Sunday, December 10, 2006

November 2006 - Rome, Italy - Jazz Festival, Bowling & Calcio

We started the week at the Roma Jazz Festival held at the Parco della Musica in the upscale Parioli district. We watched Brad Melhdau play his modern jazz piano compositions. Later in the week we went out for a night of sushi and bowling with our classmates. The bowling alley located in a Roman suburb at Parco Leonardo looks like a nightclub and made us feel like we were bowling in Miami.
Here is a picture of Kenny and our cookiest classmate, Irina from Moscow, Russia.

Here is Casandra with Maria, another classmate from San Francisco but of Calabrese origin, and Irina.

Irina and Maria enjoy sushi in Rome.

And here are some more classmates - Klara and Ana (from Sweden), Emilia (from Chicago but originally from Poland), her boyfriend (a local Roman Carabinieri and the reason she is learning Italian) and Kyle (from Munich, Germany), who's in a more advance class than ours.

We hit the bowling alley and performed like pros (NOT!). I think it was the flourescent balls and the black light that threw off our game. On our team, only Kenny broke 100 and Ana was the all around champ bowling near 140 each game.

We feel lucky to have had such wonderful classmates. Kenny feels lucky to be the only man in our class.

At the end of the week, we went to another calcio game. This game, Roma v. Catania (in Sicily), had the highest score we've ever seen in a calcio game - 7-0 - ROMA WINS!!!

We went to the game with Maria and her boyfriend Marcos - 2 more ex-pats living in Italy for a year or maybe more . . .

Calcio games are full of interesting characters. This guy sells roasted peanuts. Seems normal enough? Well, actually, he roasts them at home and packages them himself in little baseball shaped packets that he can throw about 20 rows away. When you buy a package of peanuts, you get a dance. We had a front row seat for this performance (where he made change for a fan with bills he keeps in his socks).

Here is a photo of the Catania team sitting across the field from us. They are surrounded by police and isolated so that no one can sit in the sections next to them. Yet, they still manage to light there section on fire. Here is a photo of the 7th goal. As you can imagine, the crowd went crazy as if it were the 1st. You can actually see the ball in mid-air just wizzing past the goalie's left hand.

Some things are better said in English.

Fans come in all sizes. This little guy is in training for when he is big enough to climb the 8 foot plexi-glass wall that divides the Curva Sud from the rest of the stadium. Then he'll be able to cheer with all the crazy flag-waving, screaming, flare-lighting and canon-firing fans.

Look at the intense look of concentration on the faces of the people around us. Only tourists like us can take their eyes off the game long enough to snap a couple of pictures.The game was a huge victory for Roma and the fans left the stadium completely crazed over this amazing score.

No comments: