Fat Tuesday (martedì grassi) had technically already occurred on the prior Tuesday, yet
After wending our way over to the cathedral, we strolled to the Porto Antico and cute Sarzano neighborhood (which houses the University’s architecture school through an imposing castle gate and stair and thus 1) an inviting architecture book shop and 2) a chic thrift store, which respectively await the return of Martello e Trofie Wife) on our way back to the Piazza De Ferrari for the conclusion of the carnevale festivities—an homage to Purim. We’re not sure if this is an annual occurrence or not, but the carnevale organizers decided to include a mention of the story of Purim and some Jewish music at the end of the general carnevale celebration. It was late in the afternoon, but the sun was not totally down, so (from what we think we understood), the Jewish community president couldn’t make it to the celebration, but a representative of the community wished everyone a good carnevale on his behalf and then there seemed to be an exchange of commemorative plates. A great band played a mix of old and modern, likely local and more familiar Jewish tunes. The crowd that remained, largely thinned from its mid-afternoon height, was grooving right along, and we’re pretty sure that only a handful of them had heard this brand of music before.
A small gathering of protesters carrying Palestinian flags and distributing a lengthy explanatory handout soon wandered into the crowd. Trofie Wife couldn’t really digest it while dancing (and without her extra-large dictionary), but nearly managed to fully translate it a week later. [Note: Martello takes issue with the fact that the following description makes the protest out to be more impactful on our day than it was in actuality. To which I say, Trofie Wife spent an hour and a half translating said handout while he was watching some dubbed, dumb movie from the ’80s, and I’d like to put my effort on display.]
Theirs was a two-folded protest. The first reason they had gathered (and we’re not sure if they were present during the full carnevale celebration or only the Purim part) was to express their frustration that the Jewish carnevale was being twinned with the city of
The second, more cogent, reason for their protest was that the organizers and Commune of Genoa had invited the Jewish carnival (which they noted was a “religious holiday”) and thus the religious Jewish community into the old city of Genoa while simultaneously attempting to prevent construction of a mosque in the old quarter where the bulk of the religious Muslim population resides. The growing movement to halt mosque construction throughout
All in all, while it was annoying to be handed fliers while I wanted to dance, it was a respectful protest, with viewers mainly ignoring the protesters and protesters not being verbally disruptive of the concert in any way (most of them hung in the back or on the sides while a couple worked the crowd with their handouts); I doubt a similar protest in the States would have taken on such a quiet demeanor.
Following the end of the music, Trofie Wife finally got her hands on some zucchero filato (cotton candy! bearing a surprisingly straight-forward name as opposed to the fanciful French barbe à papa), after seeing it in the hands of way too many babes and not her own. It was delicious!
We then made our way over to Piazza del Erbe for some aperitivo e stucchini (happy hour with free snacks!). We passed up going to a party thrown by Martello’s co-worker in favor of hitting the sack early so we’d make it to our Sunday destination—the fabled Cinque Terre— at a godly hour.
Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie Wife