16 Intimate Photos From A Gender-Segregated Beach

Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Pedocin Beach is nestled in the northeastern city of Trieste, Italy. It looks like any other beach in the seaside town, save for one key detail: Men and women are separated.

Since its founding in 1890, Pedocin has been totally segregated by gender. A low wall divides the men's side from the women's side, and while that may not sound like a beach you've ever visited, Pedocin's regulars find this distance freeing rather than restrictive.

Photographer Lavinia Parlamenti paid a visit to Pedocin to photograph and speak with beachgoers one on one. She met women who prefer to chat with their friends rather than have men look at them in their swimsuits, men who spend their days sunbathing in silence, and couples who enjoy the beach but crave alone time, too.

Parlamenti's images show people totally at ease, happy to relax on the beach as they wish. While a gender-divided beach might not be everyone's first choice for a vacation destination, the single-sex experience is what makes it special to some. Pedocin's visitors have found a beach they love; it's a place where they feel comfortable. And isn't that what we're all looking for in a summer getaway?

Click ahead to learn more about Pedocin Beach and see the men and women who frequent its shores.

It's your body. It's your summer. Enjoy them both. Check out more #TakeBackTheBeach here.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Manuela
"I proudly show my body. I don't care about my imperfections. I come here just because I used to come with my family and I know everybody here. Can you take me more pictures, please?"
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
A view of the dividing line in the water that separates the men's and women's areas.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Paola
"You want to take a picture of me alone because I am an interesting subject to you. Guess how old I am? I am 89! That's because of a nice life in the sun. I come here because it's next to the city, and I can come every day. Nothing particularly related to the story of the wall. In any case, it's nice to stay here and spend time with girlfriends."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Larita
"Larita is a South American name, but I am born in Egypt from a Czechoslovakian father and a Greek mother. My father used to work for the English army, and we all moved here in the late '50s because my grandmother lived here. She always talked to me about how Trieste was a very cosmopolitan place where women were used to being alone because they were often married to sailors. Italian culture is still conservative, but Trieste is an exception, because it has lots of influences from Germany and Austria. German people have a different kind of relationship with their bodies; for example, they have no problem showing themselves naked. They do it in a sporty way, not a sly way. I have been married, and I am now divorced but happy. I am in a relationship with an Englishman, and I am so happy that we don't need to see each other every single day. I guess this is the same spirit that leads me here to this beach."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Luigia
"I like this place. I've been coming here since I was young, and I will come here forever. It's cheap, next to the city, and it's like a sort of club where everybody knows each other, so you're safe, even if you come alone."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Gianna and Dolly
Gianna: "This place is incredible. I've been coming for a couple of years; I don't live in Trieste, but at this beach I feel free, at ease with my body, even if I am not in my 20s anymore. Sometimes men peek through the gate over there, and it bothers me. I don't even like the fact that the lifeguard and the barman are guys. I would prefer if they were girls."

Dolly: "I've been coming here since I was a little girl. I used to come here with my grandma. Everything still looks like at that time. I prefer to come here because I feel comfortable."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Parlamenti calls this image "Ladies Side."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Sandra
"I come here to play cards with my friends, Diva, Anna, and Rosanna. We play Buraco. It's a tradition for us. On Ferragosto (a Catholic celebration on the 15th of August), we all come here and have lunch together. We have no husbands, and we like to stay together. So our presence here is not really related to the fact of being separated from men, but we enjoy our girly company."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Laura
"Me and my friends always come here, and we usually sit between the two showers. This is our spot. We can take off our bras here and nobody cares. If men were around, we would not do it, but between us we are fine. We joke all the time."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Anna getting ready to go home.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Rosa
"I've been coming here for two years. I am already 69, but I try to stay healthy and I take care of my body. Now that I am retired, I go to the gym every day. I like to come here because, compared to other beaches, you have the chance to be alone if you want to read your book in peace. I relax by myself, I listen to music, I swim, and nobody comes to bother me. I feel free here."
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Women and men meet at the wall.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
A view of the men's side of the beach through a window.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
A man sunbathing.
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
Claudio
"I've been coming here since forever. This year, I had my birthday cake here as well. I like to come because it's a good habit to spend time outside and take a break from swimming instead of going to the bar. My wife also used to come here. Now she is sick and she can't come, but she follows what happens from the Facebook page. It's healthy for a couple to take a break sometimes, and it's enjoyable to stay by yourself sometimes. But don't tell her please!"
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Photographs by Lavinia Parlamenti.
A view of the women's side of the beach.
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