February 1 - Arenzano, Italy
On a casual stroll about town this afternoon, I stepped into heavy fire--of silly string and shaving cream. Today was Carnevale, and young teenagers and pre-teens, some masked and costumed, others plainclothed, engaged in spruzzo combat. Informal, unorganized guerilla tactics prevailed as these young, primarily male fighters charged in packs through the alleys and piazzas of the historic Centro, ruthlessly covering each other in white, soapy foam. Shrieks and Italian curses rang loud. Excited conversation and intermittent quiet were also prevalent at times, especially in a designated parental safe zone down below. Rumors swirled about a preliminary procession through Arenzano, participants flaunting their attire. Caught in the crossfire, intrepid Martello set up a civilian outpost, whipped out his reporters notebook, and observed the events from a bench in Piazza David Chiossone. Details remain sketchy at this point; while not equipped with a camera, Martello did manage to capture some sense of the scene in the quick sketch posted below. However, more questions than answers remain--timeline, motivations, alliances, spruzzo suppliers, etc. As the story unfolds, look to this blog for more in-depth coverage.