Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Naturism in Italy since 1964

The first Italian naturist organizations were founded 45 years ago, in 1964, the latest edition of the magazine Info Naturista tells me. Just like in Asia, the inspiration came from abroad. Italians went traveling to the Levant island off the French coast, to the island of Corsica to the west and to the then-Yugoslav region of Istria and saw how many naturist resorts and campings there were, so they wanted to have the same at home. Unfortunately, the magazine notes, naturism never became as large and influential a movement as in the other Mediterranean countries, and even today, Italy is still struggling to become a naturist destination, as we have noted in previous posts.

The magazine also notes how naturism stands close to nature, and has a narrow connection with health, environment and respect for others. Originally, the founders of the movement acted or reacted against the negative effects of industrialization, by promoting a return to nature and to basic humanity.

Turning to another aspect, Italy was the host earlier this year to an international meeting of the Young European Naturists - disproving the image that naturism has, especially with some people in the United States, of only attracting an elderly crowd. What may be even more surprising to non-naturists, is that the opening meeting at the naturist resort of Le Betulle in Northwest Italy was attended by the mayor of the nearby town of La Cassa and by the chief of police in Turin, one of Italy's major industrial centers, the home of car giant Fiat. Can you imagine a naturist congress in a major Asian city being attended by the mayor and the chief of police? I can't, but I hope it will become reality one day. The young naturists also dressed up for a city tour of Turin, but their buses were accompanied during the trip by police on motorcycles. Just like VIPs.

As usual, the magazine reports on the activities of the regional naturist associations. While mostly of local interest, it is nevertheless an eye opener for Asian naturists that for example a swimming pool in Milan, the capital of Italian finance and fashion, has hosted four naturist events so far this year, each time attracting about 80 naturists. The association covering Northeast Italy - the area north of Venice - even succeeded in acquiring a new naturist home, Castelsalus, with its own ground for sunbathing and sports.

Finally, let me give you a couple of websites for Italian naturist organizations:

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Saturday, August 01, 2009

Naturism in China: So Predictable

China is going to open up a naturist resort, I read about a week ago. Excellent news and a major breakthrough for naturism in such a huge country. But it's also a Communist and a conservative country, so what happened afterward was no surprise.
The naturist resort never opened, because it received a letter from the authorities telling it not to be 'indecent.' When you receive a letter from the authorities in China, you do what you're told and nothing else.
Is this an enormous setback? No, because if there are already people ready to promote naturism now, there will be more so later, as more Chinese get acquainted with naturism, either through the Internet or by travel overseas.
Having said that, I must add that the resort planned for Lin'an County in the economically prosperous coastal province of Zhejiang was not a naturist holiday center the way we understand it overseas. Rather, it was naturism 'with Chinese characteristics.' Which means men and women were completely separated. There were two natural ponds, one for women, one for men, separated by 100 meters and a thick bamboo grove which would have made contact between the two sides impossible. In other words, more a hot springs resort Japanese style than a naturist resort European style.
You can read more about the Chinese naturist resort and its demise at and at
As to nudity in Taiwan, a positive development: after the police at the Kaohsiung World Games telling the Brazilian topless athletes on the beach to cover up, I'm glad to hear that the Taipei Deaflympics - the next big sporting event in this country, next September - is likely to take a more liberal attitude toward nudity. One of Taiwan's top models, Patina Lin Chia-chi, will be asked to perform completely nude but covered in body painting at the opening ceremony. I hope to report more on that when it happens.
The Taiwanese media this week also suddenly reported about Les Bleues, France's national women's football team, undressing completely for a series of pictures destined to attract more attention to the female side of the sport. Why the Taiwanese media reported about this now, I don't know, because an Internet search showed me this was news in France back in April. Anyway, I'm not complaining, because even at this late date, it tells the public that nudity is not wrong if it's tastefully done for a good cause.

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