Why are most Italian boats Mediterranean blue?
Is there such a thing as Mediterranean blue? This is a question that has puzzled me for years every time I’ve come across Mediterranean blue boats in this particular cami-ocean-blue-colour?
Today’s photo is an old one taken around 1997, when I was walking across the bridge to Città Vecchia in Gallipoli in the south of Puglia and happened to glance over the parapet towards the castle. Down on the slanting boat and parking lot, this man was working away with his brushes making an exact copy of the surroundings on canvas. Modern marine art that may later have been sold from a nearby gallery.
What’s in a colour?
Like the boats, the sea and the sky, the colours on his palette are almost exclusively blue. That way the painter blends nicely into the background. Just as the Mediterranean blue boats provide a perfect camouflage for smugglers and fishermen trying to avoid being seen by the big fish and the Guardia Costiera. For a second, the image allows me to pretend there’s real drama and wreckage behind the apparent postcard calm, but I suspect that in this case looks are not that deceptive.
And now I wonder if you have a better, more sensible explanation for the cami-ocean-coloured Mediterranean blue boats like the red colour decorating Bologna?