Free Beach?

It’s now that time of year again in Viareggio… You can no longer simply walk onto the beach and place your self down where ever you feel like. In my opinion I just don’t think that is right! Most children grow up having full access to any beach that they wish to run around on and dip their toes into the sea. Here in Italy the government leases the beach to anyone who wishes to pay for that lease. These people then place umbrellas and deck chairs next to each other for as far as the eye can see! Almost 3km of beach front is covered in them! And if you want to go lie on one, not only will you be right next to a stranger, it will cost you a pretty penny too!

It’s not my idea of a fun day at the beach, but there are plenty of people who come to Viareggio for vacation who can afford to use these beaches and who come to the beach to be seen.

Maybe I find it a little saddening from my growing up on a farm that backed right onto a free and clean beach where I could surf every day, providing the tides were right at that time of day. I could walk in the sand on not find any rubbish if I tried. I could walk along the beach for miles and not bump into a single soul. I  am very lucky and privileged to have been able to experience something so special. I feel it’s something that every child has the right too, if they live near a beach! I think I will always have a very strong fondness for the west coast beaches of Taranaki, New Zealand. Even now I crave to take a walk along one of the many beaches on the west coast and have my toes dig into the sand and only sand.

What about you? Does the beach hold any special memories?