Italians will crowd around and watch absolutely anything. I think this is partly because so often when they are free to walk the streets, there are no stores open, so they are hungry for something - anything - that will entertain them. I have been out walking around on enough holidays and sundays now, to note how someone could literally be tapping their foot next to a boom box, and a huge crowd would gather and watch. You know those guys that dress like statues and just stand there? Huge crowds. And the kind of crowds that completely block the street so you can't even pass unless you go right in the middle of the "entertainment". It's actually a new yorkers worst nightmare, because not only do we want to continually be moving, but we DO NOT stop and watch anything. Not even just new yorkers - the Washington Post did an experiment where they had Joshua Bell play in a subway station in D.C for an hour, and only like 3 people even bothered to stop and listen. Here, I could play the violin and I would probably have more people watching me than attended my new york recital debut.
So, I wasn't that surprised that a crowd was gathered outside my window this afternoon, but I did find what they were staring at to be a bit of an oddity. I was inside my apartment practicing (and maybe watching videos on youtube) when I heard what sounded like a Ricola commercial coming from right outside my window. My street has activity on it, but there's no big piazza where crowds gather, so I was really confused by the commotion. So I went out to my balcony and discovered 4 dudes playing these long horn things, and a 5th dude waving the Swiss flag around. There was, of course, a crowd gathered. I have no idea who these people were or why they decided to play a materhorn concert outside my window, but the Italians who happened to be passing by were delighted to have a reason to congregate and stare. The little concert lasted about 10 minutes, and the guys finished and packed up their horns, probably to proceed to the next corner. It was a really bizarre moment.
I also took a walk today down to the River Po and back because it was a beautiful, sunny day, and I couldn't do anything useful like shopping or laundry. I only had 20 minutes of rehearsal. Ah, the life.