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Swimming during Best of South Italy Tour

We will be on the one that begins Oct. 1. I saw in the packing notes that there were several opportunities for swimming, so the suggestion was to bring swimsuit and a lightweight towel. With average highs in the mid to low 70s at that time of year, is it likely that it will be swimming weather? And how often does the chance come up? Bathing suits and microfiber towels are light and don't take a lot of room, but I hate to bring anything unnecessary!

Posted by
524 posts

I usually never take a swim suit since swimming isn't my thing. I always check out the hotel websites when I receive the final tour packet. If any of the hotels have a spa, then I include a suit. On my tour of Southern Italy the hotel in Matera had a wonderful thermal spa. Of course it was an extra expense, but so worth it, in my opinion. Hopefully, when you get your list of hotels it will be listed.

Posted by
3458 posts

I have enjoyed a swim on several of the RS tours I took in shoulder season. Sometimes it can be a lot warmer than the average. Of course it can go the other way as well, like when we all nearly froze in Munich when a cold front came through in mid July!

If you like swimming, take a suit.

Posted by
643 posts

It totally depends on you. I have been swimming in the English Channel this lunch time and it was a delight, sea temp is 12.5 degrees today.

Posted by
853 posts

When we took the Southern Italy tour in October a few years ago there was an opportunity to swim in Matera. I didn't bring a suit and was glad because it was cold. The water was even colder. Our hotel did not have a spa.

On the Amalfi coast, it was still too chilly and the weather was rough. The boat to Capri was suspended and some of our tour group almost got caught there when the weather got bad. They caught the last boat running to come back.

Doesn't mean that you won't have good weather, just depends on how much room you have in your suitcase.

Have a Great Trip!

Posted by
267 posts

As you said, there are opportunities on this tour to possibly enjoy a swim. I'm not a big swimmer, but take a swimsuit when I think there could be a chance I might need one. Others have mentioned the thermal spa in Matera which is available even if the weather isn't right to swim in the sea. I would have been very disappointed to have missed the opportunity to experience this fabulous spa! Like you said, they are lightweight and are worth carrying across Italy for even this onetime use!

Posted by
214 posts

Thanks for all the replies! We aren't fans of swimming in cold water, so I can't even imagine swimming in 12.5 degree water!! But it could be warmer, and a nice spa might be inviting. Which hotel in Matera was it at? If we'll be staying there, that would probably tip the balance in favor of bringing the swim stuff.

Posted by
214 posts

That's what the folks who swim in Boston harbor on New Year's Day say. I'm sure they're very healthy (maybe a little bit crazy?) and I guess I admire their hardiness. I'm happy to stick with warmer water even if it does jeopardize my health. :) We all have to take our chances . . . I can watch folks swimming while enjoying a nice glass of wine and keeping warm!!

BTW, I've often watched swimmers on Cape Ann, north of Boston, where summertime water temps are in the mid 60s. I've found that if I try to go in, by the time my knees are wet, my ankles are in a state of extreme pain. But I have tried!

And how did you get the emoji? I haven't figured out how to get them!

Posted by
524 posts

As you may know, the same tour can use different hotels. The hotel we used may no longer be used, so I hate to mention it by name and disappoint you if your tour stays elsewhere. About a month before your tour, you will be able to download your list of all hotels. This will have their contact information: email address, phone number, and web address. You will be able to go to each hotel's site and check on amenities offered.

Posted by
16847 posts

I've swum in Italy and other parts of the Mediterranean in October nearly every year. High temps can easily be in the upper 70s and water at shallow or enclosed beaches is plenty warm for people from Seattle, thought not for most Italians. (Many Italians also wear a jacket in October, even though it's 78 degrees.) Last October, my swimming spots included beaches on the west coast of Italy before the tour and during the South Italy Tour in front of the hotel at Vieste. At least a half-dozen other tour members also swam. (The pool at that hotel was closed.)

Posted by
214 posts

I've been in the Mediterranean many times in the summer while visiting my husband's family in Israel, and the water is definitely like a bathtub--probably too warm to be refreshing for many folks, but just dandy for me. So it is all relative. Lots of folks in the Cape Ann water here in New England, too. Brrr. I have seen jackets in Italy when it seems lovely and warm to me--and my son in California says people there think it's cold when they have a day in the 60s and break out their jackets. So I guess I'll bring the swim stuff and hope for warm weather! At least it probably won't be New England cold!

Posted by
21161 posts

The 12.5 I am sure was C but even 55 F is too cold for me. I complain with our community pool is less than 80 F.

Posted by
643 posts

Warm water swimming now feels wrong, a swim should be refreshing, not like a bath 😊

Posted by
214 posts

But how do you keep your teeth from chattering and the rest of you from shivering?? And if it's really hot, even warm water is refreshing, as I learned from swimming in Florida during the summer, when it was so hot and humid that you were almost as wet outside the water as in.

Posted by
372 posts

I'd take your swimsuit along. I took that tour two years ago in September. I used my swimsuit at the hotel pool in Matera, which is underground and like a grotto and also to sunbathe (and take a quick dip) in Sorrento. There are swimming platforms in Sorrento where you rent a chaise lounge and there is food and drink service, if you wish. Then you can take a dip in the ocean, or not. For me, I enjoyed just laying in the sun on the chaise lounge for a few hours and one quick dip in the water. Swimsuits are light and take up so little space, I'd suggest you always take one with you! And that microfiber towel also comes in handy if you are sink washing your clothes. After ringing out your clothes, wrap them in the towel and it really helps in the drying process.

Posted by
214 posts

Well, I'm convinced--the bathing suits come along, and I'll buy a couple of microfiber towels!

Thanks to all--this is such a great forum!

Posted by
4535 posts

It is not going to be 12.5 C in October. Here is average water temp in October
https://www.seatemperature.org/europe/italy/positano-october.htm

I went swimming in Positano on a RS tour in May. The water was cold, but refreshing. I would suggest that you bring some water shoes as the beaches are small pebbles which is tough on he feet.

I always take a swimsuit and water shoes if I think there might be an opportunity to take a dip in the sea,

Posted by
4575 posts

Lois,

And how did you get the emoji? I haven't figured out how to get them!

If you use your smartphone to reply,
you can choose any emoji you want, just as you do when you text⛱🌞

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
214 posts

Priscilla, thanks for explaining! I prefer to get here on my computer or laptop rather than by texting, since it's so much easier to type, so that explains things. Maybe I'll venture into the mobile world at some point!

Posted by
267 posts

Lois, the hotel in Matera is Locanda Di San Martino. I hope that you have the opportunity to stay there. it was an experience that I'll always remember! You have to make an appointment to use the spa as they allow only a small number of people at a time which really enhances the experience. Since it had rained and things were wet, the morning after we arrived in Matera, my sister and I chose to stay behind while the others took a city walking tour. We were the only ones in the spa that morning. It was so serene and truly a highlight of an amazing trip!

Posted by
214 posts

Thanks, Pat--I just looked up the hotel and it does look lovely. I know that while many of the hotels remain the same, they can vary, so I'll just have to wait and see when I get my list of hotels. I can keep my fingers crossed, though!

Posted by
144 posts

We went on this tour in May. It averaged about 70°F while we were there. I might bring a swimsuit but not bother with a towel. There was swimming at the hotel in Vieste, Matera and along the Amalfi coast. I bought both and used neither although several people swam in Vieste and Matera. All the hotels we stayed at would have given out towels and worst case they are readily available for not many euro. It is a great trip. If you are lucky enough to get Caterina for a tour guide you are in for a treat - although I am sure all the guides do a fabulous job.

Posted by
12 posts

Lois, I will be on the So. Italy tour with you come Oct 1st!! I had the same debate with my sisters about bringing a swimsuit, I think two of us will be packing ours. Of course, I am in the Seattle area and it is always too cold to swim here. The spa in Matera does sound nice. I can't wait to meet you in person. See you in 3 months! Kathy

Posted by
12 posts

Lois, I will be on the So. Italy tour with you come Oct 1st!! I had the same debate with my sisters about bringing a swimsuit, I think two of us will be packing ours. Of course, I am in the Seattle area and it is always too cold to swim here. The spa in Matera does sound nice. I can't wait to meet you in person. See you in 3 months! Kathy

Posted by
214 posts

Kathy, based on the responses, we will be bringing both our swimsuits and the microfiber towels I've purchased. It would have to be pretty warm for me to go in above the knees, though--I definitely like warm water. I understand Pacific water is cold, but so is the water in Massachusetts. Even though some say that the bay side of Cape Cod is much warmer than the ocean side, I think both are better for seals! I look forward to meeting you in Rome!