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Touristless Torre Chianca

Marco hated the beach near his family’s summer home. He claimed that Torre Chianca, the beaches name, was schifo, loosely translated as “gross”, so when he took me there as one of our first outings as a couple, I didn’t know what to expect. Growing up in California I had seen my share of beautiful beaches, but I had also experienced those riddled with cigarette butts and covered in seaweed and sand flies, so I readied myself for the worst.
When we arrived we stepped from his tiny green Fiat, which he parked for free only feet from the sand, onto a pristine white sand beach, with calm and clear water, a far cry from the freezing and choppy waves I was used to in Santa Cruz. Marco had grown up on this beach, running around all summer with friends, all getting freakishly tanned as they played in the warm salt water and ate ice cream sold at stands that dot the coastline. I was instantly jealous.
We set up our towels not far from the water, about twenty feet away, and as I am a fish at heart, I tossed the shorts and tank top I was wearing onto my pile of things and dragged Marco into the sea. He stood there shaking, complaining of the cold water while I frolicked and splashed him, until finally he dove in and swam out to a deeper area with me. After we had our fill, we walked back to our asciugamani, or towels, and dozed beneath a warm, but not intense, heat from the afternoon sun.
In California, at any beach, you will be forced to squeeze in between tourists from all over the world, and fight for a bit of sun between the enormous umbrellas they all insist on bringing with them. Southern Italy is not much different with their destination spots, such as Castro and Gallipoli, being over crowded with locals and visitors alike, but the lesser known beaches near the smaller towns are never crowded, even during August when most of the country goes on holiday.
Torre Chianca did have its random tourists from northern Italy, who would play soccer and speak in strange dialects, but for the most parts it was just locals like Marco, and we would often see his friends strolling along down the beach.
Because Marco grew up on this stretch of beach it doesn’t surprise me that Torre Chianca isn’t his favorite spot, but it definitely became mine. With room to spare, stunning views and a cold beer in the afternoon, what other beach experience would you ever want?