In the summer when I was a kid, our family would head to the Jersey "Shore" for a week to enjoy the sand and surf of the Atlantic. One of my favorite things back then was finding sea glass--shards of broken bottles and such that had been tossed into the ocean as garbage. Time and waves and grinding sand would smooth the pieces into colored gems in all colors of the rainbow. They were smooth, yet sandy to the touch. The shapes often looked like faces or an animal shape, and if I found a cobalt blue one it would become my new lucky piece to be carried daily in my dungaree pocket.
In Italy, you can also find pebble beaches. For instance, near the famous Murano glassworks in the Venice lagoon, there are places that were used to dispose of broken glass for hundreds of years. Divers bring up buckets of the stuff and sell the gems to jewelry designers. You can walk the shores around Murano, or even go as far as the Lido beach at low tide and see what colorful treasures you can find.
You can also try your luck in Scalea, a pebbled beach in Calabria or in Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Some sea glass hunters had luck on the coastline of Capri, the rugged beaches of Cinque Terre and even the Gargano Peninsula north of Bari.
And here's another idea... If you are ever in Vietri sul Mare near Salerno on the Amalfi Coast, try beach-combing in the area. Vietri has been a center of ceramic production for generations. The broken pieces were tossed into the sea, which has created soft-edged shards of colorful pottery to be found on the beaches. If you're lucky and find a lot, perhaps you can use them to create your own ceramics treasure.
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