Summer Fun, Italian Family Style

video shot July 27, 2004 – 3.2 MB

Roseto degli Abruzzi

Most Italians spend at least part of their summer vacation at a beach somewhere. Many have vacation homes, others stay in hotels. The cheapest option is camping, but Italian campgrounds have little in common with the KOA campgrounds I remember from some American parts of my childhood.

An average Italian campground has (of course) designated areas for campers and/or tents (some also have bungalows with small kitchens and bathrooms, which you can rent in lieu of bringing a tent or camper – those cost more, of course). There are central bathrooms with toilets, sinks, and showers with hot water. Most also have a restaurant and coffee bar, and a small market where you can get camping necessities as well as food. Some have swimming pools and other recreational facilities – at the very least, table soccer and a few arcade video games. Some have swimming pools, and of course beach access.

The upscale campgrounds also have organized activities and entertainment, such as karaoke, discos, and dance lessons. These are run by animatori (“animators”), young people hired for the summer who all seem to be good-looking, talented, energetic, and endlessly cheerful.

This video was shot at a friend’s campground in Abruzzo, you can probably recognize the young man and young woman who are this year’s animatori. They and the dance class participants (mostly kids) had worked up a little show; parents and other spectators were sitting in rows of chairs to watch.

NB: The word written across the underwear is SO-RP-RE-SA (surprise).

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