Wild all-nighters

As I mentioned in my previous post, Saturday night was the Notte Bianca in Marina di Massa.

Effectively this is an “all-nighter” but rather than a single club, in the whole town. There are stalls (selling trinkets and hand-made stuff (i.e. crap), food and, in the case of the one on Saturday, beer (which, of course, we had to try)).

And what I forgot to mention in the last post was something I thought of whilst we were watching the concert.

The street were FULL! Absolutely packed with families, couples, children and ……. YOUTHS.

And, what struck me was that, in the UK, such a thing would have been a night for DRINKING. And by drinking I mean alcohol and lots of it. So, there would have been young people who, almost certainly, would have had a little (read A LOT) too much to drink – by about 11 p.m., if not before – and would be staggering around, possibly vomiting, possibly lying in the street and probably fighting. The weather was warm and very pleasant.

There were indeed “gangs of youths” – but they were walking around in groups, talking, laughing and, although they had possibly (even probably) been drinking, there was no staggering that I saw, certainly no vomiting or lying in the street and definitely no fighting. Italians don’t tend to drink alcohol until they can hardly stand up. They seem to know when enough is enough. And, even if they do get drunk, their pleasant side seems to come out.

Italy makes me feel safe. I can walk the street of a city (although I’m sure there are areas of any city where walking around could be a little hazardous) and not feel I have to keep an eye out for drunk people who just want to fight.

Maybe, after we left (about 1.30 a.m. – so quite early, I suppose) it got more like a British all-nighter – but I doubt it.

I know that there are stories about kids getting drunk more often. But I don’t really see it much (and I live in an area of Milan with many popular bars for the yoof of Milan). And, certainly, there’s not the aggressiveness between people that there is in the UK (especially when mixed with a bit of alcohol). So, one can enjoy it. If I had kids, I wouldn’t be worried about them being with me at these events. It would be OK. And there are many young children and babies around.

I wonder if this aggressive streak in something in our genes?

Anyway, for me, it’s one of the beautiful things about Italy. Thank goodness it’s too expensive for hordes of Brits to descend upon and create a more dangerous and unpleasant place.