I was invited to the festa (party) in via dei Neri near our apartment by the man at the mesticheria (hardware shop) yesterday morning. "Spero di vederti domani! (I hope to see you tomorrow!)" he said as I walked away. Almost every shop along the street put up a bandiera (flag) for the Fiorentina soccer team and bandierine (small flags) were strung across the street between buildings about two meters up in the air, zigzagging all the way from via del Leone to via dei Benci. Ever since the big win on Sunday, the spirit of the Fiorentina tifosi (fans) has been amazing.
I arrived a little after 5p.m. and waited around with crowds of people for the Assessore dello Sport di Firenze (City Sport Counillor) to arrive. When he got there, he announced that none of the calciatori (soccer players) would be coming, which I hadn't even expected. His speech didn't damper the mood in any way; everyone just wanted to festeggiare (celebrate).
The traffic to the street was diverted by one poliziotto (policeman) and two carabinieri (military police officers). People were standing in the street holding small plastic bandiere as shown in the picture. The crowd grew to about fifty people and there was a local TV station film crew and a few photographers. I was mistaken for a professional photographer because of all the photos I was taking.
A small table was set up where bottles of spumante were sitting and being opened up. They served anyone who came up to the table. A girl from Gelateria dei Neri walked up with a tray of cups with purple gelato (ice cream). I didn't get to taste any of it as I was busy snapping photos.
Between the spumante and gelato, there were also large plates with torte (cakes) and patatine (chips). By the end of the festa, the table was filled with empty bottles and crumbs on the platters.
We were fortunate that the rain stopped for one day because I didn't think we'd be having a festa if it was raining like it did Tuesday night and all day yesterday.
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