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Italy on holiday: a day at the beach in the Cilento | Travel


Cries of “Cocco bello, cocco fresco” carry intermittently across the beach as a coconut seller slaloms between rows of bronzed Neapolitans outstretched on sunbeds under a collage of coloured umbrellas.

I am doing as the locals do in the fishing town of Santa Maria di Castellabate, two hours south of Naples. That is, I am sunbathing cheek by jowl on a beach, where phone calls, family arguments and sweet nothings are conducted publicly. For Italians, this vociferous atmosphere is all part of the appeal of the seaside.

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Unpretentious Santa Maria town sits astride wide,…

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