Imagine my surprise when I found out that the 17th of March was a national holiday for Italy. According to my Italian teacher, Patrizia, the day is one that celebrates the unification of the country. Also, however, there are a few “Negative Nellies” that rue the fact that the country is unified, and so they don’t acknowledge the holiday at all. Fortunately for me, however, the city of Florence is not one of those “Negative Nellies”.
On the night of the 16th, or more precisely at 12:30am on the 17th, the city of Florence celebrated the unification of Italy with fireworks. And I LOVE fireworks. I love the noise, the lights, the colors, the necessity of the night, and even (when detectable) I love the smell of fireworks. How happy was I, therefore, when July 4th followed me to this country and reshaped itself, squeezing a celebration into mid-March. Don’t worry, for all of you patriotic folk out there–we do fireworks better in the states. But you know what? Fireworks are like coffee: as long as it’s got a good dose of caffeine, we’re good. So, the fireworks played out for 10-15 mins, and a glorious time it was.
Might I speculate that the glory of fireworks is in part due to the excitement that surrounds them–the environment. Thankfully, Florence having once been the capital of Italy (it’s Turin, now, I think) certainly made a show of national pride with flags everywhere during the day and national colored lights in the Piazza della Signora at night. All in all, it was a sight to behold.