These images narrate my world, the world I grew up in, in its best season, Summer.
For me, the Adriatic Riviera has always been home, the place of emotions and memories, of the “voglia di vivere”, the will to live and happy moments.
Even in the collective imagination, these places have always been synonymous with holidays, famous for the parties that go on for days, for the thousands of bars where you can share an aperitivo with friends when the sun goes down.
The Adriatic coast is a stretch of coast over 1,000 km long that goes from Friuli Venezia Giulia to Puglia. It starts from Trieste passing through the shores of Jesolo, jumping over Venice, down to the Riviera Romagnola with the first stop in Rimini, it continues on the quieter Marche, finally in the lesser known Abruzzo and Molise, with the very long Puglia closing the line.
Each region overlooking the Adriatic Sea has its own characteristic beaches but the most famous in the world is certainly Rimini. While it was already known for its beaches in the 8th century, in 1843 the first “lidos” (beach clubs) were born with the 6 wooden cabins. From then on it was a crescendo of fame and tourists with all its corollary of umbrellas, deck chairs, bars and, almost unchanged over the centuries, still the classic wooden cabins.
The birth of large open-air discos in the seventies and amusement parks in the nineties completes the work, making the Adriatic coast a world attraction for all tastes and ages.
In a BBC article entitled “The ’embarrassing’ Italian Holiday Riviera”, Dany Mitzman defines the Adriatic Riviera as “a beach without a sea”. In all honesty, no one comes here only for the sea, but for the warmth of the people, the innate predisposition to hospitality and always knowing how to grasp the positive side of things.
Sensations and feelings are then seen on every beach, always in motion; children playing volleyball and rackets, ladies playing cards, groups of children perched on the walls or on the saddles of mopeds.
For every inhabitant of the Riviera, the beach in summer represents an extension of the home, the family table, the place to run to as soon as you leave work or just wake up after yet another night spent at a party.
These are the places also celebrated by cinema by one of the greatest directors of the 20th century, Federico Fellini, who was able to transport the suggestions and atmospheres of this land to the big screen during the years of the economic boom; describing its inhabitants in dreamy atmospheres but at the same time real and concrete.
These are the emotions that I wanted to capture in summer 2020 with my Rolleiflex from the seventies; from my hometown Pesaro to the famous public beach of Fiorenzuola di Focara.
These are places that, after my move to London. I left for years … for this very reason, I felt the need to rediscover their beauty veiled in nostalgia, which, despite the difficult period of the post lockdown, was still present in all its fullness.
The world changes, the years pass, but the coast always remains the same; I can leave it to leave and go anywhere but I know so much that when I return there will always be the same warmth as before to wrap me in its summer embrace.
Photos by Giovanni Rombaldoni