Fa il photo! - Take the picture!
For atmosphere, play the Italian National Anthem while you read:
It’s been a long time coming.
Here in Italy the excitement leading up to the final deciding penalty kick of the 2006 World Cup was palpable. Even in our little town of Aqui Terme the fervor had the force of a tsunami – building and gathering strength through the game and then crashing over the crowd, dispersing them like a red-white-and-green flash-flood. A cheering, jumping, hugging, flag-waving tidal wave of ecstatic fans coursed through the narrow cobblestoned streets of Acqui, sweeping up everyone in its path and spilling out onto the main road where they paraded and partied until all hours. It was over-the-top fun for all.
Francia e’ morta – was scrawled on the side of one car in the celebratory parade following the game. France is dead. And IMHO they deserved to lose. The French champion, Zidane, in an appalling and shameful flagrant foul, head-butted one of the Italian players. The crowd at Balalah where we were watching nearly rioted at the replay of the head-butt. Everyone was on their feet screaming. All of my Italian was learned in school so Bastardo! was one of the few words I understood during that part. And when the referee finally pulled out the Red Card signifying Zidane’s ejection the cheer was awesome! This game was the last in Zidane’s otherwise long and stellar career. What a sorry way to be remembered. Since he is considered one of the world's best penalty kickers, his unsportsmanlike behavior not only ended his career on a sour note, it probably ended any chance France had for a win. I pity whomever is sitting across the breakfast table from him this morning.
Italy has not won the World Cup since 1982. Correction, Italy has had since 1982 to plan a World Cup celebration party. It was pandemonium - and the NOISE LEVEL! The car parade, cheering, singing and dancing in the street lasted until after 2:00 in Acqui, I can’t imaged what it must have been like in Rome. Thank goodness today is Monday when most things are closed in the morning anyway!
Even more of Chris' photos of the celebration.