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The right question should be: Why not going??
The beaches proposed in this book-guide (please visit us onhttps://www.facebook.com/wendindipendentefor all the available Mystic River Beaches' editions) are stunning beautiful places which pools waters are exceptionally clean and crystal clear, blue-green colored, say Caribbean style. They have docile but constant flow rate such as to form pools large and deep enough to ensure prodigious swimming. They are not frozen but, as a rule, not even cold.
Beaches are usually of sand or fine gravel, located in open valleys and sunny and therefore ideal for a "sport" that like to all: comfortably sunbathe!
These are scenarios where nature reigns unspoiled: along with water, hills, flora and fauna are the masters; where the artificial element and / or architectural is the exception. It is easy to reach these beaches, on average located at a distance of about 1-2 hours drive from the major cities of the north-west Italian, easily accessible by car or on two wheels, also ideal for the weekend or a getaway in day, but at the same time located outside typically busy thoroughfares.
The guide proposes, in essence, a real alternative to the sea, beautiful and unique, but whose fruition, especially in northern Italy, is made difficult and / or unpleasant by some factors in the sight of all:traffic;crowding;costs;excessive construction of the coasts.
The beaches proposed by the guide, in contrast, tend to have the following features, which will be deepened in the following sections:located outside typically busy thoroughfares but at the same time easily accessible by car;uncrowded and located in scarcely inhabited valleys and not polluted;free;completely surrounded by nature.
The icy water:despite the water temperature of streams tends to be colder than the sea, the fact that it is cold is a popular myth, probably due to the fact that in the collective imagination water of the streams is associated with streams flowing in the high mountains with temperatures actually glacial. However, this guide covers stretches of streams that are unlikely to exceed 600 m above sea level. Of course one can not deny that temperature at these heights is on average lower than 0 m of the sea, but even that the sea, with its water flow immensely great, heats and cools more slowly than streams. In conclusion, as for the sea (but faster), stream water gets warmer with the advance of summer and is therefore likely to be hotter in August than in May. This is of course much more (or less) true as the relevant season is more (or less) hot. For practical examples, however, we can say that in August 2011 the temperature of excellent representatives of this guide, such as Orba and Gorzente, were absolutely mild and comparable to those of some areas of the Mediterranean sea.
The stale or muddy water: many swimmers prefer salt to fresh water and this mistrust stems probably from the most known and popular containers of fresh water: the lakes; perhaps because, compared to the sea, look characterized by poor water exchange and flow, and to be a little muddy. Each of us probably experienced that uncomfortable "slippery" sensation that you feel entering the water when you place your feet on the bottom. In short, we have not yet found a lake with crystal clear water and Caribbean colors, at least in the northwest Italian! the streams presented in this guide flow unabated and without stagnate, with crystal waters that invite a dive! Not even at the sea is easy to find such beautiful and crystal clear waters!
The water dangerous:waterways can become dangerous near the rapids and where the water flow is significant. This risk is effectively limited by the fact that this guide, with rare exceptions, does not deal with rivers, characterized by the greatest water flow. The streams can become dangerous especially in autumn and winter, i.e. in presence of strong and sustained rainfall, which can speed up flowing and cause flooding. Vice versa if it rains during the summer - regardless of a security issue – you will probably choose to stay home because you will not find a tempting day at the beach, just as it would happen at the sea: in any case it is always advisable to consult the weather forecast before leaving. Given this premise in the summerstream regime is generally characterized by a lowered water flow rate and docile flowing.One has still the option to ask, from time to time, for the status of the flowing to the relevant authorities.
The sites of this book-guide are out of the busiest thoroughfares: on Sundays afternoon of summer weekends, or in general in the days of heavy traffic, it happened to us frequently to learn, from the traffic information, half Italian stuck in the queue while us, at the same time, in complete solitude in local roads. Most of the time these roads get to highway entrances which are not notorious for delays and queues. Undoubtedly another point in favor of the streams compared to the sea where traffic is, unfortunately, a fee to be paid regularly.
Nevertheless, we will get you to these wonderful places without surprises: our streams can be visited driving along the local roads (provincial, regional or state) that seem modeled on the shape of its watercourse. The reason is simple, the streams have shaped the evolution of the valleys over the centuries, and thus indirectly have oriented the formation of urban settlements and, consequently, the development of major roads. It is paved roads easy to travel along by 2 and 4 wheels drive, but at the same time, slightly busy and not invasive from a natural point of view. In some rare cases, it may be necessary to drive a final stretch towards the river on dirt roads: these roads are well maintained and suitable for any car; normally we have not taken into consideration the sites where road access is problematic.
From the paved roads footpaths start that take you to our beaches, of which we summarized the main features, including the duration in minutes and the difficulty level. As you will see in paragraphs on each beach, most of the trails are short, within 5 minutes' walk, and can be followed by all.
Another strength of the beaches hereinafter proposed: you no longer have to do jostling to earn one square meter of sand! To give you an extra element of choice, for each site presented, we will provide you with an average level of crowding we observed during our visits, well aware that this indicator, if referred to the streams, is not even remotely comparable to what we are used to suffer at the sea. It would be more correct to speak of the average level of attendance since most of the time you will be in pleasant solitude. We can proudly say that we spent a recent Feast of the Assumption (popular to be one of the busiest day of the year at the beach in Italy) in a beautiful sandy beach (which of course we will quote in the relevant edition) with an unforgettable natural pool featuring Caribbean transparencies, completely alone!
It is cheaper to go to the river than to the sea: one definitely saves on food and accommodation due to the fact that tourism demand of the streams is dramatically lower than that of the sea. Healthy, genuine and sincere flavours and the generosity of a more humane and affordable service to which thankfully lacks the bustle of too tourist-commercial destinations: this is what we observed in food and accommodation supply of the surroundings of the streams visited; with a further practical aspect of immediate use, even in high season it is much easier to book at the stream than at sea places. In addition, to attend the beaches of this guide you will never pay a euro of parking; petrol and toll are lighter compared to a seaside destination, for those coming from the areas of Milan, Turin, Parma and Alessandria (virtually all!). Neither you will pay for sunbeds and parasols because the beaches are free of course: this requires a minimum of organization which, as we shall see, it is also fun; but above all is amply rewarded in terms of relaxation, freedom and costs.
Other strengths:we are on average about 300-500 m above sea level with benefits in terms of temperature in those days when we seek a respite by the heat; both as regards the actual temperature, which tends to be lower than at the sea, and the perceived one, thanks to the ventilation usually more continuous than at the sea. The scenario tends to be mountainous, but we are at the beach: for those who love the sea is like going to the beach, for those who love the mountains, we are in the mountains! This gives us the opportunity to clarify that this guidebook, although not a trekking one - given that its purpose is just to give you all the information you need to get to the beach with a few steps - is great for lovers of the same, who wish to benefit of the two activities. Finally, for those who do not like the feeling of salt on the skin, before taking the way back home it is not necessary to take a shower to get rid of salt. As long as you always respect the others, and apart from the case of a single stream (which will be reported in the relevant book) where access of dogs is ruled in certain sites and limited to certain times of the year, dogs are always welcome to the streams!
What has been summarized is not valid for any torrent: to fit all puzzle pieces tending to discover the ideal beach, we started a long, hard, albeit super funny work that has led to an equally hard selection, after which only a few streams have proved suitable for the purpose and, along their watercourse, only a few beaches. We promoted only the streams that had certain physical characteristics (opening of the valley and appropriate sun exposure, water flow, depth, adequacy of shoreline, etc.); we favored those streams (or their sections) located in sparsely populated valleys, unpolluted and dominated by nature; and those beaches poor of artificial elements or architectural, strongly sharing a concept of absolutely green tourism, being aware that too often our sea places have been plagued by excessive construction of its coasts. We generally discarded those beaches which, though beautiful, are located downstream (or immediately downstream) of towns of a certain size where, maybe not visible but unhealthy, pollution from urban sewage and discharges is potentially present. For streams, in fact, applies generally the rule that the further you go up stream, the lower is the population density and architectural and consequently the pollution. Though recommending the consultation of the appropriate bodies (e.g. the aforementioned ARPA) for further study on the environmental status of the streams, we followed that general rule focusing our research in the less urbanized areas with benefit for, on the one hand, the purity of water and, secondly, the cleaning of landscape from a naturalistic point of view.