I haven't been able to go through Piazza Santa Croce in quite a while. They built a stadium in the middle of the piazza for various performances and concerts. The stage is right below the front of the church, so that all the people in the audience face the church. It's a wonderful setup except that everyone has to walk around it and you can't really take a picture of the front of Santa Croce right now.
I had to go to via dei Benci this afternoon and was forced to go through the piazza. I heard music playing the second I walked next to the church. At first, I thought someone had a stereo blasting, but as I approached the piazza, I realized that it was David Gilmour of Pink Floyd doing a sound check. I only knew that because I heard he was going to play, not that I could recognize him by the music.
There were large crowds taking photos with their cameras and cell phones to get a shot of David Gilmour.
I had an appointment to get to, but I still enjoyed hearing him play for the few minutes I was able to stand there in the crowd.
At the end of his sound check, he plucked one of his guitar strings after a short pause. Many of the people in the crowd jeered him as if to say, "now you're exaggerating!" I didn't understand what that was all about, but I didn't wait around to hear more. I took only a few photos before I left. I knew it would take me extra time to get to via dei Benci as there were huge crowds all around the stadium.
After my appointment, they completely closed via dei Benci and I was forced to walk around the back of the church. I tried once before to get through by flashing my carta d'identità (identity card) to prove that I'm a resident, but the carabinieri wouldn't let me through, so I didn't even try it this time.
I passed by lots of guys selling a variety of David Gilmour t-shirts and I wondered if any of them were official ones. It's hard to tell since the guys were selling them on make-shift cardboard displays set up against cars parked in the street.
I read that Mr. Gilmour's next two concerts will be in Piazza San Marco in Venice on Friday and Saturday this week. I can only imagine what an amazing event that would be to experience.
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