Nude Beach along Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre is an area in Italy along the Mediterranean made up of five hillside villages right along the coast. You can easily walk between these picturesque towns and enjoy the view of the sea, terraced vineyards, and fruit trees. While beautiful it is VERY touristy, more so than I’d imagined.

But it was so wonderful to finally soak up some sun. This has been the coldest summer Matt and I have ever experienced so we were more than happy to jump into the deep blue sea. Matt managed to lead us directly to a hidden alcove where I stepped foot onto a nude beach. O_o Oh my.

Nudity is not as sexualized in Europe like it is back home. As soon as we arrived in Norway we discovered that nudity is a big part of advertising (we saw so many street ads that found a way to include naked women) and common to see on tv. Some families take trips together to nude beaches. Being nude is a natural part of life; it’s not taboo, and it’s not all about sex. A friend pointed out to me that Europeans are more open about nudity and feel comfortable exposing their children to it at a young age so it’s not like some mysterious, rebellious “forbidden fruit”. She said that Europe is more likely to censor violent ads while the US is more likely to censor nudity. Interesting.

Having grown up in the US, swimming and sun bathing in the nude in public was an eye shocking experience that my country’s puritan roots were not ready for me to partake in. It’s not a requirement to be nude on nude beaches, you just look like a real oddball (perhaps even a creeper?!) if you’re the only one with her swimming suit still on. I’m not clear on the “rules” but I think women could be topless on every beach we were at. One time there were two topless women enjoying the beach in the midst of thousands of other swimsuit clad folks. Women would sunbathe topless next to their young sons.

That’s just the way it is and everyone was carefree as can be!


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