Note: I wrote this while it was still fresh, and before the game so as to be untainted/affected by the outcome of the game itself.
All day, there has been an energy in the air. Excitement, expectation.
Here’s a picture of Piazza del Duomo around 1pm, still seven hours from game time. These people were there early to secure themselves a place in front of the big screen, to secure themselves a possible place in history.
The last time Italy won the World Cup was in 1982. Many of those waiting outside all day probably couldn’t remember anything other than wanting momma’s milk in 1982. They want their history, their piece and their story this time.
One thing I have to point out is that entrepreneurism is alive and well in Italy, and it is most evident every time an event like this comes along. On every street corner, there were people of every nation selling Italian flags (bandiere), hats, wristbands, keychains, cellphone holders, and air horns. OH, the air horns. Approaching the piazza it actually sounded as if a band was playing with the different tones of the thousands of horns.
Here is a man selling ice cold coconuts with a straw in them, of all things. And people were buying!
In Italy, the Napoletani are known for their ingenuity regarding the street selling and making money during opportune times (see: ticket scalping). During any championship or series title game, they are known to have both teams’ shirts pre-printed and proclaiming them as the winners, waiting for whomever actually wins the game.
We came back to the piazza del Duomo a few hours later, just before 7pm, and about one hour from game time. The piazza is now full from the point of view that every possible vantage point that has a view of the big screen has been taken.
The statue in the piazza, of Vittorio Emmanuele, seems to have been conquered itself.
The thing that was really cool was that anyone with a flag was a fan, no matter what language they spoke or where they came from. There was a big group of fans from Bangladesh that were walking together with a banner – unfortunately this other random guy walked in front of my shot.
There was non-stop horn blowing, cheering, and no change unless something was blown up, and then it got louder.