Monday, July 10, 2006

An Italian's take on winning the World Cup

Where was I for the historic Italy World Cup victory? At a bar called Harlem on Westbourne Grove in London with Jim and Kate (pulling for the French) to my left and a table of yawning ragazze italiane to my right. Here's what was happing back home in Roma. This dispatch is an Il Sette Bello exclusive, the first (perhaps of many) celebrity contributions. This one from the inimitable Xtina, a mainstay of this here blog. Here's her unedited recap:

By the time we got to the penalties, the Italian males I was watching the match on TV with were absolutely exhausted (females were busy appreciating the referee's salt&pepper head of hair and wondering how it comes that football players in their 30-ies do not get bald like their boyfriends). They had been screaming and suffering the whole time and eventually almost unable to enjoy the final victory. Most important the Romans were very disappointed of Totti's performance and secretely frustrated that Del Piero, and not their belove "Pupone", scored the penalty. I also found out that Materazzi is not very much loved, my well informed friend Simone pointed out that his most relevant feature is a tatoo of his own birth day in Roman numbers....with this background what can you say from the top of the world? The most beloved ones are Gattuso with his thick Calabrian accent and his blue-collar background and the smiling hard-working captain Cannavaro.

By the time he raised the Cup, women were screaming and planning to take a bath in the Trevi Fountain. That was not an easy task for the crowd. We were in Pigneto, a popular neighboroud near Termini and we had to cross by motorbike or on foot the crazy Centre. In the streets of Pigneto africans and indians were playing drums and Italians started playing their favourite instrument: their cars' horn! Flags, bottles of wine, beer, flesh of semi-naked women: a jungle I had to cross riding my motorino. In front of me there were four cars in a row on a single lane, two with 8 people each, open trunks and people screaming not very polite words against Zidane's mother . When I tried to overcome the cars, a motorbike with 4 poeple on (the whole family I guess), cuts my way. My efforts to keep up with Luca and my other friends got irremediably frustrated.
At the Colosseum we got stuck, people running around and a bus laying across the street that eventually, pushed by ten volounteers, jumped over the wall between the lanes...I did the same, helped by two over-excited teenagers. I left the Colosseum in flames behind my back, heading to Circo Massimo were I expected to see hell...a couple of non Romans asked me to jump on my motorino to go to Testaccio and pick up their car..."uff, guys there's no way you can drive the car to the Centre, enJoy the passeggiata!" I replied. Being in Rome I decided to
end my WorlChampionship final night like a famous ancient Roman: like a little Nero I climbed the hill of Gianicolo and looked down, enjoying to see Rome in flame.

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