What A Weekend…

25Aug10

wow. had a crazy weekend last weekend. started out friday night by going to a whiskey bar aaron found as sort of a surprise to me for my last week here. i’d been yammering on about bourbon for several weeks so he found this place that happened to be really close to my apartment. very cool place. tried some stuff that i’m gonna have to look for when i get back.

saturday night, aaron, patrick, graham and i went to a soccer match at san siro stadium here in milan. it was inter vs roma, and while apparently it wasn’t a terribly important game in terms of any tournament or season or anything, it was a big deal for the fans because inter had finished first in some soccer something or other and roma had finished second. so i guess it was more an exhibition game of sorts between the two top teams. or something.

anyway, it was insane. first of all, even though we’re all living in milan, and inter is one of the most popular teams(and most hated – supposedly the team is very wealthy and just buys the best players from wherever. apparently there isn’t a single italian on the team) in italy, we had befriended a couple guys who were roma fans and who were going to the match. so we sat with the romans that night. the stadium was HUGE, seating 80,000 people, and it was sold the hell out. security was no joke either. there were riot police everywhere, including the metro stop half a mile away. as fans from the visiting team, we had to enter and exit through a separate gate, both of which were timed as to minimize any potential confrontation. there was also no alcohol served inside the stadium for the same reason. visiting fans had their own section to sit in as well, quarantined from the locals.

and the volume.

whenever a goal was missed it was crazy. when one was scored, it was utterly deafening. flares were being lit and thrown onto the field. bottles were thrown back and forth over the glass walls separating the visitors. sweaty, stinky, shirtless fans screaming and probably swearing and hitting things and smoking weed (really). these people are serious about their soccer. oh, and roma lost 3-1.

sunday was road trip day. we rented a car and took a drive about an hour and a half away to sacra di san michele, about a half an hour west of torino. its a ancient monastery built on top of a mountain. this place was amazing. its like something out of lord of the rings.

Sacra Di San Michele

Sacra Di San Michele

Sacra Di San Michele

as you can see, its quite literally built into the mountain. incredible.

Unfinshed Bell Tower, Sacra Di San Michele

View of Val Susa (Susa Valley), Sacra Di San Michele

after spending some time here (a bit too much perhaps) we made our way back down the mountain to torino. i say too much time because we didn’t get to spend anywhere near enough time in the city. i had hoped to see the shroud of turin, and there was supposed to be an amazing egyptian museum here as well. as it was, we ate dinner and drove down to the river that ran through the city.

Torino, Italy

Piazza Vittorio Veneto, Torino, Italy

definitely beautiful though. just wish we’d had more time to explore.

great trip, great weekend.



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