Monday, March 03, 2008

Sunday Night Lights

Our new apartment overlooks a walled park. It is technically a garden, I guess, as it lies behind a government building and is city property. The inhabitants in this part of the centro storico take advantage of this small expanse of grass to walk their dogs. Birds dwell in the trees and lovers sit on the benches during lunchtime. We get to watch all the activity going on down there, without being seen as the sun reflects off our windows (I've gone down to the park to determine if one can see in).

But the coolest thing about our locale is that the building also happens to house a senior center. They sometimes hold special dinners and functions, such as a grand New Year's Eve party. Every Sunday, though, is dance night. The cars start arriving just before 9:00 p.m., dispelling people dressed up with their hair "done". They park in perfect lines, filling the parking lot in a very orderly manner, unlike the city employees who leave their cars all haphazard and angled. We've already witnessed two fender-benders in that lot during the daytime parking frenzy. The old folks have a dance hall set up for their weekly fete.

At 9:00 p.m. sharp the band starts up, cranking out old-time Italian dance tunes. Many of them sound like the soundtrack for Roman know, the songs being played on the barges while Audry Hepburn dances with the barber. Sometimes the strains of an accordian flow out. Occasionally there is a singer, but mostly it is instrumental and the music just sounds so typically 1940s and 50s that it makes me want to open a jug of red wine and invite all the country dwellers I could muster up, it's just all so...classic. Like right out of a movie. Except for the disco lights. Yep, these hip seniors get flashy.

It makes me smile to hear the music, to watch them coming and going. They're still going it at when we go to bed, which doesn't say a lot about our exciting lives, but does speak to the stamina and enjoyment these folks have. Last night was incredibly warm. I went out on the terrazzino and stood up on my tip-toes to listen and observe. I'm really enjoying those Sunday night disco lights.


erin said...

oh, i love things like this. I'd probably be hanging my head out the window on dance nights to soak in the activities :)

Beatriz' suitcase contents said...

It sounds like your new place is a well placed window into Italian life. Enjoy!

Valerie said...

Erin, I do exactly that! ;)

Beatriz, it is a window (literally and figuratively). Our other place we couldn't really see out, just the stone building across the narrow street.

Megan in Liguria said...

Sounds a lot like our home. We have a circolo below us. Only our noise is sometimes karaoke (yikes!). Nice post and good luck in the new place! Meg:)

Anonymous said...

Do you sometimes have to pinch yourself to see if you're not actually in a movie too? Nothing like assimilating into the *next layer* of la vita italiana!!!
ciao ciao,
carol in dc

Texas Espresso said...

that is really cool. I hope you and your hubby use the music to dance too!

bleeding espresso said...

Oh how fun! And free! Woohoo!

Valerie said...

Megan, Yikes is right! Karaoke *shudder*.

Carol, yes, sometimes it is all too dream-like. Other times, not so much. ;)

Texas, I'm working on him. As a general rule Bryan doesn't like to dance. But maybe soon.

Sognatrice, free fun is the best.

My parents arrived yesterday; I told them they should go to this week's party to take photos and report back. They were not amused. said...

Your living la Dolce Vita Valerie:)