came back a few days later to pick it up after it was fired.

  11. love the pics. of course gil and i are in shock - E just slept right there on the beach? that is one easy baby!!!

  12. Hi! New reader here.. Loving your blog & your recipes! Thought I'd say hi! :) Italy with 3 kiddos, bravo to you. Looks like an amazing vacation.

  13. Ooh - I love me some Cinque Terre - been to that beach right there. Unfortunately I was 21 (sigh) and vacationing with parents (groan) and psychotic stepsister (why?) - but still, I loved that beach. I also loved the lil' old ladies in the teeny-weeny bikinis - though it was hard to look sometimes.

  14. Although we haven't yet been, we play that same game- vicariously through others' comments/discussions, books, tv- etc. And one list is sadly much higher than the other. I'll have to visit for myself someday to see if it's true:).

    I LOVE your depiction of Italy's beach scene... especially the la nonna part.

  15. these are just the most joyful pictures ever, they even rubbed off on me. :)


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