Italy is a setting value for American tourists

June 7, 2023: The seaside village of Rimini is on the Jersey Shore of Italy; from here to the port town of Ancona in the southeast, there are around 40 miles of sandy beaches.

It was made famous by native son Federico Fellini, who grew up in the town and featured it in several of his movies, including “Amarcord.”

Emilia-Romagna region is synonymous with Italy’s most significant export: La Dolce Vita, the useful life of wine, food, good-looking people, and fast cars.

You can see la dolce vita the minute you hit the beach: the obvious first thing is the beach bars, hundreds of them, where thousands wearing as little as possible wash down oceans of Aperol spritz, Negronis, and Italian white wine for 5 euros ($5.35) a glass.

Then there’s the food, which has created this region as one of the foodie capitals of Europe.

People flock to the cities of Parma, Modena, Bologna, Ravenna, and Rimini to eat the Parma ham (prosciutto), the cheese (Parmesan, of course), and the pasta in boundless varieties, but particularly tagliatelle, tortellini, and lasagna, all made by hand.

It’s also the industrial heart of Italy, where Ferraris, Maseratis, and Lamborghinis are made.

Unlike Americans, Italians do not just plunk down their beach bag and dive into the ocean.

The Italians have constructed small municipalities on their beaches, and there is a protocol.

Here, you rent a beach chair and umbrella from the cabana boys. The chairs and umbrellas are arranged in neat rows, nearly three dozen of them, all numbered, that stretch to the Adriatic Sea almost a quarter mile from the street.

And it is the Adriatic that everyone comes for. It separates the Italian peninsula from Croatia and Albania 100 miles to the east. Like the Atlantic, the Adriatic lacks the clear blue water of the Mediterranean. Still, what it lacks in color makes up for temperature (already 67 degrees), stability, and accessibility (Bologna is less than an hour away).

With so much cash, sun, water, and food and wine, you’d feel life would be an endless party, but the Italians do not seem happy these days, and with good explanation.

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