There are some people around who are not aficionados of private swimming pools. They feel that, like television and DVDs did for cinemas, they are an infliction on former large-scale social gatherings. Perhaps on-line buying and drone delivery may eventually do the same for supermarkets and future hypermarkets may become as quaint reminiscences of the socio-commercial scene as, sadly, British Home Stores are now. I sincerely hope not, however, for shopping can be a highly sociable activity. For example, I constantly meet friends and acquaintances at our local one at Penny Market Borgo a Mozzano and exchange notes.
However, there is nothing quite like being invited to a friend’s private swimming pool especially after a long walk on a sweltering summer’s day and when the company is good. When the pool looks out over extraordinary mountain views and even has a hydrotherapy facility it’s as close to heaven as one can get on this planet. The pool I am secretly referring to also has the added advantage that it is fed by a natural spring so let no one complain that it’s taking away life-giving liquid from anyone else!
I do also love public baths just as much as the ancient Romans loved theirs and enjoy visiting our local spread of swimming pools which includes not only the ones at Bagni di Lucca and Borgo a Mozzano but also the refurbished and reorganised one at Gallicano.
The facilities there are good, the pools (one adults, one children) are open seven days a week from 9 is to 8 pm until around the middle of September or beyond, weather permitting. The staff is helpful (PS don’t forget to bring your obligatory bathing cap, otherwise they are on sale there at five euros), the all-day admission price is free for under-fives, five euros for under twelves and six euros for the rest of us. Decently priced refreshments, including soft drinks, beer, focaccie and ice cream, are available.
What more could one want: a deckchair or sunbed, clean water, a beautiful setting, friendly users to meet up with and chat?
Gallicano’s swimming pool facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/piscinagallicano/about/?entry_point=page_nav_about_item&tab=overview
Unofrtunately, the open-air swimming pool season in our area barely lasts for three months – just as long as the wonderful lidos that were built during the art-deco era in London.
Thinking about those great water-temples, several of which still survive at Brockwell and other corners of London, I wrote this about the miraculously rescued Lido at Charlton London SE.
In summer’s light the lido elongates
fresh turquoise-dappled water to high sun.
Liquidity of wavelets captivates
and melts a splash of swimmers into one.
Ideals of expired years, young nature’s skin
unsheathed, pretended a new age of health
while war-clouds hung and hid mad fiend within
and river maidens lost their golden wealth.
Lank flowered dresses are undraped and breasts
and seaside conversations dream away
for secret gardens, lonely sands and quests
in search of that which stays pale flesh’s decay.
Entowelled by suburban rose-flanked wall
star-glinted water clasps me in its thrall.