Sunbathing at beautiful beaches ... rowdy backyard barbecues and hanging with friends have always been my favourite activity during the camping years I spent with my family from the age of a toddler till my early 20s. The school years were so hard during the winter time that me and my summer friends just could not wait to meet together again at the camping. When we were kids our parents would have a beer and talk while we played. Since as long as I can remember, all of my so-called "first times" happened during the summer (first kiss, first beer, first cigarette, first time in a club ...). It was probably because we felt more free to dare in the hot season. There is nothing quite like those few blissful months of warm weather freedom during summer break.
I just felt like I could do everything without any limit or inhibition. According to some Boston researchers, exposure to the sun develops serotonin, a natural antidepressant. Greater involvement of the senses, lightness of spirit and relaxation of inhibitory brakes, contribute to determining a perception of greater freedom in the summer. As a result the mood is thus more positive, making us better predisposed to contact with the outside world. And I cannot agree more with this research.
After World War II, the population boomed throughout the 1950s and many families discovered summer vacations for the first time. It was definitely on the rise thanks to the positive feelings generated by the end of the war and the beginning of the economic boom.
If in the 19th century tourism was something exclusive only for the elite, a leisure activity that just aristocratic and upper-middle-class families could afford, at the end of the 1950s there was a boom in mass tourism, especially on the seaside. The low prices allowed holidays to be enjoyed also by employees and workers who comfortably reached the desired destinations on board their own cars.
What was summer like in the 1950s?
No better way to answer this question than the pictures here below. I think they can explain it all.
"I grew up in the 1950s at the beginning of rock n' roll, and would strum a tennis racket in front of the mirror."
- Jonathan Pryce, actor