Easy Living, Florence’s Urban Beach

Spiaggetta bis copyUntil Sept. 15: SPIAGGIA SULL’ARNO. Piazza Poggi. Open daily 10 am – 1:30 am.

“Summertime/An’ the livin’ is easy:” such is the motto, and mission of Easy Living, Florence’s sandy beach along the Arno. A haven for locals and tourists alike, visitors have almost unlimited options when it comes to choosing afternoon or evening activities.

Thatched umbrellas stand proudly over chairs arranged in neat rows for beachgoers, with showers immediately adjacent to rinse off and cool down. A tall cabana sits as an oasis in the sand, offering shady tables to enjoy salads, panini, bagels, and juices while watching the pickup game of volleyball at the net a few feet away.

From reclining in a lounge chair under the sun to stand up paddle boarding on the water, all equipment is provided, designed to help promote the pursuit of regeneration and well being.

On Wednesday evenings, beach towels are replaced with yoga mats when the weekly free class begins, offered as part of their healthy lifestyle focus. Participation is encouraged for all skill levels whether a first time attendee or a seasoned, well-balanced pro (7:30 pm).

To continue improving core strength, take to the water: stand up paddle boarding (SUP) gives a peaceful perspective of the city while working abs and the upper body (for information on scheduled lesson and prices, call 3334468648).

For a more competitive option, beach rugby lessons are available to the general public at no cost. Last year saw the first Arno Beach Rugby tournament and he 2015 contest will be open to these new competitors, and, with the support of Florence Rugby and the Tuscan Regional Committee, is slated to become part of the national circuit.

The arts remain present among the athletics with musical performances and DJ sets on Thursday and Sunday nights, respectively, and the fifth annual sandcastle building contest, scheduled on the Ferragosto holiday, August 15. Teams of three to 10 members will do their best to channel both their inner child and inner architect to create the ultimate sand castle. Three different skill categories provide ample avenues to foster the spirit of competition and a space to unleash the imagination.

Relax, refresh, and recharge at this spot of nature amidst the urban jungle.  (bianca cockrell)