Swimming at the local water hole


It’s summer; you’re hot, you’re with friends, you swim.

I forgot where I was for a moment! The above thought process was my interoperation of meeting new colleagues of Nic’s down at our local pool a few weekends ago. We went to mingle and meet fellow foreign families who will also be at  Villa I Tatti this year and basically to cool off.

I used to swim quite a lot in Sydney. I broke my ankle a few years ago which put a halt to any running I was doing. To help get me back into shape I started swimming at the local pool (which just happens to be situated right under the Sydney Harbour Bridge with breath taking views of the harbour). I was accustomed to pool etiquette…..or so I thought!


The local pool (about a 5 min bus ride from our place) is set on magnificent, large, leafy grounds and suitable for any Olympic athlete donning a budgie smuggler, alas, that won’t be all he’d be donning let me tell you….or perhaps show you (things I’ll do for this blog!)


That’s correct folks, not only do you have to pay a small fortune to enter the grounds (I think 10 euro per person is a little extreme!!) you are also required to wear swimming caps! I’m not sure why I forgot to pack my swimming cap……but I did!

At first I thought it was a joke but then if they were asking us all for identification before entering the grounds then swim caps seem perfectly normal- right? 

Of course I felt like a bit of a weirdo with my green head condom on, but as I looked around at the heaving pool I see everyone within a 50 meter radius of water had one on and we were all looking ridiculous together! If anyone knows Italy at all then you’d also know that not everything is regulated and rules are there to be tested…..taxes spring to mind, however, this is not the case with the swim cap. The lifesavers take it very seriously if this rule is not adhered to (the chick next to me with a slip of a swim suit on and masses of hair had the whistle blown at her numerous times…..which I think she actually enjoyed, or maybe it was the numerous visits from the cute lifeguard ‘telling her off’?!). 

I couldn’t help but laugh when I looked around at all these brightly covered, sorry, well covered heads and as the eye wondered down, I sometimes struggled to see anything more than a few tiny pieces of string and fabric triangles on the rest of the bronzed bodies (not all welcome sights trust me!). I looked quite ridiculous with my well covered head AND body donning my one piece serious swimmers suit!

We had a fabulous time at the pool; we cooled off, dive bombed just as hard as the locals and stared just as much as the locals too! We stayed until closing time (to get full value!) and left, cool, happy campers. One of the best things about living in a country as opposed to just visiting is checking out how the locals behave and seeing if it really is any different from home. I’m just wondering when my next big surprise will come?


PS. the pool photo was taken just as we were leaving so all the serious swimmers had left with caps in hand


7 thoughts on “Swimming at the local water hole

  1. That’s… Well, it’s definitely not what I would have expected. I’m sure someone had their reasons once, or at least I hope so. It would be interesting to know what those reasons were, but perhaps not AS interesting as seeing you all with your green head condoms on.

  2. Hahahaha this is hilarious! First off, I thought, what is a budgie smuggler? Thanks to Google I had a great giggle! But is a budgie really a bird? How awful for me to pick apart your Aussie slang, but I want to know these things!!! And then the comment about the green head condoms….you are so funny, and I have to say, I love a swim cap! I feel like a torpedo in the water. I am sure this was a great experience, and I agree, a bit pricey.

    • A torpedo in water…..I didn’t think of it like that! Yes budgies are colourful little birds, pets usually. I’m glad I’m preparing you for your next Aussie customer lol!

  3. I can’t think of any reason for the caps??? Were you told any? It even seems unItalian in some way Actually you look quite good, Milly. Max looks very unimpressed. And it does seem expensive.
    Did you meet any new people?

    • Pam I think in all honesty it’s a money maker, pure and simple. Max was liveried I took a photo and yes we met some lovely new families who weren’t interested in a photo of green caps, go figure? 🙂

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