Ever have one of those nights where you can’t sleep no matter how hard you try? Well in Italy, they celebrate those nights.
Actually, they name a night after those types of nights. The Italian idiom for passing a sleepless night is passing a note in Bianca-a night in white, I assume referring to the whites of the eyes, which stay exposed due to the inability to sleep. This night, a week after Easter vigil, is a night where everything stays open all night long with festivities, outdoor concerts, and free admission to museums.
Notte Bianca happens in major cities across Italy, but Florence is the only one that is a member of the cultural association that organizes the event. Some friends and I volunteered for this association, handing out program maps for three hours. This sounds boring and tedious, but the variety of people you encounter, the amount of Italian you speak, and all of the freebies you receive make it all worth it. After our work session we were taken to dinner then let free to wander the city as we pleased. Lights lining the Arno River were covered in colored paper, turning the water into a liquid kaleidoscope. Open-air concerts were staged in multiple piazzas. Live trees were “planted” across the Ponte Santa Trinità. It was a wild night, but a memorable night—another unique glimpse into the Italian mentality.
Learn More – www.marist.edu/florence