27 August 2007

Piazza transformation

Ascoli Piceno uses her piazze like a stage both figuratively as the people parade through everyday as part of passeggiata but also literally as they become the location for various events. These events can range from simple playing fields for games of soccer to elaborate stages for national touring music or theatrical groups.

For Carnivale Piazza del Popolo is transformed into a huge ballroom with hanging chandeliers. For Pasqua season there are kids’ shows and dancers suspended from balloons over the crowds. In the summer stages appear for concerts. Piazza del Popolo and Piazza Arringo are the focal points of the La Quintana events hosting sbandieratori, arcieri and hundreds of costumed figuranti.

Many times a stage will be erected in the morning for an evening event and then be gone by the following morning. Some events are staged in church chiostri and on the main streets. All but a few of the events are free. Piazza del Popolo is turned into a closed theater for some of the major events where tickets are required. This is accomplished by erecting steel doors on the eight entrances to the piazza. Of course the caffes that line the piazza are none too thrilled when this happens as they are shut down for those events.

The grande piazze are the center stage for life here in Ascoli Piceno. These beautiful and historic public areas make for very interesting backdrops for any event.

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