Alicia Keys at the Umbria Jazz Festival

Yesterday a girlfriend and I took a train to Umbria to see Alicia Keys perform at the Umbria Jazz Festival. We met up with four other girlfriends and shared two hotel rooms to stay the night. My friend Kendra bought the tickets for us so all we had to do was show up in Perugia.

The last time I went to Perugia was when I was driving through Tuscany to get back to Florence. We stopped for a quick visit and had dinner at an outdoor restaurant.

After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we walked to the main street, Corso Vannucci, and were amazed at the number of people walking around the downtown area. We walked from the Piazza IV Novembre to Piazza Italia where we looked out onto the valley below. Music was playing in both piazze while a few street artists were performing along the wide pedestrian street.

We had heard that there were small events all over the city, but ended up going to a small bar to have an aperitivo (drink and appetizers) before the concert was to begin.

We intentionally missed the first act because we didn't know who the singer was and felt like just talking among ourselves in the bar. We had wanted to sit at an outside terrazza (terrace) to be a part of the excitement, but it was difficult to find a table for the six of us.

We took the scala mobile (escalator) down under a stone building and walked through the narrow walkways to Arena Santa Giuliana. When we arrived, the opening act was still performing. The outdoor arena was filled with people. We walked into the door closest to the front of the stage and were escorted to our seats.

When Alicia Keys came out, I thought for sure that people would be rushing to the front of the stage, but instead people sat in their seats. During the entire concert we rocked in our seats and sang along to our favorite songs.

At the end of the concert, we clapped and still stayed in our seats. As soon as she came back out for the encore, a few people rushed to the front of the stage and we followed.

We were finally close to the palco (stage) and were able to dance and sing along with Alicia Keys. My friends and I all looked at each other with such joy; this is what we were hoping the concert would be like the whole time.

At the end of the concert, we walked out to the snack tables to relax before walking back up the hill to the hotel. We watched the other people leaving while we sat outside and chatted.

When we walked back up to Corso Vannucci, we struggled to get through the large crowds. There were people everywhere standing, walking around, and watching the street acts. We made our way to Grom to grab a gelato (ice cream) and walked to an outdoor terrazza where people were having drinks.

It was about 1am by the time we got back to the hotel room and quickly fell asleep from our long and exciting day.

We woke up fairly early and went back to a pasticceria (pastry shop) that we found yesterday for our morning caffè. We took two taxis to the stazione (train station), waved goodbye to Perugia.

I couldn't wait to come back to Florence even though we had so much fun in Perugia. The minute we arrived at the stazione, we went out separate ways. I was happy to see Alessandro who was there to greet me and welcome me back to Florence.

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