I see this man in a variety of places around the city, and suspect that the city has ordinances which prohibit people from "setting up shop" in any one place. Sometimes when I see him, he has on clean clothes and has had a hair cut, but those days are rare. He travels light, with no suitcase, bags, or "extras", and when I see him, he usually only has a carton of wine ( or 2).
Sometimes I see him in my piazza, Santa Croce, watching the puppet shows like a child. The puppeteer always includes him in his antics, and he delights like a child and with the other children in the performance.
Every night, he gathers in front of the Uffizi to listen to music. He cheers for Ken and Alice, (the singers) and his favorite song is U2's With or Without You. When he is here listening to music, he is always very drunk to the point that he can hardly walk, and so he sits (or lays) in front of Ken and Alice and drinks his wine. Occasionally, with much effort, he gets up and walks to the crowd sitting on the steps to bum a cigarette and a light.
Even though the set that Ken and Alice play every night is exactly the same, and always in the same order, "the wino" starts yelling early on for them to play "With or Without You". When they start the opening licks, he cheers and gets to his feet and sings alonng,
I wonder what the song means to him?
With Or Without You lyrics