Today we awoke in the strangest of places: Rimini.
Rimini is in the Bologna area, about 2 hours East of Florence, and is home to a gigantic 16km beach. When I decided to shoot Rimini, I was drawn to some images I had seen of beach umbrellas. However, I also remember seeing some images of party-goers dancing at a beach club in the afternoon- I should maybe have paid more attention to this.
Not only is Rimini home to a large beach, it’s also home to 160 (yes one hundred and sixty) gigantic beach clubs that are each about 1,500 feet deep. In other words, each beach club houses about 100 umbrellas and 200 chairs. If you multiply that by 160 that totals 16,000 umbrellas and 32,000 chairs. Yes, your jaw should be dropping right now, because ours certainly did. And, to top things off, this town is similar to the Jersey Shore- many Russian and German 18-20yr olds come here to party day and night along the coast.
All of this, for me, equates to heaven. I wondered the 8 miles of beach, documenting the endless rows of vintage beach umbrellas- many of which are from the 60′s and 70′s. I would climb up on anything I could find- child jungle gyms, lifeguard towers, even random picnic tables, all to try to achieve a higher vantage point of the (literally) endless rows of beach chairs in all directions. All in all, it was extremely overwhelming, yet totally amazing at the same time.
After the beach we headed to a water park named Aquafan, where every hour on the hour, hoards of people flock to the wave pool in the center of the park. After the bell rings, large waves start coming through the pool and everyone starts swimming and frolicking around. It was a lot of fun documenting this Italian water park- everyone was such a character, and I think it will be a nice addition to all of the beaches.
Tomorrow we are heading back across Italy to Via Reggio. Looking forward to sharing more.
Today was a day of crazy transit! We left Positano this morning and drove an hour to stop and visit the world heritage site, Pompeii. For those of you who have been, it’s a bit a of a trek once you get there.
We roamed the ancient town for a few hours in disbelief- it’s unreal to think about how this old, port city was preserved so beautifully by something so tragic. It was sort of like staring at the stars on a pitch black night, your mind starts wandering in the wildest directions. How did they dig all of this out from 20 feet of sediment? How did these people have such advanced technology such as plumbing? How were the fresco paintings and tile mosaics preserved so beautifully? And the size is enormous- it’s much larger than I originally realized. The whole experience was incredibly unique and it’s something you can never explain entirely until you have seen it in person.
After Pompeii we set off on a 5 hour drive across Italy to the town Rimini on the Adriatic Coast. Rimini is a bit of a party town, with giant beaches covered in umbrellas and chairs as far as the eye can see. We took a few breaks along the drive, but our favorite part was seeing the incredible rolling fields of sunflowers throughout the Tuscan region.
We arrived at 9pm and have big day tomorrow- lots more to come.
Today was one of those rare, magical days that you only experience a few times in your lifetime.
Natalia and I woke up early, had breakfast, and headed down to the beach to board the boat we chartered for the day. Our skipper was named Giuseppe, a vivacious 23 year old from Naples. We were his for the day to take all around the Amalfi Coast and over to Capri. Natalia of course took a quick liking to his good looks after we boarded.
We first headed south to photograph the beach at Amalfi. Along the way, we were in complete awe as we boated along the steep cliffs, looking up at the gorgeous houses protruding from the rocks. The beauty of this area is so unique, and it’s as stunning from the bottom up as it is from the top down.
Giuseppe dropped us at the dock, and just our luck, the beach at Amalfi was packed! We navigated to some lucrative spots and were able to capture some excellent shots of this colorful and celebrated beach. Smothering ourselves with sunscreen, we headed back to the dock, took in the moment, and then hopped on the boat. We then headed north to the town of Praiano, which is home to a unique beach as well as another special beach below a bridge named Furore di Fiordo. Giuseppe turned off the engine and swam pulling the boat with a rope into the narrow beach between the rocks, just below the bridge. We got off and climbed up to the bridge and photographed looking down, which was so cool.
After shooting Praiano, it was around 12:30pm and the perfect time to head back to where we started in Positano to take advantage of the crowded beaches. As you know, Positano is the most famous beach in the area, so I really wanted to capture it in all of its glory. Working the ‘American Tourist’ card, we finagled our way onto a high deck and found the most beautiful view from the south side. There are two different types of beaches (with different colored umbrellas) within Postiano and this spot gave us the perfect perch to shoot both separately- I was beyond thrilled! For everyone who has been to this place, I cannot wait for you to see the final selection.
Grabbing a sandwich, we jumped back on the boat and took off on an hour ride out to the island of Capri. We took our time, stopping at a few beautiful caves and grottos for a dip and even opened the bottle of prosecco Giuseppe had packed for us. Like I have said before, when you are working and so focused on capturing every moment it’s hard to sit back and take it all in. The slower pace of the Italian culture has been a nice ‘irritation’ for me as it has allowed for unexpected moments that I would not usually appreciate.
Upon arrival at Capri, we immediately jumped off the boat to swim in the cerulean blue waters at the bottom of the towering cliffs. It was like we were swimming in a fake Disneyland grotto! We even hiked up and went into a cave while Guiseppe took a photo of us high on the cliff. It was such a beautiful entrance to the island.
The first beach we went to was more of a beach club, and it was the lovely Trina Turk that recommended it to me. It’s called La Fontelina, and when I got off the boat, I was not only in complete awe of the beautiful umbrellas and view, but also of the gorgeous people. It was like every celebrity from every international country was laying out in one place. Every person was more beautiful than the one before.
We continued on slowly around the whole island, stopping at the Marina Grande to shoot as well, but the real gem was a rocky beach club we discovered at the tip of the island by the lighthouse, Faro di Punta Carena. I popped off the boat and climbed up (sort of like a pirate!) and began to capture dozens of people jumping off the cliffs next to the beach club into the small bay. It was like I was in my favorite Massimo Vitali photograph, watching it happen before me eyes. This moment alone was a dream and I will never forget this beach club- Faro di Lido.
As the time continued to pass, it was soon 6pm and we needed to head back to the main land. Giuseppe took the slow route as we headed back with the sun setting on our backs. It was an incredible relaxed ride, allowing us to relish in the magical day we had just experienced. Looking forward to you seeing the photographs!
Tomorrow we head across Italy to the Adriatic Coast with a little stop at Pompeii!