I’ve spent many Saturday nights in small Southern towns. My formative years were full of them. But nothing beats Saturday night in a small Italian town. Steve and I went to our favorite bar, the Bar della Sport (we call it the sports bar) on Friday for our happy hour. We were sitting there chatting about how it was about time for some kind of to-do in town. They have something about once a month or so, and it seems like it’s been a while. Well, come to find out, the sports bar was having a to-do on Saturday night. All we knew was it involved music. Just when we needed some entertaining, this town provided.
I may have mentioned this, but time in Italy is an ethereal thing. They don’t usually specify a time – they’ll just say after lunch or after dinner. So we figured, based on what we know about Italians, that it would be after dinner. Dinner usually is at 8:00, so we thought 9:00 sounded reasonable. Fortunately, we can hear pretty much anything that goes on in town from our terrace. We heard the band warming up at about 7:30 – fine, that fit with our calculations. We had dinner at 8:00 and as we were finishing up, we heard the band start playing. Down we go and find out that the evening also included dinner. They had a big pot of sausage and beans, which sounded like something from a dream to me – two of my favorite things. Darn – wish I’d known that before.
When they have these to-dos, they block the street off in front of the sports bar. They have tables and chairs, but mostly people just mingle and gather in groups. Our friends Livio and Anna were there with their two kids, Francesca and Frederico. They had a table and asked us to join them. The band was one we heard during the Wednesday night concerts back in the summer (was it really that long ago?). They play a mixture of American rock, British Invasion, and Italian pop and standards. It was great fun sitting in the street on a warm September evening chatting with friends and taking in the scene. Everyone knew each other and went from group to group catching up. Later in the evening a few people started dancing. I love the random street party with sausage and beans on a Saturday night.
Since I have vast experience with Saturday nights in small towns, I feel qualified to say that this one rated right up there with the best. Dinner on the terrace with an incredible view, a short stroll down to the village to hear live music and visit with friends and neighbors, and a nice glass of wine under the stars. I don’t know about you, but that’s just about the best Saturday, or any other night, I could ask for. Let’s hope there’s many more to come.