Friday, August 08, 2008

Italy Plus and Minus

I've never visited a naturist beach in Italy, I'm half a world away from Italy, and I have no immediate travel plans in that direction. Yet, the friendly folks there have done it again, they sent me the latest issue of their magazine, Info Naturista.
The magazine has some good news and some bad news about naturism in Italy.
First, the bad news: because of some administrative oversight, one of the country's most popular beaches could lose its naturist status. The beach in question is the poetically named Lido di Dante in Ravenna. I don't know the beach, but I do know the town. One of the most popular tourist spots thanks to its exquisite Byzantine churches and frescoes. Ravenna is also close to the renowned beach resorts of Rimini and Riccione, so you can imagine its coastline must be quite dazzling too. The independent mini-republic of San Marino is also in the neighborhood. The magazine recommends Italians write to the local government to protect the naturist beach.
Now, the good news: Sicily might get a naturist beach. I visited Sicily a couple of years ago, and it's a must destination for anyone who loves the Mediterranean. Sicily has history with monuments dating back to Greek antiquity, culture, volcanoes, and great food. My knowledge of Sicilian geography is not strong enough to be able to pinpoint where the town of Cattolica Ericlea is - where the naturists want that beach - but the campaign is receiving a lot of media attention on the island and beyond. One newspaper article mentions that Wolfgang Goethe swam nude in Sicily in 1787! A good example to follow, I'd say.
Info Naturista's latest edition also includes a travel report from a remote naturist resort in Brazil - the country where the International Naturist Federation is holding its world congress very soon.
Other articles report on a youth naturist meeting on a chilly day in the Netherlands, and defend the existence of naturist resorts against the so-called free beaches where everyone has access. I don't think I agree with the stark choice it makes, though I am a strong advocate of tough supervision of free beaches, preferably by bona fide naturists.
My Italian is just good enough to get the main drift of the articles, and I'm sure I'll be back here reporting on the next edition of Info Naturista in a couple of months time. If you want more information, you can visit

Friday, August 01, 2008

Desperate Housemongers

Desperate Housemongers is the title of an article I spotted in a recent Asian issue of prominent U.S. magazine Business Week. It's about a real estate company in Florida which is so desperate for clients that it is offering one special amenity with its housing complex: the swimming pool is naturist, i.e. the complex residents can go and swim nude any time they like.
Now, for Florida, that's not as 'extreme' as the magazine seems to believe. The American state lies next to the Caribbean and has an image that projects sun, palm trees, beaches.
Because of that, it is also one of the top destinations for American and Canadian naturists. There is the popular free beach at Haulover near Miami, and there are numerous naturist resort of any style all over the state, though the highest concentration seems to be located in a region known as Pasco County.
I believe the swimming pool offered in the article is actually real, I mean, you can go and swim there and relax. Unlike swimming pools in Taiwanese housing blocks, which are often a mere expanded fountain where noone in his right mind would want to spend more than half an hour soaking anyway.
Business Week has one thing wrong: nude swimming pools in Florida should not be 'extreme' or desperate, but rather a normal consequence of the local weather and lifestyle. More nude swimming pools and beaches, I say.
And I nearly forgot to give you the place to find the story: