Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Naked in April ... in Rome

Barely had I written about how naturism-friendly the weather in Europe is this month, or there appears evidence of it in the international media.
Last Sunday, a lady from the northern Italian city of Milan thought it was too hot on a visit to Rome. So what did she do? She looked for relief in one of the capital's most famous landmarks, the Trevi Fountain, already immortalized by actress Anita Ekberg's visit in the classic movie La Dolce Vita.
But in contrast to Anita, this present-day Italian lady took off all her clothes, bathed in the fountain, and then stayed around to sunbathe. The result: pictures and stories in the international media.
Since bathing in the fountain is banned - even with clothes on - she could be looking for an expensive aftermath though.
Her visit to the fountain shows though that Italy is one of those countries short of true naturist resorts where all naturist individuals and families can go and spend a sunny day. Italy has only recently liberalized its legal attitude to naturism, so that its citizens can stay in their own country to live naturism. Until recently, you would probably find more Italian naturists in neighboring France and Croatia.
Italy is also one of those European countries often labeled as conservative and Catholic, and therefore almost predestined not to have many naturist practitioners. But that attitude is completely wrong, because neither conservatism nor Catholicism have anything to do with resistance against naturism. There are many religious, Christian and Catholic people who are also naturists, because they know nudity is not sexual, and is just another way of enjoying nature, one of God's greatest gifts to man. Religious naturists also argue that the human body is God's creation, and can therefore not be regarded as sinful. As to the political label of 'conservative,' it is also wrong to use it as synonymous with anti-naturism, because at least in Europe, naturism is not a political issue, and politicians of both left and right have known to be naturists.
Naturism has been expanding in several countries once known as conservative, let me just mention Ireland, Portugal, Belgium, Brazil and South Africa. There is no country where there are no naturists, and if you read international naturist forums, you will find that even in India, China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia, there is a lot of public interest in and support for naturist ideas. It's all a question of time, and of promotion of ideas by initiatives like this blog.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Naked in April

The month of April has been good so far for naturists.
In Europe, the Easter holidays saw some of the highest temperatures ever recorded for this traditionally fickle month. Western Europe registered some 25 degrees centigrade, a level that used to be more common in July and August in usually rain-hit countries such as Belgium and Great Britain.
Even though the northeastern U.S. were plagued by snow storms, Florida - the home of many naturist resorts - and California had sunshine and warm weather.
And finally, Taiwan also finally is receiving its share of spring sunshine. After weeks of rain, grey skies and temperatures between 10 and 20 degrees - cool by Taiwan standards - the sun has returned, and today was a beautiful weekend day with cyclists and hikers out in full force. Just a pity of course that none of those could enjoy the activities in the nude, because Taiwan doesn't count any naturist sites.
Some people will say the hot April has been a symptom of something we should all worry about: global warming. While I agree that we should take note and should change some of our behaviors to counter this development, I also believe we should not panic and trust humanity to take measures to divert any negative effects.
Newsweek had a rather cheeky report about who the winners would be if global warming really set through. It mentioned the beaches on the Baltic Sea, a part of Northern Europe now generally pictured as rather cold and remote. Newsweek also could've mentioned naturism, because as the weather gets hotter, there should be less compulsion about wearing clothes. People should get more comfortable with letting off more textile, for a relaxed way to play and work. If global warming has any positive elements about it, then that should be the message: that sometimes, not wearing clothes can be a lot more comfortable.