Tis Returns to Italy! Day 70: Rules for Life in the Piazza
With some careful observation, I uncovered the “secret” rules for life in the piazza…
While I am a lover of the finest art museums in the world, I will always spend much more time exploring The Museum of Life. What is The Museum of Life you ask? It basically involves sitting around and doing absolutely nothing but watching the world around you go by.
Branches of The Museum of Life
I enjoy a good day at The Museum of Life. I simply love wandering around new places and observing how people live. It fascinates me. As a friend said to me recently when I was describing my museum of life concept, “You like some weird shit.” While that may not have been intended as a compliment, I took it as such.
While in Polignano a Mare, I discovered two very good branches of The Museum of Life. The first was Il Super Mago del Gelo which I consider one of the very best branches of the museum. Today, I visited the second which is the main piazza. This morning, I decided to sit for a bit and people watch before catching a train to Lecce.
The Piazza’s Seating Chart
During my time in Polignano a Mare, I’ve noticed the men of the town spend a lot of their time sitting on this square and chatting. As I’ve watched them, I have noticed the same groups of men always sit in the same place. There are two that seem to prefer to hang out by themselves, while others gather in larger groups. However, they do not mix. The same groups sit in the same places.
I absolutely loved watching this daily ritual. Some of the women of the town also participated in the gathering on the square, however, they were at the other end of the piazza and not as much of a presence as the men. From what I learned through my observations, around a quarter of the piazza was allocated to the ladies of the town with the majority belonging to the men. It gave me a flashback to a high school dance at the VFW hut where I grew up, boys on one side, girls on the other. Only the brave crossed the invisible but very present barrier.
As I watched the men congregate in their little groups, one kept walking by me, glancing in my direction. I started to feel a little awkward about that, checking to make sure there was nothing on my face or that I had not accidentally tucked the skirt of my dress into my tights. Nope. All good today!
Taking a Local’s Seat!
Finally, it dawned on me. I am sitting in his regular seat! Oh dear lord. I did not want to be the reason this little man and his posse were not able to assemble in their usual meeting place, so I gathered my things and headed toward the train.
One must respect the rules of the piazza after all!
Ciao for now!