Oktoberfest is really not a concept that one associates with Italy. But a branch of Munich’s august brewery Hofbräuhaus (HB) thrives in the center of Genova, and they decided that a tribute to their home city replete with birra, bretzels, e würstel in Piazza della Vittoria (one of the largest piazze in town) would be a huge hit, and it was. The lines for a bretzel were so long that we gave up and opted for pizza around the corner instead, but Martello was sure to return for a birra, and we hit the stands for imported miele e senape (honey and mustard). Given our various preoccupations with beer and mustard (Martello) and honey and efficiency (Trofie Wife), we should probably be living in the Germanic region of the country, Alto Adige, but alas, here in the Riviera we’ll stay.
Inside the tent
Outside. The arch is a tribute to Italy's fallen World War I heroes.
As we looked on at the festivities inside the huge tented biergarten, the extreme irony of it all dawned on me: I was watching Italians, who were gathered in a square dedicated to the war heroes of World War I (felled by Germans), listening to a German band play oompah-pahed versions of American spirituals (“When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Down by the Riverside,” which is apparently also known as “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” which seems apt). There was also an impromptu acoustic outbreak of "Hey, Baby, I Want to Know If You'll Be My Girl," which involved lots of Italian teenagers standing on the picnic tables and screaming off key; it somehow reminded me of camp (sorry, we didn't get any footage of that).
Such is the new Europe and the impact of globalization. Have a listen:
Baci, gelato, e birra,
Martello e Trofie Wife