L'Italia č Campione del mondo

For the finale dei Mondiali (World Cup finals), we met up with Steve and Susan in Piazza Repubblica and decided to go to Piazza Santissima Annunziata to watch the partita (soccer match). They told us that a big screen was set up in the piazza and there weren't too many people there yet. The game started at 8PM, so the sun was still out and the screen was a little difficult to see. We also weren't that close to it, so that too made it difficult.

Living in Florence :: L'Italia č Campione del mondo

We ended up standing near the fountain to keep our distance with the crowds, but we missed the first goal scored by the French team. It wasn't so terrible that we didn't see it, but when we arrived in the piazza, we could feel the tension in the crowd. Luckily, soon after, the Italian team tied the game.

For the next hour and a half we watched the game standing up, trying to see over people's shoulders. Eventually, we could see the screen better as the sun set. We were hoping for another goal, but nobody scored for the entire game plus two overtimes. It was all down to the shootout at the end. With each goal that the Italian team scored, we all went wild: screaming, waving flags, whistling, and cheering.

When the winning goal was scored, we all went crazy. Everyone was ecstatic. We all jumped up and down and screamed for joy.

Emotions in the crowd ran high and didn't seem to die down. The TV was still broadcasting the events on the big screen and when the Italian team received la Coppa del Mondo (the World Cup), the crowd roared once again.

Afterwards, we walked down via dei Servi to the Duomo (where I took the picture), via Calzaiuoli, Piazza della Signoria, via Roma, and Piazza della Repubblica. People were everywhere, walking in both directions going from piazza to piazza. Many people were wearing Italian soccer team jerseys with their favorite player's name on them, waving flags around, and riding on motorini (scooters) honking their horns down the pedestrian streets.

There was also a lot of alcohol all around us, which is quite rare in the streets of Florence. We saw abandoned beer bottles and cans on the ground as well as quite a few people carrying and drinking bottles of alcohol, not just wine, as they walked down the street.

We stood in Piazza della Signoria on the sidewalk eating a gelato (ice cream) and watching all the people go by. At one point a group of young men walked by and said, "Sono francesi loro." (They're French). I thought it was odd to be considered French just because we didn't have flags, we weren't cheering or singing along, and we weren't wearing Italian team jerseys. I would've thought the French wouldn't be out at all in the streets of Florence, but maybe they'd just be standing on the sidelines like we were.

After a few hours of walking around, we decided to call it a night. Celebrating, even now at 2AM, is far from over; I can still hear people on their motorini honking their horns outside and others in Piazza Santa Croce singing and cheering. Normally, we don't hear much of anything from our apartment, but tonight is definitely an exception.

I am overjoyed that Italy is the campione del mondo (World Champions). It's been 24 years since the last time they held that title and I'm sure that winning this year makes it just that much sweeter.

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