SPF 650+ REQUIRED
The Italian summer. A whirlwind of hot air, rocky coastline, towering cliffs, rainbow homes, sparkling waters, and sun-kissed bodies lining the beach as far as the eye can see.
It was 43 degrees Celsius when I flew into Rome from Sydney (for all you Fahrenheit folk out there, you just need to know that it was obnoxiously hot). The following days spent in the city felt long and uncomfortable and hot and I couldn’t get the thought of being back by the ocean out of my mind.
A train ticket was booked for three days later, so when Tuesday rolled around I met Christina at the airport and we jumped on a train headed to the coast.
Our mornings on the coast consisted of heading to the fruit and vegetable stand down the street and buying peaches and grapes. We would freeze the grapes and pack the peaches in our bags. Heading to the beach as early as we could to miss the crowds of travellers that emerge around midday. They fill the beach and soon every free spot is taken up. Taking one last dip into the ocean, we would run along the hot stones trying not to burn the soles of our feet. Skin dripping wet, we gather our things and make our way back to the apartment. The heat of the day becomes so intense that your only options are to either take a nap or lie directly in front of a fan and minimise all physical activity.
In the late afternoon, we would head back to the beach, then to the store, picking up ingredients for a home-cooked dinner. Our usual shopping list was tomatoes, pesto, mushrooms, purple onion, capsicum, lentils and fresh bread. We would cook the pesto, lentils and vegetables in a big pan and let simmer for 20 minutes. Then tear apart the fresh bread and scoop up the mixture. Seriously delicious.
Christina also taught me the art of drowning your bread in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
One of my favourite parts of each day was sitting down over dinner, with the sun setting outside our window and listening to acoustic song covers. Although unfortunately I’m that terrible person that insists on listening to the same song ten times over until you completely ruin it for yourself and everyone else around you, so soon Christina held the DJ ropes and did a much better job.
Each day we travelled along the windy coastal road to explore the different beaches. Some quiet, some overwhelmingly busy. Wherever you went you could hear the sound of children laughing and a layer of many languages. Children run back and forth between the ocean and their parents, trying not to slip on the mossy rocks as they come in and out of the water.
The following is a photo series taken across the Amalfi Coast and the Cinque Terre.
Blue skies, sun burnt buildings, fruit stands, and the many curious eyes of travellers.
☼ All clothing by Sportsgirl (excluding swim) ☼
Candy coloured towns.
The daily peach purchase.
Meet Lai. We met for the first time in a coffee shop in New York last year. Fast track 10 months and we find ourselves on the Italian coast together. Happy travellers.
Picnic lunch by the sea.
Taken 0.1 seconds before this woman was hit by that oncoming wave. She handled it well.
Atrani street scenes.
Shift in focus.
Looking in from out here.
Water droplets on skin.
On the way to find more peaches.
Perks of being Hawaiian + Australian. Skin is equipped for a whole lot of sun.
No shoes, no worries.
One of our homes by the sea.
Morning commute from sea to land.
Stopping for strawberries on the daily commute to the beach.
Three men play card games on the beach.
Out at sea.
Crystal waters and Lai.
A sea of shade.
No beach required.
I wonder who’s out there?
One cloudy day in Italy.
I took this photo at 10am and came back at 4pm. This lady hadn’t moved one bit. Girl’s got this summer thing down pat. Meet Pacio. Lai went out early one morning to get coffee from the little cafe around the corner. While waiting outside for the coffee shop to open, she met Pacio. A local of this little Italian fishing village. After getting to know each other as best they could with her little knowledge of Italian and his little knowledge of English, he offered to take us both out on his boat for the day.
We spent the following hours in hysterics trying to decode what one another way saying and swapping stories from our home countries.
These simple special moments making days feel like dreams.
☼ ☼ ☼
Photos and words by Gabi Mulder.
Featuring Christina and Lai.
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