I met Simone and Ceaserai at the San Frediano Door. This door is on the west side of the city (the opposite side of town from where I live) and it part of the original city wall. It is an area that I have been to only a few times, but always enjoy it because it is an "italian" neighborhood. There are absolutely no tourists, and everyone speaks Italian. They always know I am a tourist though, because as I have said before, Florence is small, and particularly in these small neighborhoods, everyone knows everyone.
It was about a 40 minute walk from my house to the door where I was to meet Simone and Ceaserai, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I stopped at one of the neighborhood cafe’s for a piadino on focaccia, and filled with spinach, mushrooms and ricotta. Simone grew up in this neighborhood and he arrived at the door to meet me shortly after I arrived. He had been in a nearby pizzeria and saw the Florentine Calcio (soccer) coach, and was excited to get to shake his hand. The season starts soon, so everyone is excited about that.
Ceaserai arrived with his vehicle (a Ford by the way), and he parked and we went for coffee. There were a few people at the bar, and of course, Simone knew them all. They chatted and we had coffee (real Italian espresso, which I love and am addicted to) and then got in the car to head out for the concert.
It was about a 30 minute drive on the expressway outside of Florence. Italian expressways are very scary. Italians drive the way they do everything else.....emotionally. It is fun, exciting, and seemingly dangerous, but I have never seen an accident.
When we arrived and parked, we walked into the city center which was a beautiful, quaint piazza, with trees lining the side, and a bar inside. We had beers and waited for the music to start.
The concert started at 9:30 p.m. and wasn’t over until 12:30. The band, called Premiata Forneria Marconi, was very famous in Italy in the 70's, and had many best selling songs and albums. This is the first free concert that they have performed. There was a huge crowd, of all ages, although mostly around my age, and everyone knew all of the songs. The style was similar to Jethro Tull, Yes, and the Who. It was great!
It’s really fun to be included in events that are "real Italian" experiences. It’s taken me 6 months to get an "in", but some of the Florentines are starting to know me and include me in these types of things which is fabulous!