Sunday, February 28, 2010

45 Years of Naturism in Italy

There's little nude news going on in Asia or Taiwan, apart from the fact that Taiwanese model Lin Chia-chi, also known as Patina Lin, recorded a commercial for computer games while wearing nothing but gold liquid, if we believe local television reports. On TV, it looked more like she was wearing a golden bra.
Anyway, I received another issue of the Italian naturist association magazine Info Naturista, and this time it tells of the 45th anniversary of the organized naturist movement in the Mediterranean country.
While Italy is known around the world for its sunshine, its brilliant cuisine and its many beaches on one of the world's most beautiful seas, naturism unfortunately has not had an easy time.
A group of Italians first became aware of naturism in the early 1960s by visiting the famours Ile du Levant off France's Cote d'Azur, an island wellknown even to non-naturists. Later, they traveled to Corsica before deciding to set up a movement of their own in Italy. Only, when it was founded in 1964, the first Italian naturist organization actually put its headquarters in ... Zurich, in neighboring Switzerland. It wasn't until 1969 that the movement transferred its offices to Turin, the main city in Northwest Italy. That year also saw another major development: the opening of the first naturist center on Italian soil, Le Betulle, in the same region as Turin.
While many Italians now count themselves as naturists, the number of beaches and resorts is still limited and under threat. Most Italians go naturists in neighboring countries, in particular Croatia and France, two of the most naturist-friendly countries in the world.
In Italy itself, the mayor of Ravenna, the city famous for its Byzantine churches, wants to close down the beach known as Lido di Dante or Bassona, for more than 20 years a popular place for naturists. Oddly enough, the mayor hails from Italy's main party of the left, the Democratic Party, which you would expect to be more respectful of alternative lifestyles and freedom of expression.
The threat to Ravenna's naturist beach also reflects the problem of current legislation, which says nudity is not wrong on beaches "often frequented" by naturists. The problem is that local governments can decide on their own whether beaches are often frequented or not. Naturists want to move closer to the Spanish or Danish situations, so nudity would be allowed on any beach not specifically "reserved for various use," as the magazine puts it.
One positive sign on the horizon for naturism in Italy: the Pizzo Greco naturist holiday center will host the World Congress of the International Naturist Federation this September 8 to 12. The meeting is bound to attract media attention to the cause.
To return to the Info Naturista magazine and to continue on a positive note, the edition also includes a report on the official foundation of an Italian naturist youth movement, the Giovani Italiani Naturisti. Naturists are sometimes pictured in the mainstream media as a bunch of old people practicing a dying tradition.
The magazine also reports on the documentary Naked Conversations with Nude Women by Thomas Lundy, a naturist resort in the small town of Igarata just one hour away from the Brazilian megalopolis of Sao Paulo, and an essay on the normality of naturism by Pino Fiorella. Naturism's cultural principle of respecting all persons is the epitome of accepting normality, he writes.
Finally, a list of relevant web links:

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