September 8, 2007

La notte bianca

Big night ahead. La notte bianca. From the historic center to the parks, EUR, San Lorenzo, the Flaminia -- the city will be awake and alive with music, light shows, art, theater, dance, poetry readings and more until dawn. Museums will be open and ministerial offices will flaunt their secret treasures. Piazzas will serve as stages alongside the auditorium. Over 2 million people of all ages are expected to participate.

It is magical -- masses of people strolling along, arm in arm just admiring the city, the lights, the sounds, the experience.

What is striking, for an American, is the lack of control, fear, containment. No barricades, the police are discrete, no gangs, no violence. Just a special evening for all to enjoy. A salute to the summer. A grand welcome back to the city before the grit and traffic wears on the spirit.

In its first edition, five years ago, the white night became black as the largest country wide power black-out just happened to take place at 2:30 am that night. Masses of people were stranded on the city streets in the dark. The buses couldn't run, nor the trams. But no one panicked, no shops were sacked, no violence occurred. The Romans walked home, or enjoyed the rest of the night in company and waited until dawn. The Italian, "che si puo fare" resignation sometimes works wonders.

a domani,

La Notte Bianca web site for information

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