Published: January 16th 2008December 31st 2007
What a way to bring in the New Year. Because I really just want a place to upload my New Years fireworks photos, this entry isn't going to be much else but fireworks and talk about how amazingly crazy New Years Eve in Rome was. And all we did was go out to the streets. We didn't go to any parties, bars, restaurants, official concerts, or planned gatherings. We actually didn't really know what was going to happen.
Actually, I should start by prefacing this entry with this fact: my last few New Years Eves have been fairly lame, comparatively. I'm sure there are places in the US which are crazy, or ultra hyped and fancy and jazzed-up—I haven't been to those places. The closest I've gotten to that is hosting a party my junior year of college in my apartment down at school where I bought a bunch of cheap champagne/sparkling wine and proceeded to somehow spill orange punch all down my white dress. Not really that crazy. So being in Rome for New Years was a special treat. If there is one fake holiday that I love to partake in, it's New Years Eve. I don't get too
excited for it, but when the clock strikes midnight and a new year commences there's something in me that feels nostalgic and sentimental and very moved.
Normally though, when the clock strikes twelve, I haven't been outside for three hours, watching crowds of Italians get ultra psyched when the house music of the free concert we stopped near starts playing the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army." It was interesting, needless to say, and even though I despise the cold, I was able to be entertained enough to stick it out to the New Year. Our hostel had a pseudo New Years gathering starting at 8 PM with pasta and bottles of sparkling wine. We didn't stay that long but instead proceeded to wander somewhat aimlessly until we found a place that we could only hope gave us a good view of all the fireworks. We started out at the Colosseum, but between a bit of boredom and lack of other people around the area save a few people doing lines of crack in the green area to the north of the Colosseum (!), we decided to head on down via dei Fori Imperiali. I knew there was a concert
in Piazza del Popolo way north, but we happened upon a concert playing near Piazza Venezia. Since we didn't really know what else would work better, we decided that we couldn't be in a better spot for us. Who wouldn't want to bring in 2008 next to amazing monuments and ancient ruins?
We found a nice spot right along the top of Trajan's Forum and talked and people watched for roughly three hours until the time came for a champagne toast and the band to start playing Auld Lang Syne. Except, we had a hard time opening our bottle of toasts and the band instead played Madonna's "Material Girl." I thought it was hilarious. And I was busy trying to capture pictures of fireworks (I LOVE fireworks), which I did with slightly more than limited success. We were also able to take in the crazed scene too. The crowds were relatively tame before midnight, but after the fireworks show stopped and we started making our way back to the Colosseum to catch the metro the people got wild. Walking back I saw people doing absurd things with champagne bottles such as simply throwing near empty bottles across the street
or making multi-layered castles of them and trying to hurtle them like track stars. These people were amazingly unsuccessful thanks to the level of inebriation all around. I even saw a man who must have been at least seven feet tall, and it was all he could do to stay vertical while leaning on the shoulders of a woman two feet shorter than him. Both were minutes away from passing out, it seemed.
But that of course didn't stop them from continuing the party. No, not at all. I later learned that most people stayed out past four AM, which made me feel incredibly lame despite all the craziness ensuing all around me. We were back to the hostel and back in bed at 1 AM... hours before Rome would quite down and follow suit. But I very much enjoyed the massive street chaos and especially the scene in the metro. Public transportation was free going back, and everybody seemed to know this. It took a long time trying to even get to the level where the trains were. And when we did, trying to get on a train was the subway version of Titanic. You had to push
and pull your way to the door and hope that you don't get separated from your party, or even from the rest of your body when the door shuts. We watched a few trains go by before we were close to getting on one and when it was our turn, Keith and I linked arms and basically shoved our way into a train. You had to. It was madness. But enjoyable madness. Before we got on the train back to the hostel, we were able to see again the Italian love affair with the White Stripes. A train would pull up, blocking the view across the tracks to the other platform. But when the train would load and pull away, the two platforms would be visible to each other again. Of course, this sparked incredible commrodery and many chants of the main lines of "Seven Nation Army." It was amusing to see this in action. A train would pull up, and panic to get on the train would ensue. The train would pull away, and heeeeeeeey! Daahhh dah dah dah... the crowd turned into the bass line of "Seven Nation Army" once more. I am glad they enjoy American music
So that's really all I have to write here. I think I wrote more than I thougth I would about a night that was very fun, but still just a night. But I'm always going to remember my New Years in Rome. And the White Stripes. Ciao from 2008!
There are more photos below