Il Derby

Il Derby is a big day. It is the rivalry soccer match that happens twice a year between Roma and Lazio. A rivalry that has been going on for years, it has been the fight over the capital. Lazio has precedence in terms of history, but AS Roma is named  after the city. So who is the proprietor? This match is the judge every year. As someone who more often than not has watched it, along with other rivalry games from behind the TV screen, this will be my first time seeing the glory or tragedy in person.

After a spontaneous phone call from my Uncle Angelo Friday, I’ll be hopping on a train at 0300 and shipping down to Rome for the night and tomorrow afternoon. From that point, I’ll let you know how it goes and finish this. FORZA ROMA.

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Roma 2 | Lazio 0

“Roma e nostra. Alla prossima belli andate a casa

“Abbiamo rimesso la chiesa al centro del vilaggio.”
Rudi Garcia

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What a game. First time to a Derby (Roma vs Lazio rivalry game, check link below) lived up to its infamy. The build up was crazy. The history behind today’s game was insane. Roma had been on a cold streak these last few years in terms of the rivalry and the squads strength in general, but not today. With a wisp of magic in the air, I knew today was going to be a good day. It was one of those games where you just couldn’t see your team loosing, like you didn’t have a doubt in your heart. Maybe it was my greenhorn mentality kicking in since it was my first time out for this game. I’ve been to Bruins playoff games, Patriots playoff games and Red Sox playoff games but between it being my actual hometown team and the fact that the stadium is filled with the most passionate fans you’ll most likely meet, puts this game above the rest. The only comparable game was Game 5 against the Canucks a couple years ago when the Garden was simply electric. Today was just utter spectator-ship to the extreme. I couldn’t video some of the intense fans because it was all fast and in crossing but it was crazy. Crazier than any other of the games I’ve been to. When people say they bleed black and gold etc, they’re referring to these guys. Legit bleeding red and yellow for their team.

The night before I went to Pizzeria Remo a Testaccio with people whom I all consider family. Great pizza, even greater company, and the best wait staff. Because you know what the best part was? Our waitor, was a Lazio Ultra. Meaning he was banned from the stadium for 8 years after igniting a Carabinieri truck on fire and can’t go back until 2015. You pickin up what I’m puttin down? Crazy right, but the guy was the best waitor I’ve ever seen in my life. Treated us like family even though we were Roma fans. It’s guys like him that exemplify the fans around here. Put them in a square mile of that team during a game….all bets are off, put him in his element, he’s the best friend you never met. He was the best, his only defect was that he was just a fan of the wrong team. Oh and he loved how I could open the liter beer bottles with my iPhone, he said “Only in America,” while subtly grabbing another bottle putting it on the table and cracking it open with his wedding ring….”Only in Italy.”  However, best part of the night was when my _________ leaned over to me and said “Aho, la parte piu bella e che vedi, noi magnamo, e i Laziali c’e servono“, translation, “Hey, you see, the best part is were the ones eating and the Lazio fans serving us.” I almost died laughing, even though I realized it was this type of back and forth that makes this rivalry what it is on game days. This field for 90 minutes turns into a Colosseum, the Olympic stadium a battlefield and soccer, a means for an eternal military campaign.

Closing notes on the game as I wrap this up. State side fans need to come up with some chants man. Fans over here out sing out chant and out noise Americans by a billion decibels. Its insane how many songs and chants (Cori) they have, especially for Lazio. Imagine 60-80 thousand fans screaming and singing together in unison, its breathtaking. Lastly, between the flares, banners, flags the size of billboards, and colored smoke grenades it was very impressive. The smoke grenades create this like lingering fog of war over the field. I can’t imagine being on that field playing or scoring a goal or playing through 33 Derbies like Francesco Totti has (age 38), while still outrunning more than 90% of the guys out there. Unbelievable and I can’t thank my Uncle enough for bringing me. Grazie mille.

World Soccer Rivalries Link: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1730264-why-roma-lazio-is-one-of-world-footballs-fiercest-rivalries

Thanks all folks. – Alla prossima.

B&A,

M

Ciao Bella

Giorno 24

Well this is long overdue, but better late than never I suppose. I’ve been very sluggish in getting this ball rolling. I haven’t been in the writing mood where I just need to document this shit stuff. Its almost like taking pictures. Sometimes the camera just can’t fully capture what your eyes can and all you can do is surrender yourself to the moment and take it in.

Well in a unnecessary metaphor, that is how my time here in Florence has been. There has been so much that has already happened and so much going on, even getting the time to write is a commodity. I’ve probably walked more than I ever have in my life, spent the most money I ever have in my life and started one of the most interesting times of my life.

My first trip was to Cinque Terre and Pisa. As my family has always told me, if you go to Pisa, go to the tower, take a look around, and leave. It’s no Rome trust me. And the crazy thing is, after all the architects had accomplished back then you’d think they would’ve mastered the level and or checking out the land before building over huge deposits of water, hence why everything at the tower is out of plumb. Then on the other hand they could’ve just been drunk and not cared so then again if that was the case, well played gentlemen you inadvertently created one of the most well known monuments in Italy. Cinque Terre was as expected, a smaller, less populated and a uniquely beautiful version of the Amalfi Coast. Cinque Terre was the epitome of a small Italian coastal town smack up on unbelievable cliffs that reminded me of the images in Jurassic Park of the Galápagos Islands.

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My second trip was to San Marino, Riccione and the Misano World Circuit, now known as MWC Marco Simoncelli, named after the amazing young rider that died recently. I went to see the MotoGP on Sunday and to see my dude Valentino “il Dottore” Rossi 9x World Champion ride again. Although he didn’t race like he did last time I saw him in Indianapolis, it was awesome being there on home turf. I don’t know what it is about it but hearing the bikes and watching them fly around the circuit is just awesome. Loved every minute and made me want to ride so bad.

That definitely is a huge craving I’ve had since I got here. I’ve wanted to ride anything on two wheels, even a bicycle and its so frustrating.

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So, now to everyday matters, old business. Life in Florence is interesting. I’ve never seen such a diverse population in my life, between tourists, immigrants living here now and street vendors, it’s ridiculous. I’d say even more diverse than New York City. There are literally like 15 different languages being spoken in Florence at any given time. The ambulances are so goddamn annoying, there are condom dispensers built into buildings like vending machines, I’m convinced the street vendors are being forced to sell the same annoying useless shit because nobody in their right mind would be selling the same shit the guy next to him is, like where’s the competitive advantage chief? I want to know who the hell is the supplier of all this nonsense because they’re making a killing, like where do you get roses every morning? I don’t see a big warehouse full of roses anywhere around here. And there are small closet like stores with random stuff from floss to your latest edition of Playboy, toilet paper, or fine Italian cheese or wine; I’ve now labeled these as 7/11s because I have yet to find one without an Indian employee. They formally have no name, simply “Cold drinks, beer, whiskey, aqua, pasta, wine, cigarettes” is always somewhere on their windows. So, 7/11 it is. There’s your shutout Singh.

I was lucky with my roommates, we are all different. And not to sound corny but I like that because you always need a dude with a third nut or something that’s gonna be the wild card and do we have some wild cards. With the apartment, not so lucky, great location, however too far from the rest of civilization, I call our apartment the IKEA apartment because it is the most bush league Mickey Mouse household I’ve ever had the pleasure of living in. Pot has a hole in it, faucet just falls off, fans don’t work, get replaced and last a week, broken again, shower has a door but instead someone decided a metal quarter inch cable with a shower curtain is much more chic, none of the appliances in the kitchen work and for some reason we have more security on the inside of the house when we’re home than when we leave because there are approximately 5-7 different dead bolts or chains, whatever.

Nightlife is pretty sweet. We’ve made some great friends and met some wild people that ill always remember. And a lot of people that one day I’d love to treat the same way they’ve treated us. It’s interesting how all the places split up the week, there’s never one solid place you can usually go and it’ll be good. You always have to know where the flow is.

School is school, always will be. Reading writing etc. classes are all good and interesting. I’m starting to notice some of the classes are overlapping now and it’s interesting to see how you can bring something from one class to connect to the other and seem outlandishly smart. Unfortunately I have a couple classes that are filled with airheads that either talk but never say anything or nobody answers the teachers questions and create the worst, most painful pauses when nobody raises their hand and I’m always that guy because nobody wants to put themselves out there. Like c’mon who cares if you’re wrong, you seem like more of a douche sitting there looking at the teacher like you just shit your pants or awkwardly avoiding eye contact like you just saw your ex. I feel like I developed that mentality thanks to BC High, literally never gave a shit about what people would think by answering the question and avoiding the painful silence of stupidity.

Nonetheless, anywho, comunque, hopefully ill be traveling a lot more soon. I have intentions of going to Munich for Oktoberfest, Croatia, London, Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, and hopefully Copenhagen along with a couple domestic visits to family and friends. If anyone wants to come or meet up let me now, I’ll shoot you my tentative calendar. I know it’s ambitions but how many more times may I have the opportunity to do it? I don’t know maybe ill have ten more chances but I’m sure as hell going to make sure I don’t regret it.

Thank you for reading if you’ve made it this far. Tip my hat to you, thank you, grazie.

Ill be posting again soon.

Cheers & Ciao Bella.
M