Bathing costume arrives to Adriatic: The Adriatic health resorts
Croatian Museum of Tourism opened the exhibition ”Life on the Beach – Adria bathing fashion” in Villa Angiolina (Opatija).
Preparations for shorter or longer holidays at sea are an everyday activity in comparison with the past times when the sunbathing and swimming in the sea were neglected and unfashionable. Leisure time spent on sea and travelling outside the place of residence came in fashion during the 19th century. The travelling for health care and medical treatments influenced the development of tourism in the 19th century. The tourists revived the beach life and re-discovered the healthy climatic resorts. The massive arrival of tourists in the climatic areas has developed the fashion of sea bathing, popular swimming activities and swimming suites design.
The healthy climatic areas attracted a large number of tourists which brought different forms of entertainment and relaxation. Finally the more and more popular arrival in the climatic resorts became very popular not only as a form of entertainment but as a form of organized health management and fashionable swim wear culture.
Throughout the history the custom of bathing in the sea was available only for members of wealthy social classes and the 20th century brought some novelties in respect of the larger participation of people in leisure time and tourism. The development of transport infrastructure and travel, higher working standards and the regulation of free time enabled the development of tourism and it’s flourishing on the Croatian coast. The beach tourism was quickly spread out and became the most abundant form of modern tourism, which notably transformed the coast and the tourism in Croatia.
Tourism is a dynamic process which gathers different cultures and creates new correlations between the guests and hosts. The traditional local cultures often disapprove the incoming customs and habits of the foreign guests. The new form of beach life brought also the regulation of the rules of the marine life customs. In contrary with local swimming habits of the local population which entered in the sea nude or in lingerie, the new customs demanded the obligatory swimming wear at the beaches.
The first tourists brought the appearance of the first swim wear suits. Although the swimming suits have a short fashion history, its evolution reflects all the social and cultural changes and phenomena during the 19th and 20th century.