For those of you who haven’t heard, Italy won its first World Cup since 1982 last night. Peering over the shoulders of strangers waving flags, sounding air horns, lighting Roman candles and cheering — I was somehow able to see some of the game. There was a huge screen set up at the Rampe, which is below the Piazzale Michelangelo (there was a screen there too). I watched the game with an Italian, an Icelander, a Canadian, an English and a Welsh — a motley international crew. And a couple of thousand Italians. Italians in trees, Italians on garbage bins, Italians on cars, in oleander bushes — everywhere. Most of them with their own flags too. It was clearly a big deal.
And when we won, I was honestly relieved. It would have been depressing to see the energy, belief, and passion diminish. Instead it turned to complete and utter giddy-top-of-the-world joy. We reveled in it for a bit, then climbed up to the Piazzale Michelangelo looking down at the city celebrating. Red, white, green were everywhere. Car lights lined every street. The honking did not stop until 4 this morning. I suspect there will be a baby boom in about 9 months judging from the embracing, dancing, snogging frenzy that was going on (apologies — the English can corrupt a language). I really can’t explain it. (oh, there were more fireworks too!)
After dancing at Santo Spirito, soaked with sweat, I started my meander back loving everything about the night. A stranger shared a smile and floated the flag over my head. I held my fingers out to touch the moment — red, white, green. Must say, I was especially happy with my adopted home.