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06 July1929
Summer by the sea
Mario Cessi
Music by Guglielmo Pagnozzi

In the summer of 1929, the great crisis has not yet arrived, the upper middle class is carefree on the Marche Riviera, in Civitanova Marche, spending time having fun. The 'invention of the seaside', and in particular the seaside holiday, is a recent habit, initially intended not so much as recreation, leisure and fun, but as a cure. A medical 'craze' born in the 19th century, the cure based on saltiness, has been easily forgotten. And it would not seem to be such a recent habit looking at these 9.5 mm images by Mario Cessi documenting the summer at the Portocivitanova seaside resort of this day and the following weeks. The real cure, then, is anything but, forgetting everyday worries and joking under a parasol, pretending to dive from a boat on the beach and then really diving from a gnat, sailing and paddling in a strange canoe. Adults can become children again. The beach is the litmus test of society, there is not much undressing yet, but there is a lot of nonchalance in behaviour, especially among the blissful female and male youth. In short, there is a lot of fun and the risk of taking the sea by storm. As Ermanno Cavazzoni warns, "the sea is a serious thing, covering 71% of the planet, it has seen so many geological eras pass, so many animal species, and it will also see man pass, as well as this bathing man of this moment".