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.
Unpretentious Santa Maria town sits astride wide,…