Italy

‘O Sole Mio

Summer holidays in Southern Italy

Especially in the South of the country, the beach is the place where generational conflicts and growing up processes often happen. A Sicilian boy for example – to become a proper adult – must face the bulky presence of his parents, the long summer loneliness, the strange feeling of being completely surrounded by water, and all the traditional habits and rites which a vacation at the seaside with the entire family consists of.

The stretch of sand, the extreme heat, the food, the wooden and coloured changing rooms on the beach, the multiple family rules, the entire social enviroment, turn up to be a real limbo, a suspended time and place where reconciliation and transformation take place at the same time; and where post-adolescent issues cross each other’s path.

The wild nature, the sea, the first glimpses of romance and the holiday routine under the beach umbrellas, transfigure the essence of cloudless youth into the self awareness of growing up. Nothing is out of place, indeed: everything seems to find its own order. The Sicilian coast becomes therefore a metaphor for the whole Italian summer, a house with no doors, an extended open family, a place where finally a young boy can grow older, between the waves and the sand.


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