In conjunction with Labor Day today in Italy, last night was the annual “Notte Bianca” (“White Night”)–a night in which the city of Florence doesn’t sleep. Businesses are invited to stay open all night, every piazza is full of stage set-ups, musicians, DJs, drinking tents, and all kinds of fun stuff, and the streets are absolutely flooded with people. EVERYONE is outside living it up–drinking, dancing, eating, walking, going wild…all the way until 6am.
As someone who grew up in the NJ music scene, I’ve been craving a taste of the local music scene in Florence–especially since the Florentine teens and young adults carry such a punky style. Well, I finally got my in.
Last week, a bartender I’m friends with (Simone) told me about an upcoming gig his band would be playing right near the pub (which is right near our apartment). After two past failures at attending a local show this semester, I was SO psyched to finally have an in–and to see a friend’s band! “It’ll be more like a giant party,” he told us, and man was he right!
On Friday night, Vicki, Heather and I found the place (thanks to the giant crowd of smokers outside of course) and presented the fliers (aka magical admittance tool) that Simone had told us to print out beforehand to the bouncer, who let us right in. We confusedly entered what looked like a typical caffe, but then were led back to the room where the show/party would take place. The entrance fee was 10 Euro, which covered two drinks at the bar as well.
When we entered the room, we were struck by the spinning party lights, DJ blasting jams, and pretty ghetto set-up of a bar. It was an energetic atmosphere though–definitely not what I’d expect for a local show based on the Jersey music scene, but definitely fun!
The age range went from teens younger than us to adults in their 40s, and we were probably the only Americans in the place. We noticed a lot of other regulars from Joshua Tree Pub, where Simone works, so it was really cool to see everyone coming out to support his music and have a good time. Cinderella Breakdown played a very fun set, but we were surprised that all their lyrics were in English instead of Italian!
The next band that played was a lot younger, called Ritmo Randagio. They certainly brought in a younger crowd with even more dancing, and they played a combination of original songs sang in Italian and covers of American songs sang in English, like Kids by MGMT an Stand By Me–both which the crowd loved.
I was so impressed by not just the party atmosphere of dancing, but particularly by the way the young guys and girls interacted. These college-age kids would dance kind of old-fashioned style, with the guys taking the hand of a girl and twirling her around, etc. It was very cute and romantic, I thought.
I was really impressed with Ritmo Randagio, and actually returned to see them again last night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Florence. They played another awesome set, and I enjoyed getting to briefly meet some of them when I went to buy their CD. Apparently they’ll be playing on Monday night in Florence again, so I’m planning to see them then too. I could definitely get used to the Florence underground music scene 😀
RAWR. Anyway, it was a fun trip. One of the most hilarious sights was looking at the line of people holding funny poses with their hands up in what looks like the middle of nowhere in order to capture the oh-so-desired cheesy tourist photos. (Of course, I was one of them too — but I’m pretty sure I’m the only badass who kicked down the tower :P)
Apparently, the lower leans about 5 meters. It originally started shifting mostly due to natural causes, because it was constructed without a basement. Apparently it stopped continuing to shift at some point though. I stood on the side that it didn’t lean down on to be safe, as I promised my Grandpa I would 🙂
Garda Lake: The village
Garda Lake: The castle
Garda Lake: An amazing view of the Alps
The Alps: A hike through the Apennines Mountains
The Alps: The waterfall
The Alps: The church I was obsessed with