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(click on any photo to see a larger, clearer image)

Nah, I’m just kidding, they don’t really dive for pearls in Zoagli, at least I don’t think they do. But they certainly do dive.  The young neophytes start from the passagiata walk, a gorgeous path that has been constructed where the sheer, steep cliffs meet the rock strewn sea:


And if you think mothers object to their children jumping from a great height into what looks like a pile of rocks, guess again.  Mom jumps too!


Once they’ve mastered the low dive, they move up to the medium dive.  This young man dove from the ledge above the heads of the three people standing farthest along the sidewalk; he not only had to clear the sidewalk, he had to get far enough out to miss the rocks just below the walk.


Then there’s the…. High Dive.

See the boy in the green trunks with his friend about twenty feet above the passagiata?  This stops my heart every time I see it – there’s no margin for error in this jump.

And there he goes!

The photo is out of focus because the whole thing makes me so nervous my hands shake.  But look!  He’s arrived safe and sound!

Jumping from the high rocks seems to be a rite of passage for Zoagli teenagers (mostly boys, though I’ve seen girls jump too).  It makes me kind of glad I didn’t grow up on a rocky sea coast.  No.  It makes me very glad I didn’t grow up on a rocky sea coast!