Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Florence New Year’s Eve

Fireworks at Piazza Michelangelo Fireworks on te Ponte Alla Grazie Bridge
I’m sure all our audience is dying to know what New Year’s Eve was like here in Florence. Right? First of all, the dinner on the 31st is typically called the “cenone” – literally, big dinner. New Year’s Eve is called “La Festa di San Silvestro” – which as far as we can tell is named in honor of Papa Silvestro I – elected on the 31st of December in 314? January 1st is called “Capodanno” – literally, head of the year: “capo d’anno”.

In Florence, many Piazzas put on some form of free public entertainment. ( Of course there are places you can pay to sit and have a nice dinner and entertainment as well.) It seems like folks just wander around the streets going between the different venues. We passed by Santo Spirito around 11:15pm and there was a small crowd and live band. Then we wandered over to Santa Croce where there was a symphony. The symphony was up against the steps of the church and the crowd (standing) was pretty thick. However, the rest of the piazza was full of people (though as if by magic, the center of the piazza was left vacant for people to toss their fireworks into).

To tell the truth, the amount of fireworks being tossed around and their intensity were a bit unnerving. That said, the streets were full of people young and old – the whole town was out – so it wasn’t like it was dangerous, just that we weren’t use to it. We ended up staking a section of rail on the Ponte alla Grazie bridge (one bridge east of Ponte Vecchio) and ringing in the new year there. From that point we could see fireworks from Piazza Michelangelo in the hills and other fireworks around the river. We weren’t alone, many people hung out along the river banks, especially near the Uffizi. There was no specific, city organized fireworks show. There didn’t need to be as folks seemed to have their own arsenals.

When midnight came, corks were popped and champagne was flying (literally) everywhere. After it was all said and done, the streets were a mess with spent fireworks, champagne bottles, and other party things. The culture here seems to be to leave trash as is because it will be picked up. And sure enough, by the next day it was mostly all cleaned up – that’s the way things work around here. It’s a concept we have a hard time with.

2 comments:

  1. Ya, the righteous have a hard time with a lot of things. Why can't there be more people like us: perfect, proud and righteous? Sigh. Then we wouldn't have a hard time with anything!

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  2. Fireworks in Uffizzi beats hillbilly gunshots in Santa Cruz mountains...

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