Surf in Italy! Ha! Yeah Right. Well there is surf… sometimes. It happens all the time, sixty per cent of the time!
We joined a crew of faithful surfers and filmmakers/photographers willing to venture toward uncommon surfing spots that lay beneath piles of incredible Italian food, gallons of fragrant red wine and crystal clear Mediteranean waters. For a month we traversed the Italian mainland and outer islands searching for surf and the perfect plate of pasta, under the guise of Jason Baffa’s new film Bella Vita, which explores the (relatively short) history and intricacies of Italian surfing.
The good thing about being on a surf trip there is that flat spells open up time for everything else that is so magical about Italy. Every night revealed food that was somehow even more amazing than the previous nights feast. Every sunrise over calm waters lit up opportunities for unparalleled cliff jumps, cave dives, rock runs and beach combs.
Italian surf culture is quite young compared to other well established and perhaps rigid cultures found in Australia, America and other parts of Europe. Italian surf culture therefore seems less grumpy, jaded or close-minded by ideas of tradition and blind influence.
In a way it seems like Italian surfers have seen the surfing world’s trends and fads from many generations and consciously decided which parts to adopt and which to reject. They’ve made surfing culture uniquely their own, imbued with the keen Italian eye for aesthetics, passion and community. The warmth and generosity of the Italian surfing community is unparalleled.
Most Italian surfers are open minded enough to ride whatever will get them on a wave in the sea, disregarding the idea that shortboards are the only thing to ride, and similarly rejecting the idea that to be ‘hip’ you should only ride replicas of 1960’s logs.
This is something rare in our global culture. Bravo/Brava Italiano surfistas!
-Lauren and Dave
Thanks to Sanuk for supporting our Italian escapades!