Last weekend in the U.S. was the 4th of July holiday, a fairly big affair. Even if you're not especially patriotic, it's a four-day weekend in the summer! Besides barbecuing, desserts dressed in red, white and blue, pool parties, and fireworks, it is traditional to display at least one star-spangled banner somewhere outside one's house. This being one of a few summers over the last 14ish years where I've actually been in the United States, I decided to attend my first ever 4th of July Parade.
My thoughts on the parade: Italy has vespas and cinquecentos as their iconic vehicles, and well, it seems that ours are motorcycles (Harley Davidsons in particular) and lowriders. The parade ended with a stream of lowriders cruising through, hydraulics bouncing up and down, not to the music of The Star-Spangled Banner or America the Beautiful, but instead to the tunes of "Lowrider" (made famous by the Cheech and Chong movie, Up in Smoke). Oh, dio mio!
The flag-waving festivities, however, reminded me of another holiday in another country. March 17, 2011, Italy celebrated its 150 years of unification. For part of that day I was in Naples, for the other part I was in Lecce. In both cities I saw a lot of Italian flags. Later that week I was feasting on chocolate in Turin. The flag display there was a whole other story. I remember thinking I hadn't seen so many national flags since I left Texas. Everywhere I looked the city was red, white and green. Not only flags but also food; pastry shops made tricolore cakes. Chocolatiers dressed their chocolates in the tricolore. Flower displays, storefronts, window boxes, balconies, bridges; all were waving flags or dressed in the tricolore. While I was there, I think my dreams were only in red, white and green.
For this second edition of Saturday Scene, I'm sharing a few photos of Turin dressed in the colors of the Italian flag. Sadly, I did not see a vespa in red, white and green....but I'll keep looking.
Storefront of A. Giordano Chocolates
Torta in honor of Cavour
Ghigo Gelateria and Pasticceria
Turin is celebrating Italy's 150 years of unification all year long with special events and exhibits. The site Italia150 has information on these events.